Cricket: Fire attack dampens cup delight

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DRUMPELLIER have emerged as one of the surprise packages of the season, but their successes on the pitch have been overshadowed by events on the other side of the boundary rope.

The Coatbridge side are tucked in behind local rivals Uddingston in the Western Zone of the Premiership and, on Saturday, they made it four wins out of four in the Scottish Cup with a comprehensive away win against Weirs. However, they were in no mood to celebrate after an arson attack on their clubhouse less than 48 hours earlier. Vandals torched all the spectator seats in front of the pavilion and only quick work by firefighters prevented the whole building going up in flames.

Drumpellier captain Graeme McLaren went as far as to hint that the actions of the yobs could even spell the beginning of the end for one of Scotland’s most famous teams. He said: “Times are really tough for most clubs, but we are feeling it badly. We already had some debts, so this was the last thing we needed.”

On the vandalism, McLaren went on: “There was also an attempt to get into the clubhouse and thankfully the firemen got to the gutter just before it would have spread to the roof. The club are financially challenged and there is a meeting this week to discuss the situation.”

Jarrod Armitage (79) and Mohammed Ramzan (71 not out) laid the foundations for the 162-run victory at Albert Park.

There were also unsavoury goings-on at Kirkhill, where Penicuik’s demolition by Stoneywood-Dyce was compounded by the theft of cash and mobile phones from the clubhouse.

The big Tayside derby produced a tension-packed finale at Lochlands where Arbroath got through by the skin of their teeth against Forfarshire. Darren Spink held his nerve to scramble the winning run with one ball and one wicket to spare at the end of an intriguing encounter. A marvellous 130 by ex-Arbroath man Matty Parker had propelled Shire to 255 for nine. And their tails were raised further as home opener Ross McLean was dismissed by the first delivery of the chase.

But Fraser Burnett marked his return with 90 and Hamish Bartlett made 54 to set up Spink (40 not out) to make sure.

Adam Lockhart-Krause smashed 108 not out and David Ross 106 to set up a 59-run victory for Heriot’s over of Falkland at Goldenacre. Their efforts enabled the home men to surge to 296 for two, a tally that always looked beyond the scope of the Fifers.

Freuchie’s run of dismal results continued but at least they made Watsonians battle for their six-wicket win at Muir Road. Stuart Chalmers was the hero of the hour for the Edinburgh outfit, following up his five bowling scalps with a knock of 42.

Grange booked a slot in the knock-out stages with a predictably clear-cut triumph over Dundee HSFP on Tayside.

Glenrothes received a reality check at Riverside Park, where Aberdeenshire also had it easy.

The hosts struggled to cope with the Shire attack and were skittled for just 67.

Adrian Neill was the destroyer-in-chief as he bagged three for 11 from his seven overs, while Harsha Cooray took three for 22.

East Kilbride blew Group A wide open with a well-merited success over Clydesdale. The other shocks were at Meikleriggs, where Ferguslie outgunned Dumfries, and at Whitehaugh, where Kelburne disposed of Stirling County.