While opener Ryan Flannigan was at Hampden Park celebrating the Scottish Cup triumph of his beloved Hibs, Gordon Goudie made the most of his promotion in the Grange batting order to propel them towards a comprehensive victory over Aberdeenshire.
Goudie smashed a spectacular unbeaten 45 at Raeburn Place as he and Nick Farrar completed one of the most clinical wins in Scottish competitive cricket history.
Having dismissed the Mannofield men for 193, Grange were left with a rain-enforced target of 107 from 20 overs – however they bludgeoned their way to glory in just 42 deliveries.
And magnanimous Shire skipper Chris Venske was first in the queue to heap praise on Goudie and Farrer, who finished on 58 not out.
He said: “I don’t want to take anything away from their batters. They were fantastic. It was some of the cleanest hitting of a cricket ball I have seen.”
The visitors had struggled for the substantial partnership they needed after Venske had won the toss and elected to bat. Instead they were rocked by a double blow when Calum Howard was forced to retire injured after receiving a nasty blow to the head before Venske, having made 21, became the first of Chris Sole’s three victims.
Forfarshire’s fortunes took a leap at Forthill as they wrecked the unbeaten record of Carlton.
Liam Sweeney snapped up four wickets as the capital side were all out for 180.
Graeme Beghin (57) then provided the grit for the hosts to stave off the jitters when it mattered and they eased past the post with seven down. Skipper Craig Wallace also blunted the Carlton attack with 39.
Home all-rounder Umair Mohammed said: “It was a great win. We all fielded well and everyone chipped in with wickets but Liam and Graeme were on top form with the ball.
Old stager Steve Knox made an unbeaten half century as Heriot’s outplayed Stoneywood-Dyce at Goldenacre.
And Fraser Burnett put his early season frustrations behind him by striking his first century of the year to inspire Arbroath to success against struggling top-flight newcomers Glenrothes. He admitted his surge in form couldn’t have come at a better time – just a week before the Tayside neighbours go head-to-head again at Lochlands.
Burnett said: “Above all, it was a good, solid win – ideal preparations for next weekend.”
Falkland’s encounter with form-horses Watsonians ended in a wash-out at Myreside – much to the annoyance of Ben Strachan.
The Fifers’ bowler grabbed a hat-trick as Sonians were dismissed for just 158, his top order victims being Andy Learmonth, Hank Conradie and Andy Hislop.
Falkland’s reply stood on 14 for one when the rains came.
In the Western Premier, Uddingston produced a headline-grabbing display on Saturday with a remarkable victory over Ayr at Cambusdoon.
Just seven days after posting a record-breaking 346 for two, the Alloway side were reduced to 81 all out as Uddingston sealed a 125-run success.
And skipper Bryan Clarke revealed that his enforced absence from the team due to a work emergency had inadvertently played a part in the win. He said: “We’ve said for a long time now we’re backing the younger guys and that’s what we did. Sam Allan opened in my place and scored a solid 37 – for a 17-year-old he plays with an old head.”
Another youngster, Niall MacLeod top-scored with an unbeaten 44 as the Bothwell men reached 206 for eight from their overs. Few would have considered that enough against free-scoring Ayr but Uddingston had their tails up when Adil Raza removed Neil Smith and Michael Papps early on.
The result was then in little doubt as the visitors took wickets at regular intervals while Ayr collapsed alarmingly.
Elsewhere, Ferguslie enjoyed a narrow win over champions Clydesdale at Meikleriggs. In a match reduced to 23 overs, Ferguslie were indebted to Mishkal Ramsaroop whose 56 saw them reach 112 for six. The champions looked favourites at halfway and that remained the case as Con de Lange stroked three boundaries in his 34. But the Paisley side applied pressure in the field and Hamza Tahir’s three for 29 helped secure a seven-run win.
Ferguslie’s neighbours Kelburne lost at Dumfries after Robert McBride’s 33 and cameos from Alan Davidson (21) and Niall Alexander (19no) helped the home side rally from 55 for six to 140 for eight. Alexander then took four wickets as Kelburne collapsed from 56 for two to 91 all out.
There were first wins of the season for East Kilbride and Drumpellier who proved too strong for Stenhousemuir and Prestwick.
At The Tryst, EK’s spin-twins Moneeb Iqbal and Ross Lyons shared eight wickets as Stenhousemuir were skittled out for 86 to lose by 48 runs.
Asad Mohammed’s half-century and four wickets from Drew Pryde were highlights of Drumpellier’s win at Langloan.