Grange get back on title track

GRANGE got their title push back on track last night with victory over Greenock at Raeburn Place.

The Edinburgh side went into this clash on the back of last week's shock defeat to closest challengers Watsonians and with their title credentials being questioned in some quarters.

And, while it was never obvious that the length of the premier division table separated these sides, the league leaders prevailed by three wickets against a Greenock side who showed commendable spirit.

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Batting first, the visitors appeared to have fallen well short of a par score when they could make just 188 in the face of some threatening bowling from professional Roy Adams The South African arrived a week ago but is proving his worth.

His four-wicket haul always had Greenock on the back foot while young off-spinner Drew Weir, making only his second top team appearance, claimed 3-26 in a performance of genuine promise.

Willie Rowan, the Scotland Lions all-rounder, top-scored for the visitors with a battling 58.

The Glenpark men also fought hard in the field and when they reduced Grange to 77-4, there was the scent of a shock in the air.

However, Simon Smith and Stuart Moffat staged a 76-run partnership to reclaim the initiative, Smith going on to clinch the win with an unbeaten half-century.

Meanwhile Watsonians kept up the pressure with a four-wicket win over Clydesdale at Titwood.

After restricting the hosts to 228-8, Ryan Flannigan was the 'Sonians star with a hard-hitting 81.

Carlton stayed on the fringes of the title race with a commanding performance against struggling McCrea FS West at Grange Loan.

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Fraser Watts top-scored with 77, including five fours and a six, while three other players posted half-centuries in a total of 321-6 before Ross Lyons claimed 4-22 as West were dismissed for 140.

Forfarshire's title hopes were dealt a blow when they went down by five wickets to Dunfermline Knights at Forthill.

In a rain-affected clash at Bothwell, Uddingston were declared winners by five wickets on the D/L method.

In Division One, leaders Heriot's consolidated their position with an emphatic nine-wicket win over struggling Stenhousemuir at Goldenacre.

The visitors could muster only 141 before former Scotland opener Steve Knox masterminded the chase with a composed 65no.

Stoneywood-Dyce took another significant step towards playing in next season's expanded top flight with a crushing win over Stirling at People's Park.

Stirling's slip may have opened the door for Poloc to grab sixth place in this season's First Division and the Glasgow side advanced their case with victory over Penicuik. Carl Huyser fired a 116no in Poloc's 237-9 as Penicuik were skittled for 89.

In Division Two, Pravan Mullick's 61 helped Ferguslie claim the Paisley bragging rights with victory over Kelburne.

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Meanwhile, the domestic game's T20 showpiece takes place today with the semi-finals and final of the Murgitroyd Cup at Shawholm, Glasgow. Premier division rivals Carlton and Clydesdale are first up in a mouth-watering last four clash, while Forfarshire take on Dumfries in the other tie.

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