Glenrothes skipper Kenny Crichton believes his side are on course for top-flight survival after they produced one of the biggest upsets of the season to beat title challengers Forfarshire at Gilvenbank.
The Fifers had managed just one win going into Saturday’s encounter while Forfarshire, despite defeat a week earlier, were hard on the heels of leaders Watsonians.
Forfarshire were weakened by the absence of injured player-coach Graeme Beghin and captain Craig Wallace who was with the Scotland squad preparing for today’s ODI against Afghanistan.
And Crichton’s men, inspired by a superb all-round display by Keegan Rawling, took full advantage to upset the form-book in spectacular style and secure a seven-wicket success.
Chrichton said: “This is a huge win. We took advantage of Forfs missing Wallace and Beghin. Akbar used his experience to come up with one of his best performances of the season. Keegan Rawling produced a man-of-the-match display, supported by a class knock by Fred Culley.”
Rizwan Akbar claimed the first four wickets to fall, including that of top scorer Aman Bailwal for 72, finishing with 5-26 while Rawling weighed-in with four as Forfarshire lost their last six wickets for 22 runs.
Set a target of 162 in 41 overs following a rain interruption, Chris Greaves and Ben Wilkinson compiled a 60-run opening stand. Both men, along with Gautham Rai, fell in quick succession as Glens briefly wobbled on 80-3. However, Rawling completed a superb all-round display with an unbeaten 51, while Culley lent support with 34 not out. The victory takes Glens above Falkland into third place as they scrap to avoid relegation and the pair meet on Saturday. Crichton added: “I believe the winners will secure their place in the league.”
Forfarshire have slipped to fourth, losing ground on Watsonians who cemented their place at the top with victory over Aberdeenshire at Myreside. In a rain-affected encounter, the Edinburgh side posted 216-4, Andy Learmonth and Ewan Chalmers both scoring half-centuries. The Dons were set 248 in 41 overs and fell 39 runs short as Ally Sadler claimed three wickets.
Arbroath remain tucked in behind the leading pack after overpowering winless Stoneywood-Dyce at Peoples Park.
Brayden Stepien hit a fighting 61 for the hosts but three wickets each for Craig Ramsay and Ross McLean saw Stoneywood dismissed for 142.
Arbroath were 100-6 after Matthew Brown claimed 3-41 but an unbroken stand of 45 between Harris Carnegie (34no) and skipper Marc Petrie (20no) carried the Lochlands men to victory.
Grange’s clash with Falkland was abandoned, as was Heriot’s match against Carlton.
n CLYDESDALE yesterday sent Grange crashing out of the Scottish Cup at Titwood in the quarter-finals.
Dale dismissed the Edinburgh side for just 134.
Facing Grange’s all-spin attack, Clydesdale lost two quick wickets before Mo Awais and Haq dug in. Awais top-scored with a sparkling 49 as Dale won by five wickets.
Holders Arbroath beat East Kilbride at Lochlands; Ferguslie defeated Drumpellier but Greenock’s meeting with Carlton was washed-out for the second time.