Heriots completed a winning weekend on Sunday as they cruised to a revenge victory over RH Corstorphine at East Barnton. Having claimed pole position with a seven-wicket success against Eastern Premier title rivals Grange twenty-four hours earlier, the Goldenacre side, who suffered their only defeat of the campaign to yesterday’s opponents on the opening day, were in dominant form again.
Opting to bat first, they suffered an early setback when Chris Acheson was dismissed by Brandon James. However, Matthew Cross, batting at number 3 instead of his familiar opening role, set about making amends for a rare first-ball duck the previous day. With scores of 200no and 171no already in this campaign, the Scotland batsman was back in the old routine, playing himself in carefully before opening out with a range of expansive shots including the first six of the game off James Dickinson.
Cross had fine support from Keith Morton, who took advantage of the opportunity to open by making a solid 84-ball 40 including four boundaries in a second-wicket stand of 132. Morton fell to Calum Clarkson as the Corstorphine bowlers stuck to their task but Cross continued on his way to what looked like an inevitable century. Instead, having reached 85 with nine boundaries and two maximums, he was bowled by Will Bradley.
It was left to Mark Watt to lead the acceleration in the final overs, the skipper helping himself to three sixes on his way to a half-century as Heriots posted 246-6, James the most successful bowler with 3-54.
Corstorphine’s hopes of completing the double against the title favourites were blown away in a devastating new-ball burst that saw them reduced to 18-6 as Joe Kinghorn-Gray and Adrian Neill each struck three times. It got no better for the home side as they fell to 41 all out in just 20 overs, Ewan Hutchinson mopping up the tail with 4-9 and only John Brydon making double figures with 12 not out.
Meanwhile Grange suffered another blow as Carlton entered the title race with their seventh consecutive victory at Portgower Place. Tom Simpson stroked 85 as Carlton totalled 232 before Scotland seamer Ali Evans claimed two early wickets to put the home side on the back foot. Grange were unable to seize the initiative and fell 26 runs short.
Elsewhere Michael Leask hit a brilliant century as champions Forfarshire stayed in touch at the top with victory at Arbroath. Leask made 101 while Rory Johnston (71) and Callum Garden (61) hit half-centuries for the second day running as ‘Shire posted 314-7. It proved more than enough as Jack Hogarth’s 6-42 sent Arbroath tumbling to 135 all out.
Skipper Steven Parker hit 55 in Stewarts Melville’s 193-9 at Myreside before Watsonians were forced to dig deep, winning a thriller with one wicket in hand.
Meigle celebrated only their second victory of the campaign after their best batting display overhauled Stoneywood-Dyce’s 204-7 at Victory Park. The visitors fought back from 91-5 to reach 204-7 with Ewan Davidson and Andrew Maclaren both making 52 but if home supporters feared a momentum-swing in favour of the Aberdeen team, Meigle’s batsmen had other ideas. Openers Tom Duff and Majid Rasheed raced to 50 in seven overs, the latter’s quickfire 38 coming from just 23 balls. When the pair departed the chase was taken on by Alan Neave and Josh Edington. The latter was out for 40 but Neave went on to see his team to a seven-wicket triumph with a defiant 71no.
Meigle 205-3 (36.2 overs) A Neave 71*, J Edington 40
Arbroath United 136 (33.4 overs) R McLean 33; J Hogarth 6-42
Grange 206 (46.4 overs) H Carnegie 48, D Budge 42; A Beattie 4-52
RH Corstorphine 41 (20 overs) E Hutchinson 4-9, J Kinghorn-Gray 3-12, A Neill 3-12
Watsonians 194-9 (41 overs) Carson 69*; Miller 3-42