SKIPPER Marc Petrie was the least surprised individual at Raeburn Place as his Arbroath side shook off the jitters to complete a comprehensive demolition job on Grange.
The success bolstered the title prospects of the Lochlands men, while also wiping away the memory of the previous week’s fade-out at the hands of Carlton.
The fortunes of the respective opening batsmen accurately summed up the gulf between the teams.
For Arbroath, Brendan Ford (89) and Ross McLean (64) rattled up 163 before being parted. In contrast, rivals George Munsey and Ryan Flannigan were both back in the pavilion with only a single on the Grange board.
Looking back on the 74-run success, Petrie said: “It was pleasing to get a result like that against a very powerful side and our aim is now to carry on the same level of momentum into the second half of the campaign.”
Calvin Burnett and Craig Ramsay were the men who mattered most with the ball, sharing seven wickets as Grange slid to 169 all out in response to Arbroath’s 243 for three.
Carlton narrowly avoided a shock at Stoneywood-Dyce, where they were dismissed for 185 before narrowly repelling the hosts’ run-chase.
Ex-Saltires captain Gordon Drummond provided the backbone of the Carlton innings with a knock of 65. He then bowled frugally to take three for 33, with Cheeky Gosain also bagging a treble to dismiss the northerners for 178.
Aberdeenshire kick-started their title hopes with an easy 169-run win over SMRH at Mannofield.
An unbeaten century from Sri Lankan Harsha Cooray and 51 from Kenny Reid set them on their way to 267-6.
Champions Watsonians made it two wins in a row as Dewald Nel hit a six to seal a four-wicket success over Heriot’s in another rain-affected match at Myreside.
Stuart Chalmers and Pete Legget snapped up seven scalps between them as Heriot’s slumped to 168 for nine.
Then Andy Learmonth struck a half century to help steer Sonians over the line.