Grange find perfect combination
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
TO describe league title race leaders Grange as a potent blend of youth and experience could be the understatement of the season. Just ask Arbroath!
The age-range of the line-up that surged to victory at Lochlands on Saturday spanned no fewer than 31 years.
And it was the oldest of them - Stuart Davidson - who emerged as the star of the show, though typically, he attempted to divert the limelight away from his own exploits and on to others.
Davidson claimed four for 23 from 10 tightly controlled overs, paving the way for unbeaten Grange’s emphatic six-wicket success.
The 46 year old declared: “First and foremost, it was a very solid team performance.
“With the ball, every bowler’s display was disciplined and we made it extremely difficult for the Arbroath batsman to establish momentum.
“I was particularly impressed with our 15 year old left arm spinner Jamie Cairns.
“He gave away only 12 runs in his six overs, which was excellent for someone of that age.
“Player coach John Blain was also in great form, going for 18 in his 10 overs.
“The atmosphere in the squad at the moment is tremendous with such a wide range of age and experience - and everyone is enjoying his cricket so much.
“It would be very hard not to love playing in that environment - whether you are 46 or 15!”
Davidson ripped through the home top order as they slid to 65 for five, a position from which they couldn’t significantly recover.
The target of 148 proved no real challenge for Grange, who cruised across the line with almost 20 overs to spare.
Gordon Goudie had provided the early impetus with a quick 44 before Ryan Flannigan (50 not out) finished it off.
It was also a wretched weekend for the other two top-flight sides in Tayside and Fife as Forfarshire and Glenrothes were put to the sword by capital opposition.
At Barnton, RHC Lions cashed in on a rain-revised target after the Broughty Ferry men had reached 249.
The innings featured a rare “obstructing the field” dismissal of visiting skipper Umair Mohammed when he had made 35.
But the real damage was done when Forfs capitulated from 162 for one to 175 for five in quickfire order.
The stage was left clear for home pro Hammad Azam to guide them to glory with a superb knock of 97.
There was more gloom for Glens at Gilvenbank as they were toppled by Stew-Mel.
Hayden Sweet followed up his midweek hat-trick with a five-wicket haul as Glens slid to 163 all out.
Kris Steel responded with an unbeaten 60 to guide his side to a crucial basement zone victory.
Elsewhere, Heriot’s overcame a dose of the jitters to floor Watsonians at Goldenacre.
And Carlton took the honours against Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.