Arbroath on a high as champions Watsonians beaten

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FRASER Burnett believes Arbroath’s victory over champions Watsonians proves they can make a major impact in the season ahead.

Burnett, who has handed the captaincy to Marc Petrie, played a valuable batting role as the Lochlands men completed a battling three-wicket win in testing conditions at Myreside.

The former skipper dug in for his 21 runs, a tally bettered only by Arbroath’s overseas amateur Hamish Bartlett who top-scored with 37. Chasing just 106, these knocks were of match-winning proportions especially since Dewald Nel and Paddy Sadler had put the visitors on the back foot by sharing six early wickets.

Yet it was Arbroath’s bowlers who were decisive on the day and none more so than the evergreen Benny McGill. McGill used all his experience and guile to get the most out of a helpful Myreside pitch in taking 4-19, thus upstaging the impressive three-wicket debut of Alvin Pollard, the cousin of West Indies all-rounder Kieron.

“Benny keeps saying he is retiring,” said Burnett, “but we know he just can’t get enough of the game. Conditions were perfect for him today and he just put the ball on the spot and nagged away at their batsmen. Alvin also moved the ball about a bit and is clearly going to be a useful addition to our squad.”

McGill also had a role to play with the bat, providing a calm unbeaten 14 when the heat was on towards the end.

On a disappointing day for capital sides, Grange and Heriot’s also came second best as Aberdeenshire and Stoneywood-Dyce headed home to the Granite City with full points.

In a match reduced to 32 overs, Grange mustered a modest 142-6, Henry Edwards scoring 37 from 40 balls while Josh Edwards contributed 31.

Aberdeenshire were in trouble at 60-4, but Sri Lankan professional Harsha Cooray made an unbeaten 70 while player-coach Neil MacRae weighed in with 33no at the required run-a-ball rate.

Saltires prospect Michael Leask was Stoneywood-Dyce’s hero with a hard-hitting unbeaten 68 as the Aberdonians cruised to their target at Goldenacre.

Carlton were left to fly the flag for the capital sides with victory over city rivals SMRH. The league’s newcomers reached a creditable 159-7 but a half-century from youngster Kyle Macpherson and a 68-ball 66no from skipper Preston Mommsen saw Carlton home.

The entire card in the west was washed out.