HERIOT’S skipper Keith Morton has played down the notion that defeat in today’s derby clash with Grange could badly hit their prospects of holding on to their league title.
The sides clash at Raeburn Place with the hosts looking to maintain their perfect start to the campaign.
And a pragmatic Morton insisted there will be no chat about the destiny of the championship in his camp.
He declared: “We’ve been looking forward to this match with great excitement – but it is far too early to be talking about winning or losing titles.
“This league is extremely competitive and every game is wide open.”
Heriot’s are boosted by the return of Peter Ross, though Simon Whait will keep the gloves.
Morton added: “It would be unfair to Grange to pick out any of their players for special mention.
“They are a strong unit from top to bottom.”
In the other all-Edinburgh affair, Watsonians play host to a Stew-Mel lineup, buoyed by their success against Glenrothes last weekend.
Arbroath are keen to make amends for the heavy defeat by Grange, but they will be without skipper Marc Petrie.
His absence means that old stager Murray Clark will be behind the timbers, while Calvin Burnett returns to the fray.
Petrie said: “Calvin has been greatly missed over the past couple of weeks.
“He’s the type of player who can take the game away from the opposition or get us back in to a match.”
Elsewhere, Carlton are at home to Forfarshire and struggling Glenrothes await Aberdeenshire.
WEST of Scotland skipper Gregg Watson is relishing the visit of leaders Ferguslie to Hamilton Crescent.
The Partick side have established themselves in the top half of the table following promotion to the Western Premier but face their biggest challenge to date against the Paisley team who are bidding to bounce back from their first defeat.
Watson said: “I expect Ferguslie will be well up for this one and desperate to get back to winning ways but we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“You always want to test yourself against the best as it gives you a yardstick of where you are. We’ve been pretty pleased with our start but it’s still early days.”
Ferguslie, beaten by Greenock a week ago, are without Scotland’s latest cap Hamza Tahir who is on international duty in Holland but his younger brother Douad is likely to feature following a promising debut.
Skipper Jamey Carruthers said: “Douad was the only positive for us from the Greenock match but overall we need a huge improvement.”
Elsewhere, Prestwick, having joined Ferguslie at the top of the table, aim to step-up their title push when they entertain Uddingston at the Henry Thow Oval.
The champions have consigned their opening day defeat to history with five straight wins while Uddingston’s record of three victories and three defeats tells a tale of inconsistency.
This match features the league’s two leading wicket-takers, Prestwick’s Sachin Chaudhary having 19 victims, five more than Mo Awais who has been a key figure for the Bothwell side.
Clydesdale are again without Scotland star Richie Berrington as they head down the coast to face Ayr.
One of the heroes of that historic win over England last weekend is again on international duty, this time against Ireland.
Despite last week’s defeat to Prestwick, Dale remain well placed to challenge for the title and start favourites against an Ayr team who find themselves in a spot of bother in second bottom place.
Poloc were the latest team to inflict defeat on Ayr and the Shawholm men are bidding for a third consecutive victory when they visit Dumfries.
The Nunholm men, having looked poised to break their duck at Stirling last week, were ultimately forced to settle for a tie but will surely take encouragement from their most convincing batting display of the season, Andrew Dawson and Chris Bellwood both finding form.
Poloc, who have also been scoring freely in the last two weeks, welcome back young wicketkeeper Calum James.
Greenock, having become the first team to beat Ferguslie, will bid to continue their ascent of the table by leapfrogging Stirling who are their visitors at Glenpark.
The home side welcome back Chris Hempsey with youngster Ewan Stewart making way.