There were contrasting fortunes for the north-east’s leading cricket clubs when the draw was made for the 2020 Scottish Cup on Friday.
Aberdeenshire, who were relegated from the Eastern Premier League last summer, have gained a home tie against Ferguslie when the tournament begins on May 24.
But Stoneywood-Dyce, who have retained their place in the top tier, face a journey to Glasgow to tackle Clydesdale on the same date.
Shire have appointed a new head coach, Daniel Sutton, and recruited Sri Lankan professional, Hashen Ramanayake, 24, as they bid to return to the highest echelon at the first time of asking.
The men's Scottish cup has been drawn. ✅
— Cricket Scotland (@CricketScotland) January 17, 2020
Mr Sutton said: “I am looking forward to being the new Aberdeenshire head coach.
“I will coach both the junior and senior sections, which will give me a great overview of the players within the club.
“I know that there already are a number of talented juniors within the set-up, who are hoping to progress into the Caley Highlanders performance pathway and thereafter move on to Scotland representative cricket and a strong club support structure will support their development.
“From a senior point of view, we know that it is going to be a challenge gaining promotion to the EPL, but it is a challenge we are really looking forward to.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the Mannofield club’s professional, Solo Nqweni, has returned home safely to South Africa after spending nearly six months in hospital with a serious illness.
The 26-year-old all-rounder was reunited with his family and his club colleagues in the Republic this week as he continues his recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Scotland’s Under-19 players begin their World Cup campaign on Sunday with a tough match against Pakistan in South Africa.
However, the Scots might be able to derive some inspiration from their Afghanistan counterparts who inflicted an emphatic seven-wicket defeat on the hosts in the competition’s opening match on Friday.