Grange last night held their nerve to claim a place in cricket’s showpiece occasion as Ferguslie’s hopes of a home Scottish Cup final were dashed.
The semi-final clash between the respective leaders of the Eastern and Western Premier divisions ultimately went in favour of the Edinburgh team – but only after an epic battle which could have gone either way until Grange clinched a tense three-wicket win in the final over.
Michael English stroked a fantastic century – his second in consecutive cup innings – as Ferguslie, having opted to bat, recorded 273 from their 50 overs.
The Paisley side lost Gregor Preston-Jones and Elliot Moses early on but a solid third-wicket stand between English and Riyaad Henry put them back on course.
English was run out for 109, while Henry, on 93, also departed as Grange fought back to restrict the visitors to 43 runs from their final eight overs.
The Grange run-chase was rocked when Greg Cameron struck twice and Hamza Tahir once to reduce the hosts to 55-3.
However, the experienced duo of Dylan Budge and Preston Mommsen refused to panic and produced a stand which kept their side in touch with the required run-rate.
When Budge was caught by Taimoor Ahmed off Ferguslie skipper Jamey Carruthers, former Scotland star Neil McCallum produced a rapid 77 to tilt the balance in the home side’s favour.
But it was left to a star of the future to make the final decisive contribution when, with 11 runs needed off the final over, Durham Academy recruit Tom Mackintosh delivered for his side while Mommsen remained unbeaten on 90.
Grange will face capital rivals Heriot’s in the final at Meikleriggs next month after they produced an equally impressive run-chase to beat Arbroath at Goldenacre.
Needing 288, Heriot’s suffered a double setback when both overseas players departed with just 34 on the board.
However, cool heads were again evident as Chris Ashforth and Michael Shean provided the telling contributions in a five-wicket win.
Earlier, Shanuka Vithanawasam top-scored for Arbroath who bounced back from the early loss of Hayden Laing and Marc Petrie. The Sri Lankan anchored the innings with a composed 76 while the Burnett brothers, Fraser (63) and Calvin (31), were more expansive.