FERGUSLIE will today bid to kickstart their title defence when they entertain early leaders Uddingston at Meikleriggs.
The Paisley team were frustrated by rain at Clydesdale last week while today’s visitors took the points in the only game to survive.
Ferguslie skipper Riyaad Henry is hopeful his side can shrug-off the absence of several of last season’s triumphant team to challenge again.
Michael English, Jamey Carruthers, Greg Cameron, Taimoor Ahmad and Hamza Tahir are all missing for a variety of reasons while new professional, Zimbabwean Nkosana Mpofu, is yet to arrive but Henry declared: “I have plenty of confidence in the team we have to compete in every game.
“I think all the teams have the ability to beat anyone this year so every game is going to be tough and it should be a good one against Uddingston.”
Meanwhile, Uddingston may arrive in confident mood following last week’s win against Drumpellier but skipper Bryan Clarke is taking nothing for granted.
“Ferguslie have lost a few players but seem to have recruited well. They are still a strong side particularly at Meikleriggs,” Clarke stressed.
Uddingston will field a potent seam trio of Scotland star Gavin Main, Niall Alexander and debutant Abdul Sabri and Clarke added: “The three of them played age group cricket together so they are looking forward to playing together again.
“To be honest I’m really looking forward to seeing them as well as I’m not sure I’ve ever played in an Uddy team with this kind of seam attack.”
Prestwick, the 2017 champions, looked on course to make a winning start last Saturday until rain washed-out their fixture with Stirling and the Ayrshiremen will try again when they head to Shawholm to face a youthful Poloc team.
Meanwhile, Drumpellier will attempt to bounce back from last week’s reverse when they entertain a Greenock side who draft in Greg McDougall for Rod Mountford.
Qasim Sheikh, the East Kilbride captain, believes star performers Imran Mughal and Umair Khan can help his promoted Torrance House troops consolidate their place in the top flight and they will get the chance to make a winning start when they host West of Scotland.
The visitors hand a debut to Rob Corner while Jonny Williams, Simon Brown and Blaal Hussain return.
Stirling, bowled out for 67 at Prestwick a week ago, will attempt to recapture the form which saw them finish third last season when they welcome Clydesdale to New Williamfield.