Cricket: Arbroath triumph in battle of A-Teams

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It wasn’t so long ago that the G-Forces – Grange and Greenock – dominated the Scottish domestic cricket scene.

So far this season it has been the A-Teams who have held sway, in the Eastern Premiership at any rate.

And this morning it is Arbroath who sit proudly at the summit, thanks to their comprehensive triumph over Aberdeenshire at Mannofield. It was the battle of the only two sides boasting a 100 per cent record, so something had to give, and the recent north-east derby trend continued with the visitors taking the honours.

Responding to Arbroath’s 253 for eight, the hosts could only reach 151 for five when the rain arrived, a margin of 27 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The chase had been launched in shaky style, with Shire sliding to 17 for two, but Harsha Cooray and Chris Venske stopped the rot. But 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 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 partnersips featuring Fraser Burnett blunted the Aberdeenshire threat.

First, the former skipper 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 century, however 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.

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 four for 44 from his ten-over stint, including a hat-trick.

Barclays Grange batted first at Goldenacre and rattled up 290 with former Saltire Neil McCallum scoring 88. Hosts Heriot’s fell 11 runs short, despite Cameron Farrell’s 136 not out.

Fraser Watts hit 74 not out and Kyle Stirling 41 not out to steer Carlton to success in the south Edinburgh derby with Watsonians at Myreside.

Andy Learmonth had struck a superb 96 to propel Sonians to 229 for six, but it proved as easy target for their local rivals, for whom Hamish Gardner made 73 before Watts and Stirling got together.

John Blain and Mark Gilchrist shared a seven-wicket haul to pave the way for West of Scotland’s Western Premier demolition job on Stirling County at Hamilton Crescent.

And Drumpellier got the better of another weather affected contest against APD Dumfries at Nunholm – after the home side had rattled up more than 100 for their first wicket.

In the Eastern First Division, Freuchie’s miserable season took another downward lurch as they lost to neighbours Falkland for the third time in six days.

Having been defeated in the SC40 and British Village Cup ties, the biggest blow came for Freuchie at Muir Road where they were shot out for only 58.

Newcomers Glenrothes stay at the top, thanks to a straightforward win against struggling Dundee HSFP, former Scotland skipper Ryan Watson finishing the match with a huge six.