Acting Carlton cricket captain Steve Gilmour has vowed the club will maintain their unbeaten league record going into the first of three play-offs which will eventually determine the Premiership title as tribute to injured colleague Fraser Watts.
The leaders head for Forfarshire on Sunday – tomorrow is set aside for the Scottish Cup Final between Uddingston and Dunfermline at Arbroath – without Watts, who has broken finger and could be doubtful for the remainder of the title run-in.
Gilmour, who calls up Nick Hunt to replace internationalist Watts, said: “Fraser isn’t the best of watchers but he’ll be at the game and we need to do our best to cheer him up as well as trying to win the league.”
Watts added: “I broke the little finger on my left hand diving for a catch when Scotland played Hampshire last weekend. When the swelling subsides I’ll learn whether I need surgery. It’s quite frustrating.”
Elsewhere in the top tier of matches, Aberdeenshire entertain Arbroath.
The target for Heriot’s and Barclays Wealth Grange, who meet at Goldenacre, will be a fifth-place finish with home skipper Steve Knox claiming that the prize for finishing top of the group will be tickets to next summer’s Scotland-England clash.
Hassan Durrani returns for Heriot’s in the absence of Atif Hussein. Having played the leading contenders, incidentally, Knox is tipping Carlton to go on and lift the title for the first time.
For Watsonians, there is a trip to Clydesdale while in the lower order Championship play-offs, RH Corstorphine head for Kelburne with Edinburgh Accies and SMRH at home to Penicuik and Ferguslie respectively.