IT APPEARS there is nothing in Scottish cricket as dangerous as a Falkland side suffering pain and dented pride.
That certainly seemed to be the case at Raeburn Place on Saturday as the fired-up Fifers pulled off one of the biggest surprises in recent Premiership history.
“How about that for a bounce back! It was all about determination and heart”Ryan Hepburn
Despite the previous weekend’s hammering at the hands of Carlton, they claimed the scalp of league pacesetters and title favourites Grange.
The fact that the success was achieved without their absent skipper Safyaan Sharif made the feat all the more remarkable.
Falkland stalwart Ryan Hepburn made it clear the result was one of the highlights of his career with the club as he beamed: “How about that for a bounce back!”
Hepburn said: “It was all about determination and heart.
“The boys were really hurting in the wake of what Carlton did to us and emotions certainly surged to the opposite extreme in one fell swoop.”
He added: “There can be no better feeling than to beat a huge club such as Grange, especially after they had been in such fantastic form, winning all their previous matches of the campaign.”
In addition to acknowledging the team’s fine all-round display, Hepburn heaped praise on stand-in captain Jack Henderson.
“Huge credit to him,” he said. “He came up with an excellent knock at an important time.
“To my mind, Jack deserves an opportunity to show what he can do at regional level.”
Opener Henderson defied the pace of John Blain to run up 82, which proved to be the foundation of the triumph.
Normally, a tally of 189 all out would not have created tremors among the home ranks, but they folded in the face of some pinpoint bowling by Brock Ditchmen and Cloete Buitendag.
Ditchmen bagged three for 38 from his 13 overs, while Buitendag also struck three times, with only one host batsman able to break the 30-barrier in the response of 153.
Grange cling on at the head of the title race, but the Falkland effort enabled Carlton and Arbroath to narrow the leeway, thanks to decisive victories over Watsonians and Stoneywood-Dyce respectively.
Craig Ramsay emerged as the potent force for Arbroath, grabbing five for 15 at Lochlands.
Elton Willemse also had two wickets as his former team slithered to 139 all out, leaving the stage clear for Brendon Ford (54) and Ross McLean (49) to complete the demolition job.
Ex-Saltires skipper Ryan Watson turned back the clock by thumping an unbeaten 116 to propel Forfarshire to an equally clinical win at Corstorphine. Liam Sweeney (six for 30) had stemmed the Edinburgh brigade to 174 all out before Watson lit the fireworks in a pursuit that lasted only 30 overs.
Fraser Watts was another Scotland old boy in the groove, hitting 78 not out in Carlton’s 44-run stroll at Myreside.
Hayes van der Berg smashed 109 to inspire Aberdeenshire to a clear-cut success over Heriot’s at Goldenacre.
Fifteen-year-old Findlay Anderson also attracted the limelight for the Dons, capturing three scalps.