HIGH-FLYING Ferguslie consolidated their position at the top of the Western Premier, taking advantage of their third consecutive home game to overpower Ayr by 173 runs in the Meikleriggs sunshine.

The Paisley side’s reliable top order batting again paved the way for success as they laid the foundation for an impressive 242-5.

Ferguslie shrugged-off the early loss of Gregor Preston-Jones to gradually blunt the Ayr attack, Michael English leading the way with 77.

There were also half-centuries for Elliot Moses and James Cook – the latter a hard-hitting affair, while Riyaad Henry chipped-in with 47.

Henry then claimed two early wickets as Ayr’s hopes of a successful chase were quickly snuffed-out.

Partnerships continued to elude the visitors as Greg Cameron and Taimoor Ahamed also struck twice while Hamza Tahir took a wicket in his first over en route to figures of 3-0 as Ayr capitulated to 69 all out.

Elsewhere, Ross Lyons, recalled to the initial squad for Scotland’s ODI with England next month, did his chances of making the final cut no harm with five wickets as Uddingston secured a comfortable win over Stirling at Bothwell Castle.

Sachin Chaudhary claimed 4-13 and Mitchell Rao scored 45no as champions Prestwick secured their first win of the campaign, beating Dumfries by six wickets at Henry Thow Oval while West of Scotland prevailed by 52 runs against Greenock at Hamilton Crescent.

Clydesdale kickstarted their campaign with an emphatic derby win over Poloc at Titwood where Angus Guy and Richie Berrington helped the home side recover from 16-2 to post 251-7.

The pair added a match-winning 163 for the third wicket propelling Dale to an eventual 251-7. Scotland batsman Berrington made 80 from 94 balls with seven boundaries and a maximum but he was ultimately outscored by national age-group player Guy who scored a wonderfully compose 90.

The youngster faced 124 balls and cleared the boundary ropes twice in addition to stroking nine boundaries.
Poloc never fully recovered from the loss of three early wickets despite a battling half-century from Coenie Nel.

MEANWHILE Eastern Premier pacesetters Grange continued their winning start to the campaign with a convincing six-wicket success against Watsonians at Portgower Place.

Batting first, the visitors were on the back foot after Lachlan Hillis claimed two early wickets while the prize scalp of George Munsey was claimed by Nick Farrar.

Veteran spinner Neil McCallum, though, was the leading wicket-taker, cleaning up the tail with 3-18 as ‘Sonians were dismissed for 167, Extras their top scorer with 30.

Farrar, with a composed 52, and McCallum (35no) spearheaded the Grange reply as the title favourites raced to their target in 26.4 overs.

Forfarshire bounced back from last week’s defeat against Grange to send Stewarts Melville to a third straight defeat at Inverleith.

The home side were bundled out for 126 before Scotland star Michael Leask led the chase with 47no as ‘Shire won with seven wickets and 22 overs to spare.

A brilliant century from Scotland all-rounder Safyaan Sharif proved in vain for Glenrothes as Arbroath chased the Fifers’ 258-5 to win by eight wickets thanks largely to 78no from Hayden Laing and 77 from Ross McLean.

Champions Heriot’s beat city rivals Carlton by 46 runs at Goldenacre and Aberdeenshire edged out RH Corstorphine at Mannofield where Sam Flett scored 82no as the visitors posted 209-6.

However, Sri Lankan professional Akshu Merengnage guided the reply with a well-paced 76no to seal a four-wicket success, ‘Shire’s second win on the trot.