Grange closing in on title
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
GRANGE can now only derail themselves in their quest to claim the Eastern Premiership crown.
That was the verdict of Scotland star George Munsey after he had helped Watsonians deliver a massive dent to Heriots’ hopes of retaining the title.
With only two rounds of matches remaining, Grange would need to slip up on both outings.
But in the eyes of “neutral” Munsey, the destination of the silverware is already decided.
He said: “I just can’t see Grange failing to complete the job. They have tremendous strength in depth with so many talented youngsters coming through to the first team.
“In my opinion, Heriot’s have been relying too heavily on pro Hayes van der Berg and they have left themselves too much to do.”
Van der Berg smashed a superb 164 at Myreside to propel Heriot’s to 270 for seven.
But fine knocks by Andy Hislop (69 not out), Munsey (63) and Aman Bailwal (45 not out) carried Sonians to glory by four wickets.
Munsey added: “It was an interesting contest to say the least.
“Our bowlers did well to keep the curbs on Heriot’s until Hayes began to dominate and yet again he rescued them.
“We batted positively in reply and made light of the target with a couple of top-notch partnerships - especially the one between Andy and Aman.”
Grange, meanwhile, were completing their expected victory over struggling Arbroath at Raeburn Place - though the visitors made them battle.
Predictably, home stalwart Andrew Brock insisted the champagne hasn’t even been bought, let alone put in the ice bucket.
Brock stated: “There will be no celebrations until we’ve been handed the trophy.
“The boys are absolutely buzzing about next weekend’s league and cup final double header with Heriot’s.
“Everyone is determined to play his part and make sure we finish off the season as successfully as possible.”
He went on: “Credit to Arbroath. They came at us hard, as they always do - but great innings from Dylan Budge, Ryan Flannigan and Preston Mommsen gave us a solid total of 229 to defend.
“The bowlers then kept it tight on a turning track and we deservedly came out on top by 52 runs.
“Marc Petrie was high class up top for them, so we were delighted when we got him out as he was flying.”
Budge, Flannigan and Mommsen all hit half-tons, with Petrie hitting 67 for Arbroath.
Elsewhere, Umair Mohammed (59 not out) and Michael Leask (58) were the mainstays as Forfarshire powered past RHC Lions to consolidate third place.
Stew Mel easily swept aside doomed Glenrothes in the Inverleith basement battle - and Carlton inflicted another heavy defeat on Aberdeenshire at Grange Loan.