Cricket Premiership: Forfarshire's new boys lead way to five-wicket win over Grange

SKIPPER and coach Ryan Watson yesterday hailed the talents of Forfarshire new boys Scott Galloway and Brendan Ford as he looked back on their convincing triumph over champions Grange at Forthill.

The result not only acted as a huge confidence boost to Watson's troops, it kept them at the head of the title race, alongside Carlton - the only two sides left with 100 per cent records.

In tricky conditions, the visitors were shot out for 166 before the Taysiders surged to success by five wickets in only 28 overs - thanks mainly to Ford's 62 and an unbeaten 43 from Galloway.

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Watson said: "It was an excellent all-round performance. Though Brendan and Scott were to the fore, everyone played his part when it mattered.

"Perhaps the only negative observation is that we were so much on top that we should have won even more convincingly.

"We went through a jittery period after passing the 100-mark, but thankfully we got back on track."

On Ford's emergence, former Scotland captain Watson said: "He came over from Down Under a few seasons ago to play for Dundee HSFP and ended up marrying the daughter of that great local cricket stalwart, Graham 'Spider' McLaren.

"He then had a stint with South Northumberland in Newcastle before returning to join us.

"Brendan will be a very useful acquisition."

Galloway arrived at Broughty Ferry by way of the now defunct Perthshire and Freuchie.

Watson added: "Scott has a steady head and knows his role. He has certainly added some solidity and stability to our batting line up.

"If we can keep our heads down and play to our potential, then we can mount a challenge this season.

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"We have a nice young team at Forthill. They are a pleasure to coach and a pleasure to captain."

Carlton's south capital derby win against Watsonians at Grange Loan was equally convincing.

Another ex-Scotland skipper, Craig Wright, held the 'Sonians innings together with a knock of 46 not out as they reached 155.

Set an amended target of 149 from 43, the hosts cruised to the finishing line with eight wickets and more than 12 overs in hand.

Saltires pair Fraser Watts (79) and Preston Mommsen (33) blunted the 'Sonians' attack.

Veteran Steve Knox defied his back problem to whack a great 110 and pave the way for Heriot's to snuff out the challenge of West of Scotland at Goldenacre.

Adam Lockhart-Krause also figured prominently again with 88, with Sean Weeraratna hitting 44 not out to propel the home brigade to a lofty 303 for four.

West were never in the hunt and they ended on 213 for five - 58 runs adrift of their D/L goal.

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Young Andrew Umeed (55 not out) and Stuart Murray (52) provided most resistance.

Safyaan Sharif was back in the spotlight to inspire Dunfermline to the rout of Stirling County at McKane Park.

Cameron Farrell took four for 21, while Sharif and Vasu Reddy shared six cheap wickets to send County hurtling to a miserable 56 all out.The Knights watchfully made their way to the win with the loss of only one.

Uddingston's rocky fortunes continued as they were toppled at home by struggling Ayr.

Michael Papps thumped 77 and Scot McElnea snapped up four for 34 to secure the six-run success at Bothwell Castle Policies.

The best all-round show of the day, however, came from Uddy's overseas amateur, Alecz Day, who struck 59 and took a five-wicket haul.

Wicketkeeper Kenny Reid (68 not out) and Chris West (five for 33) set up Aberdeenshire's 146 run demolition of Stoneywood Dyce at Mannofield.

Greig Williamson hit 81 as Clydesdale got the better of Drumpellier at Titwood.