Fierce competition for places benefiting Grange

Andrew Brock has scored 67 runs since becoming the Grange skipper. Pic: Jane Barlow

Andrew Brock has scored 67 runs since becoming the Grange skipper. Pic: Jane Barlow

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Mazars Grange captain Andrew Brock believes the fierce competition for places in the first XI at the club has helped the Capital outfit win their first three matches of the CSL Eastern Premiership campaign.

On Saturday at Portgower Place, Grange defeated RH Corstorphine and the weather to stay unbeaten in the league.

And Brock feels the way that players are pushing for places in his side at training and with performances for the second XI can only stand them in good stead going forward as they aim to challenge for the title.

In week one against Watsonians, Ryan Flannigan and Tom Sole were the main men, in week two against Arbroath George Munsey and Brock himself came to the party and at the weekend Caiden Lang was the star performer.

South African Lang’s 69 opening the batting helped Grange to post 271-9 from their 50 over and in reply RH Corstorphine could only manage 135-7 as the home side won by 136-runs.

“I am really pleased with this win. I thought it was a pretty good performance from us from start to finish,” Brock said.

“Caiden was promoted to open the batting this week and he took his chance very well. He was hitting the ball really well and I thought he looked like he was on course to reach his century, but it was not to be and that will make him even more hungry to score runs in the coming weeks.

“I was also pleased to be able to give young prospects Fin McCreath and Cameron Sloman their league debuts in the top team. Both are very capable cricketers and Fin came in and hit 20 runs in pretty quick time at the end of our innings and Cameron managed to take a wicket.

“We said at the start of the season that we had to be clinical this summer to see matches out and that has happened so far. What has helped me greatly in taking over as first team captain has been the number of players really putting their hand up for selection.”

Captaincy seems to be suiting Brock and so far this term he has scored 67 runs, including 46 on Saturday, and taken nine wickets.

As a result of Grange’s good form Brock, Raj Routray and Sole have all been brought into the Highlanders squad for the North Sea Pro Series T20 matches with the Seafarers (today) and the Northern Hurricanes (tomorrow) in Holland.

Brock said: “I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks and it is great to see a number of Grange players getting representative call-ups.”

As well as Lang’s 69 and Brock’s 46 for Grange at the weekend, Flannigan made 40 and Neil McCallum 32.

With the ball Brock took 2-30 with fellow spinner Sole returning the same figures.

RH Corstorphine are still winless, but in this game bowler Kevin Meier impressed with 2-51 from 11 overs.

Elsewhere in the top flight, the Heriot’s-Carlton clash was washed out at Goldenacre, while Watsonians were humbled by Aberdeenshire.

At Myreside ‘Sonians batted first, but were all out for just 89 with one man doing all of the damage.

In an amazing spell seamer Adrian Neill took 10-31, sending all the home batsmen back to the pavilion and leaving them shell-shocked.

Aberdeenshire then reached their victory target with seven wickets remaining to leave Watsonians bottom of the table.

Meanwhile, SMRH are still unbeaten in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship after a 90-run win at Cavalry Park against Marchmont.

Ali Shah followed up last week’s century against Holy Cross with 84 not out as Carlton II defeated Edinburgh by five wickets.

Murrayfield DAFS and Stuart&Stuart Penicuik both got their first wins of 2015, defeating Freuchie and Holy Cross respectively.