Carlton will head to Goldenacre for tomorrow’s CSL Eastern Premiership Capital derby with Heriot’s without the services of skipper Steve Gilmour.
Gilmour has played in every league match to date this summer with his team sitting third as the second half of the campaign begins.
However, he is absent this week due to a family holiday and Fraser Watts takes over the captaincy.
Top wicket taker Ali Evans is also out because, with nternational fixtures coming up next week the whole Scotland squad is being rested this weekend. Young wicketkeeper Tom Simpson is also away.
The visitors are boosted by the return of former Ireland cap Rory McCann, who will be keeping wicket, with Hugo Southwell also back in the XI.
Carlton are still smarting from Monday evening’s thumping loss to Mazars Grange in the Murgitroyd Masterton semi-final, but Gilmour was generally pleased with the first half of the season.
He said: “I am really pleased with the way that the guys have gone about things this summer so far.
“Monday night’s loss in the Twenty20 match was just one of those things and we talked about it after the game and moved on swiftly.
“There is a good spirit amongst the squad and heading into this weekend we are still in a good place in the league and in the cup. The league has thrown up some strange results to date with everyone beating everyone else and we just have to keep ourselves in the mix.”
On Sunday, Carlton take on Greenock in their rearranged Citylets Scottish Cup quarter-final.
Heriot’s captain Keith Morton has named an unchanged XI for tomorrow’s clash after they defeated Falkland last time out.
Scotland man Mark Watt, Steve Knox and the injured James Hearn are still out.
In 2015 Heriot’s only won four league matches all summer, but they have already posted six victories in 2016 to sit fifth in the table.
They lost to Carlton on the opening day back in late April, but Morton said: “We are generally feeling good about how we did in the first half of the season and we want to build on that now.
“There is a bit more confidence in the squad compared to last year and we are looking forward to this Carlton test.”
Leaders Watsonians host Aberdeenshire at Myreside tomorrow with Alec Sim coming into the team for Andrew Fraser-Harris.
Brendan O’Connell, who has scored 279 league runs and taken nine league wickets, is still missing, but captain Ewan Chalmers is in positive mood.
The skipper said: “If you had said we would have been top at this point I obviously would have been happy with that. We have had a few matches washed out which has been frustrating, but the team unit has come together well and in patches shown what we are capable of.”
Grange are fourth and they are set to give first-team appearances to two up-and-coming youngsters at home to Falkland.
Teenagers Scott Blain and Andrew Appleton come into the side along with Jonny Brock and Henry Philip, Scotland captain Preston Mommsen and Tom Foulds are amongst the absentees.
Blain and Appleton are both Stewart’s Melville pupils who have shown promise in recent months.
On Sunday, Grange are away to Clydesdale in the cup.
In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship tomorrow leaders SMRH are on the road to Dunnikier. SMRH’s Tom Beaton will hope to continue his good form having hit 54 on Wednesday night for the Eastern Knights.
Carlton II host Kelso and RH Corstorphine are at Marchmont.