GRANGE player-coach John Blain is praying that the weather gods will allow his men to claim the Eastern Premiership crown ON the playing field rather than off it.

Only a series of highly unlikely results can prevent them lifting the silverware.

And nothing would please him more than to make sure by beating neighbours and defending champions Heriot’s on their own patch this afternoon.

A washout would also settle the issue with one round of fixtures to go, but for Blain and Co, that scenario would be something of an anti climax.

The former Scotland World Cup star, who has built such an impressive squad at Raeburn Place, said: “Yes of course we want to win the league by winning this match.

“The guys have worked really hard throughout the season and with the Scottish Cup Final - also against Heriot’s - 24 hours later, we are excited at the prospect of a great weekend of cricket.”

One of the big surprised of the campaign has been the failure of Arbroath to emerge again as contenders for the title.

The Lochlands outfit have been beset by selection difficulties and inconsistent displays.


But, despite last week’s defeat by Grange, there were distinct signs that they intend to use the closing games of the season as a springboard to greater things next summer.

Today they head to the capital to take on RHS Lions, who have comfortably survived their first foray into the top flight.

Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie stated: “We only had 10 players against a brilliant Grange team due to a very late call-off, so the fact that we competed was a welcome boost.

“We also had to contend with a serious injury to Calvin Burnett, who could barely walk.

“I am sure if we keep up that standard then we can end the season on a high and look forward with some confidence - though RHC have had a solid campaign and they are definitely not to be underestimated.”

Elsewhere, victory for Forfarshire at home to Carlton would seal a highly creditable top-three slot.

Glenrothes, already consigned to relegation, are northbound for the clash with Aberdeenshire, while Stew-Mel entertain Watsonians.