Blain delight as Grange surge to top
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
PLAYER-COACH John Blain hailed the talents of Dylan Budge and Andrew Brock after Grange surged clear at the top of the league.
Blain and Co crushed Carlton in the Raeburn Place derby - while champions and hitherto joint pacesetters Heriot’s suffered a shock home-turf defeat to Aberdeenshire.
A superb century by Budge followed by a cheap six-wicket haul for Brock propelled Grange to glory.
Though Blain labelled the win an all-round team display, he picked out the pair for special mention .
He said: “Dylan is a ruthless and talented batsmen.
“His hunger and dedication is clear to see, and the rewards are becoming evident.
“Andrew has been the unsung hero for a while now.
“His performance against Grange was definitely a match winning one.
“He is such a positive influence both on and off the park at Grange.”
Budge’s 100 was the platform for Grange to reach 249 for eight.
Coming on at first change, Brock immediately began to cause havoc.
He removed the first three batsmen before tying down the middle order and mopping up the tail as Carlton slid from 54 without loss to 178 all out.
Brock finished with six for 26 from his 10 overs.
He said: “I am happy to have contributed to such a strong start to our campaign.
“We are the team to beat - and we enjoy being in that situation.
“We are determined to keep it that way.”
Along the road at Goldenacre, Heriot’s were being handed a stark wake-up call by the Mannofield men.
Peter Ross (53) was the only batsman to offer significant resistance as the home brigade limped to 206 for eight.
And the Dons kept a grip of contest to reach the target in the 45th over with three wickets to spare.
Heriot’s skipper Keith Morton admitted his side deserved what they got.
He declared: “It was a poor day at the office for us in just about every respect.
“And fair play to Aberdeenshire for capitalising on our shortcomings.
“Being honest, we probably should have lost by an even wider margin, so it was good to see at least some of our fighting qualities.”
All rounder Michael Leask couldn’t contain his glee after helping Forfarshire to pull off a clear-cut Tayside showdown victory over Arbroath at Lochlands.
And the Scotland star labelled the performance of the visitors “truly amazing.”
The form book was turned upside down as the hosts were dismissed for 180 before the Broughty Ferry brigade surged to success by eight wickets with more than 16 overs in hand.
Young seamer Christian Robertson inflicted the initial damage by taking five for 20 in a devastating burst.
Then Leask (67 not out) and Craig Wallace (47 not out) combined to finish the job with a dazzling century stand.
Leask said: “It was a brilliant win - thanks to a superb team performance.
“We had been toiling a little when Arbroath were on 120 for three after 25 overs, but then Christian changed the complexion of the game with a high quality spell.
“With the bat, we were really clinical.
“The openers were solid and got us off to a great start before Matty Parker departed.
“Then Craig played a really good anchor roll to guide us over the line.
“The two of us put on more than 120 and ran the opposition ragged.”
Watsonians returned to winning ways by brushing aside the challenge of Glens at Myreside.
Mike Carson again emerged as the main man for Sonians, bagging three wickets and hitting a typically crisp half century.
Scotland star Safyaan Sharif’s 78 was the mainstay of the Fifers’ 230 for eight.
Then Carson (71) and Ewan Chalmers (67) figured in the partnership that made sure of glory .
RHC Lions dominated the north capital derby with Stew-Mel at Inverleith.
The visitors cruised to 289 for six before skittling the home men for just 86.