AFTER the first washout of the season it is back to action this afternoon as the Eastern Premier title race continues to unfold.

Sadly last week's rain put paid to the top-of-the-table clash between Arbroath and Grange, depriving the former of the opportunity to leapfrog the front-runners.

However, both teams remain firmly in contention and Marc Petrie, the Arbroath skipper, is more interested in looking forward to today's visit of in-form Falkland than contemplating what might have been.

"Of course, we were disappointed last week having to call off the match against Grange but playing cricket in Scotland that is to be expected from time to time," Petrie said. "It was just a shame it was such a big match that was unplayable.

"That's in the past now and we will be looking to carry on our good form this weekend against a Falkland team who are playing well and have a lot of momentum with them at the moment.

"However we also have been in a good run of form in both league and cup and will be looking to continue that even with players missing."

How sides cope in the absence of key players is always an issue in high summer as the international season reaches its peak but, in addition to losing Harris Carnegie and Jack Waller to the national U19s, Arbroath are also missing the Burnett brothers, Fraser and Calvin, who are attending a stag weekend in Iceland.

Petrie, though, believes Arbroath have sufficient strength in depth. "We are always confident in calling up our squad players," he added. "All of them have first-team experience and have been in good form for our second team." Brothers Craig and Ryan Cameron come in along with Blair Carnegie while Greig Peal has temporarily come out of retirement to face a Falkland side who are flying high after wins against Grange and Aberdeenshire.

The Fifers are missing Scotland all-rounder Safyaan Sharif but Petrie is taking nothing for granted. "They have proven recently that they can perform well and win games without him and we won't be underestimating them," he noted.

Forfarshire are also hit by call-offs for their trip north to face Stoneywood-Dyce with Craig Wallace and Michael Leask both on Scotland duty and Scott Cameron with the U19s.

Meanwhile, most cricketing eyes in the capital may be focused on events at The Grange where Scotland take on the Netherlands in the World T20 Qualifier but a couple of significant league matches will get underway in Edinburgh after the lunchtime conclusion of the international.

At Inverleith, Corstorphine will embark on their latest attempt to forge a first win of the campaign and, since leaders Grange are their visitors, Arbroath will have more than a passing interest in this one. It could be a good time for Corstorphine to entertain their more celebrated city rivals since the visitors will be without player-coach John Blain and Scotland batting star George Munsey

Carlton are even harder hit by call-offs for their derby with Heriot's as skipper Preston Mommsen and fast bowler Ali Evans are on Scotland duty while all-rounder Gordon Drummond is away coaching the national U19s and in-form opener Fraser Watts is also unavailable.

Heriot's have their own absentee in left-arm spinner Mark Watts but may see this game as opportunity to make a move towards the top half of the table.

Champions Aberdeenshire welcome Watsonians to Mannofield and nothing less than victory will do if the Dons are to harbour any lingering hopes of a successful title defence while the visitors need the win to close the gap on third bottom Stoneywood-Dyce.