PROUD captain Marc Petrie yesterday paid an emotional tribute to the army of Arbroath volunteers whose played a huge part in their Eastern Premier Division title triumph.
The official name of the club is Arbroath United – and the skipper reckons the tag perfectly sums up the atmosphere and ethic at Lochlands.
Petrie said: “OK, we had 11 guys out on the field at Grange Loan as we beat Carlton to make sure of winning the championship, but, in reality, there are dozens and dozens of people who are part of our team and each one of them deserves to share in the celebrations.
“We are certainly going to have a tremendous party when the trophy is presented at our ground at the weekend.”
Petrie added: “These people are worth much more than a simple ‘thank you’ for making the club run so smoothly.
“We are a community club packed with volunteers – the bar staff, the tea ladies, the ground staff and, of course, the supporters who back us week-in, week-out home and away. This victory is reflective of them all and we hope they will all be at Lochlands on Saturday.”
The foundations for the success against Carlton were laid by ex-Forfarshire man Brendon Ford, who guided Arbroath through a few unstable periods to make a superb century.
And in the most nail-biting climax imaginable, they shrugged off the jitters to secure the precious five-run win.
Petrie also paid tribute to the manner in which the hosts accepted their fate. He said: “The Carlton guys were very gracious, which says a lot for them as a club and we always look forward to playing there. The good wishes we have also received from opposing players and teams all over Scotland have been touching and, frankly, overwhelming.”
With 12 balls left at Grange Loan, Carlton required 18 with two wickets in hand. The 49th over yielded only four runs, putting Arbroath back in pole position, and it all boiled down to the last ball with Carlton needing a six, but it wasn’t to be – and the Arbroath players couldn’t disguise their glee.
Elsewhere, the relegation fears of SMRH deepened when they were crushed by neighbours Grange in the capital derby at Raeburn Place.
Andrew Brock and Gregor Maiden shared a seven-wicket haul to send the visitors sliding to 130 all out before a quick 61 by George Munsey propelled Grange to the target in fewer than 21 overs.