THE Eastern Knights will today attempt to clinch the Pro50 Cup and continue their recent dominance of regional cricket.
John Blain’s side go into their return clash with the Caley Highlanders at The Grange having won their opening two fixtures and on the verge of another title.
With coach Blain marked absent, enjoying a well-earned family holiday, Fraser Watts will take charge of a side comprising four of his Carlton team-mates including Michael Herdman and youngster Angus Beattie, the latter included for the first time.
As the leading all-rounder in the Eastern Premier division, Herdman will attempt to replicate the form which had seen him score 542 runs and claim 17 wickets before this weekend.
Beattie, too, is sure to be full of confidence having been a member of the Scotland U19 squad which this week completed a 3-0 whitewash of Namibia.
Watts, also involved in the Scotland U17 coaching set-up, declared: “I have enjoyed the new challenge of coaching so far and it’s nice to stay involved now I have finish playing representative stuff.
“I think it is good to coach so soon after finishing playing. It means I have connections to a lot of the players which helps.
“We have started well again this season which is good but both the west and north are strong so there are no easy games and anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“The title is close again but we must just concentrate on winning this game.”
The Knights are without Elliot Ruthven who was injured during Scotland’s A clash with Ireland during the week. He is replaced by Olly Brown.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders squad lacks a single member of the Arbroath side who are setting an impressive pace in the Eastern Premier, Calvin Burnett, Brendan Ford, Ross McLean and Marc Petrie all being unavailable.
In their absence, Kyle Coetzer will lead a side which contains its own quota of rising stars including opening batsman Callum Garden, one of Beattie’s U19 team-mates.
Garden is one of six Forfarshire players in the ranks, among them Chris Greaves whose brilliant unbeaten 151 in the corresponding fixture at Forthill could not prevent the Knights from completing a comfortable six-wicket win, Calum MacLeod responding with a century of his own.
Knights: G Munsey, C MacLeod, N Farrar, M Herdman, D Budge, A Beattie, M Watt, H Aslam, S Whait, A Evans, C Shoebridge, O Brown.
Highlanders: K Coetzer, C Venske, C Garden, C Wallace, C Greaves, B Wilkinson, S Sharif, S Cameron, R Brown, A Neill, C Robertson, B Ditchmen.