Munsey whacks unbeaten 177 to boost Scotland hopes

Run 'em up: Preston Mommsen, left, and Stevie Gilmour helped Carlton to 273 but a massive unbeaten 177 by George Munsey won it for Grange. Photograph: Lisa Ferguson
Run 'em up: Preston Mommsen, left, and Stevie Gilmour helped Carlton to 273 but a massive unbeaten 177 by George Munsey won it for Grange. Photograph: Lisa Ferguson
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THE first Saturday in June may be remembered as much for the havoc wrought by the weather around the country than by the cricket that actually survived.

While rain decimated the card in the Western Union, high winds caused chaos in the north and east.

At Forthill, the match between Forfarshire and Watsonians was delayed while the sightscreens were secured to prevent them blowing over – mild compared with the Strathmore Union fixture between Meigle and Forthill which was abandoned when the screens literally took off across the outfield and beyond!

The Eastern Premier’s match of the day between joint leaders Carlton and Grange was not unaffected, both sides agreeing to play without bails which had been dislodged for the umpteenth time by the unseasonal elements.

This fixture was also a rain-interrupted affair but it produced some spectacular play to relegate the weather as the talking point.

It looked as if Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen would be the headline-maker after his brilliant 116no, including 24 from the final over, carried Carlton to an imposing 273-5.

However, Mommsen was ultimately upstaged by George Munsey whose big-hitting heroics showed exactly why Notts have been showing more than a passing interest in the opener and why he may well force his way into Scotland’s plans for this summer’s World T20 qualifier.

Having played himself in, Munsey mercilessly took the Carlton bowling apart while spraying boundaries and maximums to all corners of the Grange Loan ground.

There was good support from Caiden Lang who made 57 in a first wicket stand of 237 but Munsey was the star of the show, going on to hit the highest individual domestic score this season – 177no – as Grange maintained their 100 per cent record while sending Carlton to a first defeat.

Once those sightscreens had been secured at Broughty Ferry, Forfarshire made good to secure victory, albeit by a slender two-wicket margin.

The Edinburgh side were in trouble when Scotland U19 star Scott Cameron struck twice to remove Andy Hislop and Mike Carson.

However, Andy Wallace emerged as the home hero to claim 6-37 as the visitors were dismissed for just 112, opener Andy Learmonth top-scoring with 27.

Forfarshire’s reply was as turbulent as the overhead conditions especially when they suffered two early blows of their own, Craig Wallace and Graeme Beghin falling cheaply to Dewald Nel and Paddy Sadler.

They staged a mini-revival in which they recovered to reach 74-2 before Michael Leask, Aman Bailwal and Rory Johnston departed in quick succession, though Johnston’s 25 proved crucial.

Elsewhere, Heriot’s lost their last seven wickets for just 20 runs as Arbroath maintained their title challenge at blustery Lochlands.

Opener Steve Knox was left stranded on 64no as five of his team-mates recorded ducks while Arbroath’s Ross McLean claimed 6-9.

Heriot’s made a spirited fightback in the field before Arbroath won by just two wickets thanks to a solid unbeaten 47 by Fraser Burnett.

A century by Chris Venske helped Aberdeenshire rekindle their championship aspirations with victory over Corstorphine at Mannofield.

The Dons went into the clash bidding to bounce back from two consecutive defeats and Venske led the way in style with a superb 106, dominating an opening stand of 174 with Calum Howard who contributed 68.

Hayes van der Berg then provided the real fireworks with a rapid 70no to propel the hosts to 285-5.

Corstorphine are still seeking their first win but will take confidence from a run-chase in which they fell 32 runs short.

Also in the Granite City, Stoneywood-Dyce went down by four wickets to Falkland for whom Scotland all-rounder Safyaan Sharif hit 89.