ABERDEENSHIRE jumped back to the head of the Eastern Premiership title race as previous pacesetters Arbroath plunged to defeat at the hands of Grange.
Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie was quick to admit the result in the tussle at Raeburn Place was exactly what his side deserved.
He declared: “It was all very frustrating. Our overall performance on the day just wasn’t good enough.
“We got off to a poor start with the bat and were probably about 30 runs short at the end of our knock.
“We also bowled a lot of loose deliveries in the first ten overs which you just can’t do at this level and not expect to be punished.
“We never capitalised on getting the big wickets of the Grange top order and made it too easy for the middle and lower order to knock the runs off.
“We still have a lot of improvements to be made in all aspects and we will look to be doing that this week in training before coming up against Falkland.”
Grange’s Andrew Brock is hoping the win can act as a launchpad to a challenge for the honours in the wake of a shaky first half to their campaign.
He said: “It is a strange league this year.
“Any team that can get a good run of form, especially in the run-in during August, has every chance of coming out on top.
“We want to be up there in the mix when it is all decided.”
He added: “We bowled very well against Arbroath, especially in the first 25 overs, and it was a nail-biter all the way to the end.
“Arun Pillai batted brilliantly to see us through to the end.”
Greig Peal had hit 61 to guide Arbroath to 202 for seven, before Brock (42) and Pillai (38 not out) turned the tide in favour of the hosts.
Safyaan Sharif produced another stunning all-round display to kick-start Falkland’s challenge – but club stalwart Ryan Hepburn was quick to stress his side are no one-man outfit. Sharif struck a century and claimed a four-wicket haul in the demolition job on SMRH at Inverleith, but Hepburn stated: “Praise should also go to the other batsmen who joined Saffy to form decent partnerships.
“It was great to get back to winning ways after a really poor spell.”
A sparkling unbeaten stand between Peter Ross (53 no) out and Cam Farrell (30 no) steered Heriot’s to success against inconsistent Forfarshire in a rain-curbed clash at Forthill.
Aberdeenshire surged to victory over Carlton at Mannofield, while Stoneywood-Dyce powered past Watsonians at Peoples Park in another fixture which was subject to the Duckworth Lewis formula.
Shaun Coetzer (47) and Michael Leask (32) were the SD mainstays after James Easton had top scored with 41 for the visitors.