Aberdeenshire captain Kenny Reid is relishing a personal duel with his friend and opposite number Liam Sweeney when Strathmore visit Mannofield tomorrow.
Shire will be looking to make it two wins from two in the North-East Championship when they face the side from Forfar.
An interesting sub-plot will be the battle between Reid and Strathmore’s skipper Sweeney. The pair have known each other for more than 20 years and Sweeney, who is from Aberdeen, has previously trained with Shire.
Reid said: “There will definitely be some banter I’m sure during the game, because we’ve always tried to push each other.
“We both know each other’s games pretty well. He messaged me earlier in the week asking if he could train with us, but after this game.
“I’m sure it will be a good battle and with a bit of banter during it.
“Liam’s a left-arm spinner so he’ll be trying to get me out and I’ll be trying to hit him out of the park, so we’ll see who comes out on top.”
High hopes for Huntly
Elsewhere in the North-East Championship, Huntly start their campaign away to Kinloch.
The Castle Park outfit were unable to play last weekend because of Moray being in Tier 3 of Scotland’s coronavirus response system meant some of their players were unable to travel.
Now Moray is in Tier 2, which allows Huntly to face Kinloch and then Leith FAB in the Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup on Sunday.
Captain Jack Mitchell said: “It will be good to get back to competitive action after last week and I think everybody is raring to go again.
“Hopefully we can make a strong start. We’ve done all the hard work, it’s just about trying to do what we have been in training and friendlies in the competitive games.
“I definitely feel we’re good enough to get two wins.”
Gordonians aiming for a double
Gordonians are also targeting a double this weekend, they face Stoneywood-Dyce 2nds in the league at Countesswells, before hosting Morton in the Challenge Cup on Sunday.
Captain Mayank Bhandari said: “If we could win the first couple of games in the cup, we would be into the latter stages.
“With the league we will have to play very well over a long period to win.
“We want to make a strong start in the league, but the cup is also very important to us.”
Inverurie and Bon Accord in Grades tussle
Meanwhile, in the Aberdeenshire Grades, Inverurie will travel to the Links tomorrow in the best of spirits after their handsome home win over Gordonians in Grade 1 last week, but will be tested by a full strength Bon Accord side who have recruited well over the break.
Tauqeer Malik, the long-serving Bons captain said: “We’ll be looking to defend our 2019 title, particularly after the frustrations of last year.
“We have four new faces, all bidding to make their mark. We have the greatest respect for Inverurie, who are likely to be strong contenders in the race for the Grade 1 title.”
Aberdeen Grammar meet Crescent at Rubislaw in another clash which could give an indication of which of the two could be pushing for honours as the season unfolds.
In the same division, Cults will be keen to build on their solid start last week when they proved to be too good for promoted Siyapa.
But they are likely to meet stern opposition from Grampian, who will want to bounce back from their 76-run defeat at the hands of Crescent last week.
Knight Riders get their first taste of action at home to Siyapa, while new boys Master Blasters Aberdeen also get its first outing of the new season, hosting Gordonians.
In Grade 2, Ellon Gordon will be aiming to make it two wins in two weeks with 2nd Knight Riders the visitors to the Gordon Park.
Just up the road at Methlick, the home side entertain Mannofield.
In Grade 3, the match of the day is likely to be the all-Aberdeenshire derby clash at Huntly, where the home team meet Banchory.