Clydesdale, in good spirits after an emphatic win at Uddingston, start favourites against a Drumpellier side yet to record a win. The Titwood club are still without injured Safy Sharif, the Saltires all-rounder, while the presence in the visiting line-up of Nazar Hussain, last season's Clydesdale professional, adds a sub-plot. Having played only two of their scheduled four fixtures, Drumpellier are far from downhearted, particularly as Graeme McLaren, their captain, is available for his first match of the campaign. Asad Mohammed also returns and McLaren said: "We're able to field a full-strength team at last and I think Nazar is especially fired-up to face his old club."
Dumfries v Uddingston
Dumfries continue to enjoy their first foray into the top flight, sitting proudly on their own at the top of the table after four straight wins. Stuart Corbett-Byers, a down-to-earth captain, said: "The important thing is not to get carried away. We'll keep our feet on the ground and try to keep our run going." Dumfries hope to name an unchanged team but Uddingston, on the rebound from a heavy defeat to Clydesdale, have several enforced changes with Gavin Bradley, David Bill and Niall MacLeod unavailable.
Stirling County v Ayr
Both sides have managed a single win but the weather means that is a 50% record for Stirling but only 25% for Ayr who have played all four scheduled fixtures to date. Stirling go into the game with their tails up after their win over West of Scotland a week ago. Ayr, though, took positives from their loss to Dumfries especially in the form of Neil Smith who scored a century while professional Craig Thyssen did enough to suggest he is a potential match-winner. Ayr are without Callum McLaughlin and Callum Leck through illness and injury.
The game has been dedicated to the memory of Jamaican-born Irvin Iffla, who acquired legendary status with both clubs after settling in Scotland in the 1950s. Iffla, who died in March, was made a Freeman of Stirling three years ago. A memorial bench will be unveiled before the start while the teams will play for a trophy named after him.
West of Scotland v Greenock
John Blain, the West player-coach, wants a positive response from his side after their loss to Stirling a week ago. He knows his team must be wary of a Greenock side who had a morale-boosting first win of the campaign against Drumpellier. That result was achieved without Richie Berrington, the Saltires all-rounder, who was suffering from a chest infection. He subsequently suffered a dislocated finger in Monday's CB40 clash with Hampshire, but is hopeful of playing some part in today's match.
EASTERN PREMIER DIVISION
Arbroath v Grange
Fraser Burnett, the Arbroath captain, believes his team can belatedly launch their quest for the title despite facing one of their toughest tests so far when at Lochlands today after a wretched start to the campaign. Arbroath are still hindered by the absence of ankle-injury victim Ross McLean, but Burnett expects him to be back next weekend. Also missing today is Matthew Hurst, so Euan Small comes into the squad.
Carlton v Aberdeenshire
Carlton, reeling from losses to Stoneywood Dyce and Watsonians, will be boosted by the return of Scotland man Preston Mommsen at Grange Loan. Clearly missing the leadership and infield skills of Cedric English, they have struggled to live up to their status as SNCL champions but the presence of Mommsen as a specialist all-rounder is sure to add power in every respect.
Forfarshire v Heriot's
Forfarshire were dealt a reality check by Grange last time out and bid to get back on track at home to rejuvenated Heriot's who, after a string of defeats at the start of the term, bounced back to crush Aberdeenshire.
Stoneywood-Dyce v Watsonians
Stoneywood Dyce have emerged as the surprise packages of the competition, with Jan Stander, the out of favour Scotland man, in prime form, although they will be tested to the full by Watsonians, whose batting line-up has tremendous depth. Jean Symes, their professional, is adapting well to Scottish conditions and will be keen to carry on at Peoples Park where he left off while playing for the Saltires in the rain-ruined clash with Surrey at the Oval on Tuesday.
east Brayden Tracey aims for a fifth century in successive matches for SMRH in the North-Edinburgh derby against Corstorphine today but deflects praise for his achievements on to the former Scotland stalwart Cedric English for his influence.
English moved across the capital from Carlton during the winter, and Tracey said: "He is working so hard to push the club forward and one of his great talents is getting the best out of the guys around him. Before this sequence, my best effort was scoring two 100s in a row for my club's second XI back home in Australia."
Elsewhere, West Lothian should be too strong at home for Freuchie, while Falkland and Fauldhouse could earn precious away successes at struggling Edinburgh Accies and Penicuik respectively.
west Ferguslie's youth policy seems to be paying off in fine style after their rookies played a big part in the win over Poloc last weekend. They should keep up their promising run in the western division at the expense of East Kilbride at Meikleriggs. Renfrew are hard to beat on their own turf and it is the turn of Prestwick to try to claim a notable scalp. Poloc make the short trip to take on Weirs, while there will little to choose from between Stenhousemuir and Kelburne at The Tryst.