WHILE unbeaten Edinburgh neighbours Heriot’s and Grange will be widely backed to keep up their powerful start to the campaign with home triumphs over Aberdeenshire and Carlton respectively, the most keenly fought derby in the league takes place on Tayside.

“Excitement” was common sentiment of rival skippers Marc Petrie and Umair Mohammed as they geared up for the Lochlands showdown.

Petrie’s Arbroath are tucked behind Heriot’s and Grange in the wake of two excellent run-chase victories in a row.

Mohammed’s Forfarshire are searching for consistency, though he stressed that form often counts for little in battles between the neighbours.

Petrie said: “Excitement is the word I always think of when it comes to matches against Forfs.

“It is usually a very competitive, fiery and high quality tussle and I’m sure this weekend will be no different.

“We will take forward the momentum created by two fantastic wins, chasing big totals in the last two weeks.

“Of course there are things I want to see us improve on, but I’m confident in the lads.”

Arbroath are without Fraser Burnett, who is running the Edinburgh Marathon in aid of Scottish Association for Mental Health.”

Mohammed added: “I am very excited about the trip up the road.

“I’m sure both sets of players are very much looking forward to what will transpire.

“The weather prospects are good and no doubt there will be a full house supporting the home lads.

“These are the games the players particularly look forward to, and we love to challenge ourselves against the best teams. “

“We’ll go there full of optimism that we can get the job done and earn a valuable away success.”

Glenrothes are boosted by the return of inspirational captain Safyaan Sharif for the crucial meeting with Watsonians at Myreside.

Both sides have struggled to establish momentum so far this summer, so points are at a premium.

Sharif, back from his initial spell with Derbyshire, said: “We are in a similar situation to Sonians, so it is a huge match.

“They have a few guys - George Munsey and Mike Carson in particular - who can take the game away from you.

“We will focus on getting the basics right and hope to get over the line.”

Elsewhere, RHC Lions will be favourites in their north capital visit to Inverleith to face Stew-Mel.