Eastern Premier review week 12
OFFICIALS at Arbroath and Aberdeenshire have launched an investigation after ugly scenes erupted at the end of their Eastern Premiership encounter.
Shire had pulled off a shock victory over the league leaders at Lochlands.
And the close-of-play events sparked a war of words between the clubs.
Aberdeenshire skipper Chris Venske accused home supporters of behaving “outrageously.”
But Arbroath chiefs insisted their furious fans were reacting to seeing a Dons player punching a hole in the wall of the changing room.
Honorary president Gary Burnett said: “Any abuse was directed at the Aberdeenshire player when he put his fist through the wall.
“The dressing room door was open at the time - so it happened in full view of several people.
“The abuse directed at him had nothing to do with the cricket. It was all about the damage he had done.
“It was a strange way to behave when your team has won. I hate to think what he might have done if they had lost.”
Venske declared: “It was a fiery encounter. The abuse we got from some of the crowd has no place in cricket.”
Arbroath captain Marc Petrie added: “What happened off the park is being dealt with by both clubs. There is nothing else to say.”
Meanwhile, Venske admitted he is proud of the “team effort” that got Shire over the line.
He declared: “This is the second year on the trot that I have experienced victory at Lochlands - and it is a great feeling.
“They got off to quite a decent start, so to drag it back from where they were was a special effort from our bowlers.
“It must be said that it was the most all-round team performance we have produced this season.
“Everyone pitched in and I'm proud of the lads.”
Venske added: “I think we've got a stronger side now than we did at the beginning of the campaign at this win shows what we are capable of achieving.
“I still think we can raise the level further if our top order really fires.
“The results against Arbroath and Grange show that we aren't really a bottom three side.
“Four of our losses have been very narrow.
“If the tight ones had gone our way, the table might look very different.”
Venske was backed by pro Chris Ngoepe, whose three-wicket haul and knock of 44 were instrumental to the success.
He stated: “It was a massive result because we had been really under-performing.
“We needed to start winning - not only matches, but sections of matches.
“I was happy with my own showing, but it was disappointing to get out before the end.”
Venske emerged as the pick of the attack as Arbroath limped to 150 all out.
He took four for 25, while Ross McLean and Hayden Laing each hit 39 for the Lichties.
Aberdeenshire reached the target with four wickets and more than five overs in hand.
Petrie confessed: “It was bad day at the office for us.
“We didn't put enough runs on the board and gave them too many boundary balls.
“But I still have great belief in our squad and we'll quickly move on.
“The focus has already switched to next weekend when we face a very good Heriots side.
“We'll regroup at training and work hard to make things right.”
Grange maintained their push for glory with a 36-run victory over Forfarshire, whose inconsistencies haunted them again at Forthill.
The capital troops reached 174 for eight in 40 overs with Dylan Budge (47) and Ryan Flannigan (41) leading the way.
Only Craig Wallace could get to the 30-mark for the hosts, thanks to tight bowling from James Tapper (four for 23) and Nick Farrar (four for 36.)
Glenrothes shrugged off a series of scares to earn revenge for their shock loss earlier in the season to SMRH.
Fred Culley’s 48 paved the way for a tally of 161 at Inverleith.
Then three wickets apiece for Chris Mohale and Yasir Arfat sent SMRH sliding to 94 all out.
Revenge was quick and sweet for Heriot’s, who halted the surge of Watsonians at Myreside.
Sonians had disposed of their neighbours in clinical fashion in the previous weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final - then repeated the dose in Friday’s Masterton Trophy Final.
However, fortunes changed in decisive fashion.
Peter Ross (80 not out) and Hayes van der Berg (50) propelled Heriot’s to 242 for seven in 46 overs.
Rain interruptions altered the Watsons target to 224 in 40, but they collapsed to 174 all out - Mark Watt bagging four for 31.
The weather ruled out a result in the Falkland v Carlton tussle at Scroggie Park.