Matthew Hurst credits Arbroath fielders for victory

Matthew Hurst shrugged off the most potent bowling display of his career and insisted he owed his success to the catching skills of his Arbroath team-mates.

Matthew Hurst mad a four-wicket haul. Picture: Contributed

Hurst was the destroyer-in-chief as struggling RH Corstorphine were skittled for a record low of 23 at Lochlands.

He routed the visiting top order and finished with figures of four for six from his nine pinpoint overs.

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The quickfire and clinical nine-wicket triumph enabled Arbroath to remain on the heels of Eastern Premiership pacesetters Grange, who snuffed out the challenge of Stoneywood-Dyce.

Hurst declared: “For me, it was obviously a very enjoyable experience. It wasn’t as if the pitch was doing anything unusual – my opening partner Brendon Ford and I just stuck to the 
basics and bowled a tight line.

“All my wickets were catches, so the fielders should take the bulk of the credit. The squad spirit here is fantastic.

“In terms of winning the league, our destiny was taken out of our own hands when the match against Grange was rained off last month.

“They are aware we are right behind them and perhaps Carlton can do us a favour by winning the big Edinburgh derby.”

Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie reflected: “I wasn’t really surprised when their captain, Pete Steindl, chose to bat first as the track and conditions out in the middle looked relatively good – though I would have bowled because of the weather forecast.

“Matthew bowled excellently throughout his spell, showing a lot of control – coupled with his usual 100 per cent level of enthusiasm. Brendon and he are developing a great strike partnership with the new ball.”

At one stage, even a double-figure total seemed a long way off as the RHC score stood on one for four.

No fewer than five ducks were recorded, and any prospect of RHC mounting the most stirring fightback in the history of the sport was well and truly dashed as Ford thumped 15 from the first over of the reply.

Arbroath completed the job off the 16th delivery, for the loss of Jack Waller, who was run out.

Bowlers were also to the fore at People’s Park, where Grange safely negotiated the SD hurdle.

Skipper Andrew Brock steadied the visitors’ jitters with a solid 62, which carried them to 165 – his knock the only one in excess of 25 all afternoon. For Gordon Goudie, it was a glorious return to his Aberdonian roots as he claimed five for 24 – sending his old club sprawling to 73 all out in the process.

Shaun Coetzer (21) was the only host batsman to reach double figures, Michael Louw being next top scorer with seven. There was no way back for SD after they collapsed from 28 for none to 32 for four.

Aberdeenshire’s stricken championship defence lurched downward again as Carlton eased to a 62-run win at Mannofield. Veteran Fraser Watts (94) and current Scotland squad member Hamish Gardiner (44) laid the early foundations.

Forfarshire came out on top in the battle of the mid-table rivals with Falkland at Foothill. Graeme Begin snatched the limelight with a fine 102 for the Broughty Ferry brigade.

And the Watsonians revival continued when they hammered Heriot’s at Goldenacre. Andy Learmonth (55) and Andy Hislop (47 not out) were the mainstays as Sonians reached the amended target with only one wicket down.

l IF ANY sense of subconscious complacency had sneaked into the collective Glenrothes psyche in the Eastern Championsip, it was quickly flushed out of the system as they went perilously close to surrendering their 100 per cent record.

The jitters were there for all at Gilvenbank to see as the runaway league leaders were bundled out for just 139 at the hands of basement boys MDAFS.

Normal service was restored when it mattered and the Fifers mopped up the tail of the visitors to pretty much ensure promotion to the Premier ranks.

The picture had looked decidedly dodgy for the hosts when they lost Kris Glen, Chris Greaves and skipper Robbie Wright in the space of two runs – leaving them struggling on 21 for three.

At 50 for five, they still appeared to be in bother, but a half-century stand featuring Guy Hudson and Shane Munro at least gave the bowlers something to defend.

MDAFS were on course to create the biggest shock of the season as they reached 87 for four. Then their wheels came off at a crucial stage and they were dismissed for 101, thanks in no small part to Vasu Reddy’s lethal spell of four for 12.

Brad Moses thumped 112 to inspire second-placed SMRH to an emphatic 163-run victory over Penicuik at Kirkhill.

And Marchmont edged out Holy Cross by five runs in a thriller at Cavalry Park.

The weekend’s other winners were Freuchie against Carlton seconds, and Grange seconds, who accounted for Edinburgh CC.