Grange bounce back as Carlton and Watsonians share top spot

Arbroaths Fraser Burnett was removed by Chris Sole before he could do any damage to Grange. Picture: Toby Williams

Arbroaths Fraser Burnett was removed by Chris Sole before he could do any damage to Grange. Picture: Toby Williams

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Grange captain Andrew Brock praised his players in the wake of their clinical victory over Arbroath and admitted they had learned a painful lesson.

The Eastern Premiership triumph at Lochlands came just a week after Brock’s team had suffered on home turf at the hands of capital rivals Carlton.

Brock said: “The big difference was in the batting, which featured a fantastic century by Preston Mommsen. It was a wonderful knock. Then Raj Routray and Harris Aslam both bowled with control and accuracy to stave off any chance of an Arbroath challenge.”

Nick Farrar and Ryan Flannigan had built the ideal platform with an opening stand of 65 before the former was snapped up by Craig Cameron off Greig Peal. That brought Mommsen to the crease, and – as Brock pointed out – he dominated the home attack to reach 107 not out.

Flannigan (87) and latterly Neil McCallum provided stout support as the visitors strolled to 262 for two. Chris Sole further dented Arbroath’s aspirations by removing Jack Waller and Fraser Burnett before the reply had even reached double figures and they limped to 119 all out in the 36th over.

Carlton and Watsonians share top spot in the division in the wake of their convincing wins at the expense of newly-promoted Glenrothes and struggling Stoneywood-Dyce respectively.

At Grange Loan, former Scotland rugby star Hugo Southwell was again in sparkling form – though he would have been frustrated to fall just four adrift of a ton. Skipper Stevie Gilmour also weighed in with 69 to propel the home side to 252 all out. The tally would have been more lofty had it not been for the efforts of Glens strike bowler Riwan Akbar, who smashed his way through the tail to claim four for 21.

At 95 for one, the Fifers looked on course for a shock success but the Carlton attack remained consistent and wickets began to tumble. And when main-man Chris Greaves departed for 81, the challenge was over and they were shot out for 222.

Akhlaq Bashir (70 not out) and captain Shaun Coetzer (62) led the way as Stoneywood-Dyce cruised to 253 for four but the target proved to be a piece of cake for Sonians, who romped to the finishing line with 18 overs and eight wickets to spare. Pro Ben O’Connell produced a marvellous knock which was ended by Bashir just one adrift of his century.

Heriot’s made it a capital double in the Granite City by outgunning Aberdeenshire at Mannofield. Mark Watt again underlined his all-round talents by clouting 71 as Heriot’s made 244 for eight. Then Adrian Neill struck three times to leave his former team on the back foot, from which they never recovered. His harvest included the scalp of pro Chris Venske for 12, while Harsha Cooray’s 93 wasn’t enough to turn the tide in Shire’s favour and they were dismissed for 234.

Falkland came a cropper at Forthill, where Forfarshire ruled. Aman Bailwal collected a four-wicket haul as the visitors were curbed to 174. Craig Wallace (43) and Graeme Beghin (45) then guided the Broughty Ferry outfit to 175 for five.

In the ESCA Championship, SMRH achieved a highest ever total of 323 for seven in the 142-run rout of Holy Cross at Inverleith.

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