FRASER Burnett of Arbroath looked back on a clinical Eastern Premier Division table-top triumph over Aberdeenshire and just kept uttering the word “brilliant”.
The former skipper played a major part in the Mannofield mauling, however he shrugged off his own excellent innings to heap praise on the whole side.
“It was simply a brilliant all-round effort which earned a brilliant result,” he enthused. “It was a brilliant win and all the boys were brilliant.”
While the batting and bowling displays were top-notch, it was the discipline and application in the field that impressed Burnett the most.
He added: “We were brilliant in that department and in the end it was probably the most glaring difference between the teams.
“We saved so many runs and took our catches when it mattered.”
Burnett and Co are now clear pacesetters – a far cry from this time last term when they were propping up the league.
Responding to Arbroath’s 253 for eight, the hosts could only reach 151 for five when the rain arrived, a losing margin of 27 runs by the D/L system.
The chase had been launched in shaky style with Shire sliding to 17 for two, but Harsha Cooray and Chris Venske halted the rot and got their team back in the hunt.
However, when Cooray was snapped up by Darren Spink off Craig Ramsay and Venske was trapped in front for 81 by Greig Peal, the tide turned very much in favour of the Lochlands brigade.
Earlier, Arbroath had got off to a ropey start as they lost Brendan Ford for a duck with the tally on one.
Hamish Bartlett and Ross McLean each went for 16 to make it 60-3, but two solid partnerships featuring Burnett blunted the Aberdeenshire threat. First, he added 67 with Darren Spink before the latter chipped a return catch to Harsha Cooray for 21. Then Burnett – in tandem with new captain Marc Petrie – figured in a sparkling stand of 79. Burnett looked on course for a well-merited century, but his vigil ended seven short of the milestone as his stumps were destroyed by Tyler Buchan. His stay at the crease had lasted 106 balls and included three sixes and nine fours.
Petrie kept up the momentum with Benny McGill before he perished for a quick 50.
McGill’s unbeaten 24 from 18 deliveries was every bit as precious, but it was down to earth with a bump for Bryce Carnegie. Having been hoisted up to the first team in the wake of his maiden hundred for the seconds, he was out first ball going for fast runs at the death.
Pro Daya Singh emerged as the pick of the home attack, picking up 4-44 from his 10-over stint – including an hat-trick.
Elsewhere, Cameron Farrell’s unbeaten 136 wasn’t enough to propel Heriot’s to success against Grange in a thrilling derby at Goldenacre. Adam Lockhart-Krause was also in great nick for the hosts with 70, however they fell short of the 291 target by 12 runs. Neil McCallum had provided the backbone of the Grange innings with 88.
His former Scotland colleague Cedric English hit 87 to inspire SMRH to a well-merited 43-run win against Stoneywood-Dyce at Peoples Park.
And another Saltires veteran, Fraser Watts, struck 74 not out and Kyle Stirling 41 not out to steer Carlton to success in the south capital tussle with Watsonians at Myreside.
Andy Learmonth had struck a superb 96 to propel Sonians to 229 for six.
But that proved to be an easy target for their local rivals, for whom Hamish Gardner made 73 before Watts and Stirling got together.