Watts hoping for strong finish by Carlton
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
CLUB captain Fraser Watts is hoping Carlton’s Masterton Trophy Final triumph can act as a springboard to a strong finish to their league campaign.
Watts’ side have already mounted a powerful rally in the wake of a shaky first half of the season.
And in the wake of Thursday’s success against RHC Lions, they go in to today’s clash with title pacesetters Grange in confident mood.
Former Scotland batsman Watts declared: “It has been a year of transition for the club and after a tough start we have found a rich vein of form.
“It is good to win some silverware. Hugo Southwell was brilliant again in midweek, but a lot of credit also needs to go to Michael Castle for the influence he has had on the boys since he arrived from Australia.
“He is a true professional and has made a big impact on the club and the players.
“Grange are an outstanding team who should really have had the league tied up by now.
“They are head and shoulders above the rest and it has been good to see them blooding some youngsters too.
“But we beat them a couple of weeks again - and aim to do the same this weekend.
Meanwhile, rival skippers Umair Mohammed and Marc Petrie couldn’t disguise their excitement at the prospect of today’s Tayside derby showdown.
Mohammed’s Forfarshire and Petrie’s Arbroath may have seen their respective sides’ title chances evaporate.
But they insisted the situation won’t dilute the magnitude of the Forthill tussle one iota.
The host captain declared: “As ever, both sets of players will be hugely looking forward to the occasion.
“Form goes out the window In these games and the pure determination to win is what really matters.
“We know Arbroath are a quality outfit with plenty of match winners so if we want to come out on top, we will need to be better than them in all three disciplines.
“Both clubs deserve a massive pat on the back for producing several exciting young local players.
“I don’t think there are many teams in Scotland who have as many home grown players coming through at this level.
“That’s testament to the youth structure system we both have in place.
“I have no doubt that there will be some future Scottish stars on show this weekend.”
Petrie added: “It is a massive match - it always is. The derby matches are certainly the ones I look forward to most every season.
“Although our chances of silverware are now over for this summer, we want to finish it as high up the table as we can.
“We know must make big improvements on recent weeks as our performances simply have not been good enough.
“I know we’re capable of better than what we’ve shown this season and that’s a challenge I’ve put to the guys going in to the last few games.”
Elsewhere, champions Heriot’s square up to Aberdeenshire at Mannofield and basement boys Glenrothes are at home to Watsonians.
RHC will bid to shrug off the Masterton disappointment by beating former stable-mates Stew-Mel on home turf.