Aberdeenshire draw first blood from Grange

ABERDEENSHIRE drew first blood in their crucial league and cup double header against Grange yesterday. Inspired by Daya Singh’s four-wicket haul, the Dons cruised to an easy eight-wicket win, rekindling their CSL Eastern Premier title aspirations and claiming the psychological edge ahead of today’s Scottish Cup quarter-final at Portgower Place.

Grange suffered the worst possible start when George Munsey was run out for a duck and Singh’s first wicket, coupled with one for skipper Tyler Buchan had the visitors struggling on 21-3. Despite some fight from Neil McCallum and Josh Edwards, they never fully recovered as the hosts continued to take wickets.

Edwards went on to top score with 31 before succumbing to the pace of Singh who finished with 4-14 as Grange collapsed to 96 all out with more than ten overs of their allocation unused. Dons youngster Rory Martin chipped in with the important middle order wickets of Gordon Goudie and Ian Worth to claim 2-14.

Calum Howard and Kenny Reid went cheaply in the Aberdeenshire reply but Harsha Cooray raced to 55no from only 42 balls, with eight boundaries and a six, as ’Shire cruised to an eight-wicket win.

He had solid support from Graeme Tomlinson who was unbeaten on 24.

Meanwhile, Carlton survived a huge scare before keeping their title bid on course with a nerve-jangling win over bottom-of-the-table SMRH at Inverleith.

Chasing a modest 121, the Grange Loan outfit slumped to 88-6 and then 118-9 as Craig Mackellar claimed 5-37 before their last pair got them over the line.

Carlton’s one-wicket win was enough to take them top of the top as leaders Arbroath slumped to only their second defeat of the season, going down at home to improving Watsonians. The Lochlands side under-performed with the bat in reaching just 211-9 before ’Sonians reached their target with four wickets to spare. Player-coach Cammy Farrell scored a century as Heriot’s beat StoneywoodDyce by 13 runs despite an unbeaten 84 from Jan Stander.

It was hardly a case of runs in the sun as Drumpellier strengthened their Western Premier challenge at the expense of Ayr.

Asad Mohammed and Graeme McLaren put Drumps on course for a challenging 224-5 and it proved more than enough against an experienced visiting line-up.

The wily Imran Adrees as executioner-in-chief with 4-32 while Will Leslie took 3-11 as Ayr collapsed to 111 all out in 32.2 overs.

Drumpellier’s victory sets up a top-of-the-table derby next weekend with leaders Uddingston, who overcame bottom side Stirling at New Williamfield.