Half-centuries help Carlton win derby and boost title hopes

Carltons Rory McCann plays a shot on his way to hitting 53 at Grange Loan. Pic: Steven Scott Taylor

Carltons Rory McCann plays a shot on his way to hitting 53 at Grange Loan. Pic: Steven Scott Taylor

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Rory McCann and Mario Olivier hit crucial half-centuries on Saturday to help Carlton do the CSL Eastern Premiership double over local rivals Mazars Grange – and keep their title bid well and truly alive.

Overnight rain on Friday was always going to make for a tricky batting wicket at Grange Loan and, when the visiting captain Andrew Brock won the toss, it was no surprise that he put Carlton in to bat.

Gordon Goudie, who had picked up four wickets on Friday night at the same ground in the Masterton Trophy final, opened the bowling for Grange.

He got the key wicket of former Scotland man Fraser Watts early on for seven before Arun Pillai was run out for 20.

Nick Farrar then got in on the act, capturing the wickets of Ruairi Macpherson, Hugo Southwell and skipper Steve Gilmour, to leave Carlton rocking on 68-5.

Wicketkeeper McCann and South Aftrican Olivier then put on a crucial 62-run sixth wicket partnership before the former was out for 53.

The Irishman fell to teenage spinner Andrew Appleton, whose emergence in the Grange first team over the last fortnight has been exciting.

Olivier made 57 in the end while he was supported in the later overs by Ali Evans (13) and Mo Ahmed (14) as Carlton made 193 all out from 50 overs.

Farrar took his three scalps for Grange while Appleton and Brock both got two wickets apiece.

Like Carlton, Grange lost both their openers fairly early in reply.

Olivier had Farrar caught by Omar Ahmad for nine while Ryan Flannigan (12) was run out.

Preston Mommsen was then caught by Pillai off Evans for nine and Grange were 36-3.

Wicketkeeper Alex Baum was promoted to four in the batting line-up and he played well for a battling 35.

However, when Baum went Grange were 94-6 and they then lost the last four wickets for just seven runs as they ended up on 101 all out.

Spinner Chayank Gosain took 3-3 for Carlton with Evans, Olivier and Ahmed all taking two wickets apiece.

The 92-run victory for Carlton was their seventh in nine completed league matches and leaves them second in the table with Grange fourth.

Carlton batsman Watts said: “We are pleased with this win because it was not an easy day for batting.

“Rory McCann and Mario Olivier played really good innings after myself and others struggled early on and to get up to 193 was a good effort from the guys.

“We have faith in our bowling unit and Ali Evans and Mario always put teams under pressure early on.

“That was the case on Saturday and it was a good feeling to do the league double over Grange.

“We are happy with where we are in the table just now and will look to build from here.”

Heriot’s reduced Arbroath to 121-8 at one point, but in the end the Goldenacre men lost at Lochlands. An 84-run ninth-wicket partnership helped the hosts to post 204-8 from 48 overs and, in reply, Heriot’s made 114-9 to lose by 24-runs (via Duckworth/Lewis).

Leaders Watsonians saw their match at Forfarshire fall foul of the weather.

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship leaders SMRH were pushed all the way by Marchmont before winning by just two runs.

Australian Tom Beaton made 122 as the hosts posted 238-4 at Inverleith before Matt Loeffen’s 93 nearly saw Marchmont cause an upset.

Second-placed Carlton II defeated Mazars Grange II by 29-runs while RH Corstorphine captain Joe Kinghorn-Gray took 6-5 in a nine-wicket win over Holy Cross. Edinburgh beat Dunnikier and Stuart&Stuart Penicuik’s match at Kelso was abandoned after 40 overs.