When Scotland spinner Mark Watt departed from champions Heriot’s to ply his trade south of the border, there were fears at Goldenacre that their attack would be blunted.
However, Ryan Brown has made sure that the club are still well and truly in the hunt to retain their title.
He produced a sensational spell on Saturday to rout basement boys Glenrothes – and skipper Keith Morton said the return of five wickets at the cost of a single run was no big surprise.
Brown sent the flustered Fifers skidding to 50 all out before the hosts raced to the target without loss.
Morton said: “Ryan has bowled really well all season, however he hasn’t always taken the number of wickets he deserved.
“So I felt that this success was been coming. He has been the most reliable member of our attack all summer and he allows the other slow guys to work around him in the middle overs of matches.”
Morton was also chuffed with the contribution of seamer James Hearn, stating: “He opened the bowling and operated for 10 overs straight through. It was a great effort when you consider it was his first spell of the campaign.
“It was typical of the attitude we pride ourselves in; people are willing to take responsibility in different roles.
“The club are in a very positive place at the moment and we are aiming to continue in that vein in our remaining three league matches.”
The demolition job enabled Morton’s men to stay on the heels of pacesetters Grange, who accounted for RHC Lions in comprehensive fashion at Raeburn Place.
Captain Preston Mommsen (69) and Ryan Flannigan (58) propelled them to 226 for eight.
Then Andrew Brock and rookie Charlie Peet shared a seven-wicket haul as the Lions crumbled to 79 all out.
Forfarshire still hold the advantage over Carlton in the tussle for third place.
The Broughty Ferry brigade kept up their momentum by claiming the scalp of Aberdeenshire at Mannofield – thanks mainly to another century from Rory Johnston.
There was no way back for the home troops after Johnston (109) and Calum Garden (60) put on 121 for the second wicket en route to a total of 273 for seven.
At 91 for one, the Dons retained some hope, but Umair Mohammed and Brock Ditchmen each struck three times in quick succession. And the last nine men perished at a cost of only nine runs.
Arbroath’s woes deepened as their challenge was swept aside by Watsonians.
The capital outfit reached 236 for seven, with skipper Ewan Chalmers hitting 65.
Arbroath were never really in the hunt and they slid to 158 all out.
It was one-way traffic at Inverleith, where Carlton disposed of Stewart’s Melville by 173 runs.