Scottish cricket is so often a dreich washout; players, stripped for action and hopeful for a break in the clouds, sit with their noses pressed wistfully against the glass as yet another match is abandoned.
"The last couple of years have been really bad," said Fraser Watts, the Carlton batsman. "But it's been great this year; people have been getting back into playing regularly and not just sitting watching the rain come down. It's a nice change."
In fact, the teams contesting tomorrow's Scottish Cup final have only missed out on a solitary league match in one of the best summers for cricket in recent years. That was against each other back in the early damp of mid-May. Despite the call-off, though, Carlton and Barclay's Grange know each other inside out, having played three times, winning a T20 fixture each and Grange prevailing in a reduced-overs league match.
League duty comes first for Carlton, and a win today at home to leaders Arbroath United will keep the race for the Eastern Premier Division alive going into the last round of fixtures. It is just a warm-up for the main event tomorrow, though. Despite celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, the Newington club have yet to win Scottish cricket's showpiece. The tournament has not existed for as long as its footballing cousin, and as far as trophy droughts go, there are Edinburgh sporting sides with worse records . . .
Grange, on the other hand, are fresh from winning the Murgitroyd T20 trophy last weekend and have won the Scottish Cup six times in all. They might just be slight favourites going into the game. "They're probably a better side on paper," said Watts, "but we're doing better in the league. It depends on who turns up and wins the little battles within the game."
Both teams emerged from thrilling semi-finals, Carlton briefly coming unstuck after posting a good score and taking early wickets - "We thought we were going to cruise it," said Watts - as Clydesdale got closer than they would have liked, the winning margin just 16 runs.
Grange's passage was still more nerve-wracking. Coming to the crease at 162 for nine with another 38 runs required for victory, few would have given them a chance against a strong Arbroath side. "To be honest, they were definitely thinking they had booked their place in the final," said Raj Routray, the No.11 batsman who heroically blocked up an end to help get his team over the line.
"We just stuck in, batted the overs, whittled the score down and with three overs to go Stuart Davidson got a hold of a few and hit them out of the ground. I don't think you can put a favourites' tag on the final, though," he added. "Honours have been pretty even. It's a tough one to call."
The wicket at Stirling's New Williamfield looks good - 600-odd runs were accumulated there this week in a Regional match - so a high-scoring encounter from two teams packed with Scotland experience would not be surprising, or unwelcome. "Both sides are better batting, so it just depends on who does it best," agreed Watts. "They've got stacks of talent, we've got a younger side, but hopefully our big-name players will stand up on the day."