Aberdeenshire will be away from home tomorrow for the first time since the opening day of the season.
The home run has seen Shire clinch three wins to nigh on ensure their place in the Eastern Premier, and a place in the top four of the league.
Captain Chris Venske was under no illusions, though, about the enormity of the task facing them in Edinburgh where they meet joint leaders Heriots at Goldenacre.
Venkse said: ‘‘This is a tough one for us, but having achieved our objective of winning our first three games at home, we really should be able to compete against one of best sides in the division.
“In particular Hays Van der Berg, a former Shire player, will be dying to have a go at us, especially after scoring a century last week, but we have our own class acts.
“In young Callum Mackaness we have an outstanding player who took five for 28 last week, while Ian Kirk keeps delivering with the bat and the ball.
“I have no fear for our young guns.
“It will be a great test of character for us.’’
Back in Aberdeen, the big clash is at Mannofield where Stoneywood-Dyce, the joint leaders in the Strathmore Union are the visitors in a vital derby match.
While the Peoples Park side will be bidding to keep their winning streak going, the home side will be equally keen to not only beat their Local rivals, but haul themselves back into a mid-table position after two close things in Perth and Falkland.
Captain Kieran Finday said: ‘‘We will not need to be motivated for this one.
“There’s more than pride at stake, especially for our two former Stoneywood-Dyce players Grant Jamieson and Willie Anderson.
“We are actually playing quite well, and fancy ourselves to upset their run, but it will be difficult, they have some good performers, including their overseas amateur Liam Lindsay and, of course, Jan Stander, a former favourite here.’’
His opposite number Jack Mitchell was confident his side would deliver.
“We have been on a good run, and even in our cup defeat on Sunday we played well enough, but came up short, albeit against a very good RH Corstorphine attack who included Majid Haq who has played for Pakistan and Scotland.
“I was disappointed to lose, we have set the bar very high this season,’’ said Mitchell who is batting well, having accumulated runs at a rate which could pose problems for the home attack.
Round the corner at Countesswells, there is great relief in the Gordonians ranks after winning two games, following three early season reverses.
Captain Aman Arora was among the runs last week, stroking 100 in Dundee where they won by two wickets.
‘‘We can now think about moving up the league, although Perth Doocot will be no pushovers,’’ said Arora.’’
In the ACA Grades, the pace is hotting up in all three leagues, including Grade 1 where joint leaders Aberdeen Grammar FP’s and Bon Accord are the only two teams to remain unbeaten.
Grammar are away for the first time, and will find newcomers Stoneywood-Dyce a handful on their own ground, while the Bons will be tipped to win away to winless Grampian.
Third-placed Crescent will also hope to take advantage of the poor form of Cults at Allan Park.
It’s also tight at the top in Grade 2 where second placed Stonehaven Thistle are at home Ellon Gordon while leaders Gordonians meet bottom side Aberdeen Super Kings at Countesswells.
Source : EveningExpress