ARBROATH skipper Marc Petrie has challenged his troops to put their opening-day horror show behind them and bounce back strongly in today’s Tayside derby against Forfarshire at Lochlands.
The contrasting fortunes last weekend could not have been more stark.
As Petrie and Co were being humbled at home by RH Corstorphine, the Broughty Ferry boys were claiming the scalp of champions Grange on their own patch.
Petrie said: “Our performance was very poor, though credit should go to RHC, whose bowling was excellent.
“Majid Haq has got his team well drilled and playing without fear.
“We must be much better in every discipline of the game.
“It’s time for players to take more responsibility for their performances and standing up when it matters most.
“And if there is any match to get up for after a disappointing loss it’s against Forfs.
“They’ve built a fantastic team over the past couple of seasons, but we know if we play to our best we’re a match for anyone and we are looking forward to the occasion.”
The spotlight is sure to be on Matty Parker, who makes his return for Arbroath after several years with Shire.
Forfs batsman Chris Greaves stated: “We had the perfect start to the campaign.
“It was a superb all-round team performance which underlined the fact that we are a great unit, not only of team-mates but also friends.
“The Arbroath derby is always a highlight of the season and our aim is to make winning a healthy habit.”
To add to the woes of Grange, they could be without former skipper Andrew Brock for the entire summer.
Brock pulled up with a serious looking knee injury while fielding in the later stages of the Forfarshire encounter at Raeburn Place.
Player-coach John Blain – who takes his troops north to face Aberdeenshire today – said: “We will know the full extent of the damage when Andrew undergoes a scan.”
The Mannofield men will be champing at the bit to launch their campaign properly after last weekend’s tussle with Stew-Mel lasted a single over before the rain came.
Captain Kenny Reid said: “There might be a little bit more motivation on Grange’s side after what happened last week.
“I am sure that John has them well prepared and motivated for every fixture.
“Everyone can see how difficult a fixture Grange is but we as a club need to try to make things as difficult as possible for the clubs travelling up here.
“It is 11 vs 11 – our guys know that Grange are definitely beatable.
“We have a number of boys in our team that could be match winners in their day so all we can ask is for them to stand up put a performance in and see where it takes us.”
Ian Kirk replaces Scotland gloveman Matthew Cross.
RHC will be aiming to keep up the momentum at home to Heriot’s, fresh from battling their way to an unlikely win at the expense of Watsonians, who visit Stoneywood-Dyce.
SD earned a huge confidence boost by edging out Carlton, who stay on home territory to take on Stew-Mel.