Grange and Ferguslie remain on course for Scottish titles
GRANGE remain on course for the Eastern Premier title after they made light work of Glenrothes in a top versus bottom clash at Raeburn Place.
The home side were given their customary brisk start by Gordon Goudie who hit 45 in an opening stand of 71 with Ryan Flannigan before a brilliant 118 from Dylan Budge and 68 from former Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen propelled the leaders to an imposing 284-4.
That was always going to be an unlikely target for a Glenrothes side still seeking their first win of the campaign and so it proved as the visitors slumped to 128 all out.
If it was the experienced batsmen who did the business for Grange the combination of a wily old head and budding youthful talent produced the goods with the ball, veteran Stu Davidson claiming two key top order wickets before teenagers Charlie Peet and Jamie Cairns proved too good for the Fifers’ lower order with 3-21 and 2-18.
Heriot’s are now appear the only plausible challengers to Grange after they effectively ended third top Forfarshire’s challenge with a convincing win at Goldenacre.
Liam Sweeney’s four wickets helped restrict the hosts to 175 but Keith Morton and Elliot Ruthven bagged three wickets each as the visitors were bowled out for 125.
Corstoprhine consolidated their place in the top half with a hard-fought four-wicket win over Watsonians at Myreside.
Wickets were shared as the hosts were bowled out for 172, Callum Dutia returning the best figures of 3-26 while Ewan Chalmers stroked 54 for ‘Sonians.
It was a similar team effort with the bat, Elliot Foster’s 39 the highest of several valuable contributions.
Carlton moved into third place with their sixth consecutive win, dismissing Arbroath for just 82 at Lochlands having earlier posted 260-6 while Chris Venske’s century helped Aberdeenshire to a 15-run win against relegation-threatened Stewart’s Melville at Inverleith.
FERGUSLIE maintained their relentless march towards Western Premier glory with a convincing win over in-form Stirling at Meikleriggs.
If there was to have been a chink in the Paisley side’s armour it may well have shown yesterday as they attempted not only to recover from the disappointment of their Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Grange last weekend but to do so against opponents who were bidding for a fifth straight league win.
It did not take Ferguslie to demonstrate that it was business-as-usual as they quickly reduced the visitors to 24-4, skipper Jamey Carruthers claiming three of the wickets.
They were stalled by an excellent century stand between Brandon McMullan (73) and Tom Bradburn (45) before Michael English removed both batsmen en-route to his own three-wicket haul.
With Hamza Tahir chipping in with two, Stirling were eventually all out for 191 in the 43rd over.
Ferguslie lost Gregor Preston-Jones early in their reply before English and Elliot Moses put the chase firmly on course with a sparkling second wicket stand that yielded 122 runs before the former was out for 69.
However, South African Moses finished unbeaten on 73 as the leaders completed an eight-wicket success with ten overs to spare.
At the other end of the table Ayr boosted their survival hopes with an astonishing victory over West of Scotland at Hamilton Crescent.
Defending just 181, defeat looked inevitable when West reached 140-2 but a flurry of wickets saw the hosts all out for 169.
Fellow strugglers Greenock also secured a vital victory at Prestwick, meaning Dumfries are back in bottom spot after their 112-run defeat at Clydesdale.
Chasing 173 at Uddingston, Poloc were on course at 132-2 but lost by four runs.