Scottish Cup previews
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
ARBROATH face mounting selection problems ahead of today’s crunch Scottish Cup clash with Clydesdale.
Leadership of Group H is at stake at Lochlands where the visitors are aiming for a third straight win.
The Lichties, having won their only game to beat the rain, can leapfrog the Titwood side but will be without wicket-keeper Marc Petrie who is suffering from a dose of the mumps.
Petrie, who caught the illness from his girlfriend, expects to be fit for next week’s league opener against Aberdeenshire but fears that by then some of his team-mates may be suffering from the symptoms.
He said: “My girlfriend came home from Glasgow University where there had been a bit of an epidemic.
“I was on tenterhooks for three weeks which is the incubation period for the infection and, sure enough, towards the end of that period I started displaying the symptoms.
“Now I’m worried that some of the guys may have caught it from me but only time will tell.”
Arbroath’s selection problems are compounded by the fact that Scotland U19 batsman Ross McLean is suffering from an ankle injury after falling down stairs at home.
Meanwhile Saltires all-rounder Calvin Burnett has still not fully recovered from a wrist problem.
New Clydesdale skipper Zeeshan Bashir is looking to maintain his winning start and can again call on Saltires bowler Safy Sharif as he continues his return to full fitness following a rib injury.
Elsewhere Forfarshire are one of seven sides bidding to beat the elements to make their first competitive outing of the season.
Their home clash with Ayr has added significance since Group D rivals Stenhousemuir and Freuchie, who meet at The Tryst, are both a point ahead.
Group E big guns Carlton start firm favourites against Falkland at Grange Loan.
Aberdeenshire, another side whose opening two games have been washed-out, should be too strong for Group F basement boys West Lothian but Kelburne can cement their place at the top if they can win at Drumpellier.
Cup holders Uddingston visit Renfrew as they bid to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Grange.
Meanwhile Weirs have been forced to forfeit their clash with Watsonians.
Currently homeless while Albert Park undergoes major work, the Glasgow side could only find a suitable venue for tomorrow (Sun).
However, their request to delay the fixture was met with a firm refusal by the Myreside club whose professional Jean Symes will be on duty for the Saltires tomorrow.