Carlton stepped-up their Eastern Premier title bid by completing the double over Grange at Grange Loan, writes William Dick.
On another rain-affected day, which saw the clash between Forfarshire and leaders Watsonians called-off, both sides knew they had the chance to close the gap at the top. And it was Carlton who cashed-in, winning by 92 runs to deal a potentially fatal blow to Grange’s hopes of retaining their title.
The home side recovered from the early loss of Fraser Watts to post 193-9 thanks largely to a half-century from South African Mario Olivier.
Olivier then made the early breakthrough to trap Nick Farrar in front as Grange failed to get the solid start they needed.
Ryan Flannigan was run out soon after and when Preston Mommsen, pictured, returning to his former home, was dismissed by Scotland team-mate Ali Evans, the visitors were in trouble on 36-3.
They never recovered as Carlton, for whom Chayank Gosain claimed 3-3, turned the screw.
It was also a disappointing day for Grange’s neighbours Heriot’s who finished 25 runs short of a rain-adjusted target at Arbroath. Yet, the Goldenacre side could not have made a better start when Adrian Neill dismissed Brendon Ford with the first ball of the match. The home side’s batting woes continued and reached a nadir at 121-8, only for a superb unbroken partnership between Marc Petrie and Craig Cameron to hoist their final tally to 205.
Skipper Petrie led the way to reach 62no with four boundaries and a six, while Cameron contributed a battling 29no.
Their effort proved decisive as Arbroath’s bowlers were able to apply the squeeze during a rain-interrupted Heriot’s innings.
Falkland got the better of a weather-affected Fife derby against Glenrothes while Aberdeenshire’s clash with Stoneywood-Dyce was abandoned.
Ferguslie’s Western Premier title hopes received a dent when they went down by 46 runs at Ayr. With closest challengers Clydesdale rained-off for a second week, the league leaders had the chance to bolster their position. Instead, chasing 190 for victory, they produced perhaps their poorest batting display of the season. A half-century from Mishkal Ramsaroop offered hope as the Paisley team looked in control on 80-2. However, a clatter of wickets, five of them to Michael Papps, gave Ayr victory.
Sent in to bat, the home side were in early trouble after losing three quick wickets, but they recovered well.
Papps, the league’s top scorer, played his part with a controlled 45 to frustrate Ferguslie. However, the Kiwi was upstaged by Matthew Crawshaw who top-scored with an excellent 59 while Scott McElnea’s hard-hitting 48 propelled Ayr to a competitive 189.
Prestwick are now one of only two teams in the top flight of either division to have completed all eleven of their scheduled matches. Their latest one ended in defeat as East Kilbride, helped by 76 from Moneeb Iqbal, made 219-5 en route to a 17-run success.
Uddingston have also completed all their matches, successfully so yesterday after a derby win over Drumpellier.
Elsewhere, Kelburne and Stenhousemuir were idle for the first time when their clash at Whitehaugh was abandoned without a ball bowled.