Domestic Preview - Week 7
The player-coach of new Eastern Premier pacesetters, Forfarshire, has insisted he and his squad will not be taking anything for granted in today’s encounter with basement boys Stoneywood-Dyce.
Graeme Beghin reckons their Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of Drumpellier came as a reality check as it occurred just 24 hours after they had surged to the head of the title race.
Stressing that they will be treating the Aberdonians as a real threat on their own turf, Beghin said: “It is just another game of cricket to us and we have been preparing as thoroughly as usual.
“That means we respect ALL opposition sides, no matter where they are in the table.
“We were reminded on Sunday that we can’t assume anything at any time.”
Shire are without the injured Matty Parker and Callum Garden comes into the line up.
Back in action after passing fitness tests are Liam Sweeney and Scott Cameron.
A depleted Arbroath team square up at Lochlands to second-placed Carlton, who are waiting to capitalise on any Forfarshire slip-ups.
The host outfit are denied the services of three front-line stars, who have work and family commitments - Elton Willemse and the Burnett brothers, Fraser and Calvin.
Skipper Marc Petrie stated: “After two excellent and convincing victories in the league and cup last weekend we are looking to build some added momentum.
“We are under no illusions as to how tough this game will be with Carlton in good form and with us missing such influential men.”
Arbroath are handing a debut to 15 year old Darryl Sinclair, who has the personal endorsement of Petrie, who said: “The lad is a batsman who bowls leg-spin.
“He is an exciting prospect, who has been scoring lots of runs throughout his age-group career and for our second team.
“We must make sure each player takes responsibility for his own performance for the team, but we will be going into the match as underdogs - a tag we have carried many times and it's one we thrive on.”
Elsewhere, Glenrothes - buoyed up by breaking their top flight duck last weekend - will head for the capital full of confidence to tackle Heriot’s who have had an inconsistent campaign thus far.
Grange will hope to make home adavantage count in the Edinburgh derby with Watsonians, who will be eager to get back on tracks in the wake of their loss to Carlton.
And two sides who have been struggling of late - Aberdeenshire and Falkland - clash at Mannofield .
East Kilbride, one of the Western Premier’s in-form sides, will today (Sat) attempt to extend their winning run in the league to four games.
The Torrance House troops have put a poor start to the campaign behind them and sit on the fringes of the title race.
They go into today’s home clash against leaders Ferguslie buoyed by last weekend’s Scottish Cup win at Aberdeenshire.
However, EK face their stiffest test yet against a Paisley side who have launched their season in spectacular style with six straight wins in the league.
The Meikleriggs men also flew the west flag impressively last Sunday by knocking Heriot’s out of the cup and home skipper Harmanjit Singh knows his men must rise to the challenge.
He said: “Ferguslie have been in really good form and I don’t think they have lost any games in all competitions.
“They are a young, energetic side who are full of talent with bat and ball. The addition of their overseas players has made them even stronger.”
Despite his side’s run of wins, Singh, who scored a brilliant century in last week’s win over Drumpellier, believes there is more to come from his team, adding: “We have been in decent form recently but all the games have been pretty difficult because we keep getting off to bad starts.
“We have been under pressure throughout these games and have managed to come through.
“It will be tough again when we face Ferguslie but I think it will be a really good game which can go either way.”
Meanwhile, Ferguslie skipper Gregor Preston-Jones has told his high-flying players to keep their feet on the ground, despite increasing title talk in some quarters.
He said: “We’ve had a great start but nothing has been won yet and we’re just looking to carry our momentum into each game.”
The game features a fascinating clash between two of the leading all-rounders in the division, East Kilbride’s Ross Lyons boasting 223 runs and thirteen wickets while Ferguslie professional Mishkal Ramsaroop has the same number of wickets and 245 runs.
Elsewhere, champions Clydesdale, having apparently put an early season wobble behind them, will attempt to maintain their title push when they entertain Stenhousemuir.
The Titwood men completed a comfortable league and cup double over Uddingston last weekend but will be wary of a Stenhousemuir side who broke their top flight duck with victory over Dumfries.
Kelburne must bounce back from their derby defeat to Ferguslie by beating Ayr at Whitehaugh if they are to stay in touch at the top of the table.
Fourth top Dumfries entertain a Drumpellier side who may be second bottom but will surely be boosted by their cup win over Eastern Premier leaders Forfarshire.
Prestwick, having lost their derby at Ayr, have the chance to bounce back against inconsistent Uddingston at the Henry Thow Oval.