Watt hails the power of Heriot’s as they dent Sonians’ title bid

Watsonians got off to a flier but once Sean Weeraratna dismissed Brendan OConnell the rot set in

Watsonians got off to a flier but once Sean Weeraratna dismissed Brendan OConnell the rot set in

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Heriot’s stand-in skipper Mark Watt hailed the contributions of Sean Weeraratna and Ryan Brown after his team gave him the perfect birthday present by defeating title chasing Watsonians on Saturday.

The Goldenacre men won a pulsating home clash with their old rivals by 39 runs, a ruthless innings of 63 not out by Weeraratna and some tight bowling seeing them to victory.

And with Carlton winning comfortably at Falkland it means they have leapfrogged Watsonians at the top of the table as they enter the final month of the campaign.

On Saturday Watsonians were pretty pleased with their bowling efforts up to the 40th over, mid-table Heriot’s sitting on 143-6.

The visitors then got the wicket of wicketkeeper Tom Dryden before the experienced Weeraratna targeted the bowling of Alec Sim and Ally Sadler and changed the completion of the game.

Weeraratna hit a number of fours and sixes and was well supported by Brown (16 not out) as Heriot’s added 87 from the last 10 overs to see them post a competitive total of 230-7.

For Sonians, spinner Brendan O’Connell was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, but they knew that they had let their opponents get 30 or 40 runs too many.

In their reply Watsonians got off to a flier, left hander O’Connell taking a liking to the bowling of Adrian Neill and Weeraratna to hit a quickfire 22.

However, he soon went to Weeraratna with James Hearn taking a catch in the deep and the visitors could not put any momentum into their innings.

A number of batsmen such as captain Ewan Chalmers (22), Schalk Conradie (22) and Henk Conradie (29) had good starts, but could not go on and get a big score.

That was largely down to the accuracy of the bowling by Scotland man Watt, youngster Brown and Kevin McLaren.

With ten overs remaining the match was still in the mix though, Watsonians needing 63 runs.

However, with only the tail left it proved too much for them and they lost.

McLaren took 3-40 and Watt 3-35 while Scotland under-19 cap Brown made it 22 league wickets for the summer with 1-30.

Watt, who turned 20 on 
Friday and who was standing in for the unavailable Keith 
Morton as Heriot’s captain, said: “This was a very good performance by the team against a side who are going for the title.

“With the bat I thought we did well to see off the threat of Andy McKay before we got a bit stuck in the middle overs. Sean then played a brilliant innings and that meant that we had our tails up.

“With the ball, all of the bowlers chipped in and we managed to create pressure. Ryan has had a brilliant season and I thought he was fantastic in this match.

“I am only young, but I 
am enjoying having a go 
at captaincy and it helps me that I have a lot of 
experienced players around 
me to help.”

At Scroggie Park Arun Pillai was the star man for Carlton.

He hit a brilliant 104 as the visitors made 244-9 off 48 overs.

Pillai then took four wickets as Falkland were all out for 94 with teenager Cameron Shoebridge also impressing with three wickets.

Mazars Grange are fourth and still in the title race after a seven-wicket home win over Stoneywood-Dyce.

Chris Sole took 3-34 on his return to league action as the visitors made 179-9 batting first.

Preston Mommsen then led the way with 62 not out for Grange.

SMRH made it 11 wins from 11 in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship with a six-wicket victory over Stuart&Stuart Penicuik.