Bowlers save Watsonians' blushes against Stoneywood-Dyce
The Watsonians bowling attack, Mazars Grange's Harris Aslam and Heriot's duo Mark Watt and Adrian Neill were the local stars on a cracking Saturday of action in the CSL Eastern Premiership.
With the Carlton match at Glenrothes called off early in the morning following overnight rain it meant that the only Capital clubs in action were all at home.
At Myreside, leaders Watsonians were hosting winless Stoneywood-Dyce, but things did not go to plan for Ewan Chalmers’ men early on.
Batting first they fell to 43-4 before Chalmers and his younger brother Andrew put on 67 runs for the fifth wicket.
They fell soon after for 46 and 29 respectively, though, and with Martin Versfeld also out for a duck they were struggling on 115-7.
The tail could not wag either and they ended up posting 124 all out.
As a result, the bowling unit knew they had to be on the mark from ball one – and they managed just that.
Andy McKay took the wicket of captain Shaun Coetzer and then young Ally Sadler had dangerman Brayden Stepien caught out for a duck by his skipper Chalmers.
After the tea break, Versfeld and Brendan O’Connell got in on the act and Stoneywood-Dyce’s batting collapsed.
In the end they were 60 all out, McKay taking 3-10 to give him 26 league scalps for 2016 and Versfeld also taking three wickets in the 64-run win.
Captain Chalmers said: “It wasn’t out finest performance, but credit to the bowlers who really dug us out of a tricky situation.
“They didn’t let the opposition batsmen settle and we got away with the win. We know we will need to play better in the coming weeks though.”
Meanwhile, when Aslam came to the wicket for Grange at Raeburn Place against Arbroath, they were in real trouble on 75-7 batting first.
The youngster who is on the fringes of the Scotland set-up knuckled down though, putting on 32 with captain Andrew Brock and then 78 with James Hillis.
When Aslam was out for 50 – his first half century for Grange – they were on 185-9 and then finished on 205 all out.
Credit too must go to Hillis (34) and 16-year-old Andrew Appleton (13 not out) for getting their side up over 200.
In the Arbroath reply, Brock led the way with 4-23 and Aslam’s great day continued with three wickets as they bowled Arbroath out for 140.
The 65-run win puts Grange fourth and still in the title mix and Aslam said: “We have had a couple of poor weeks by our standards of late, so this was a really pleasing win especially given the position we were in with the bat at one point.
“I knew there were plenty of overs left when I came in so I just tried to bat as long as possible and James and Andrew must take a lot of the credit.
“With the ball Gordon Goudie caused Arbroath problems early on and to get this win gives us confidence.”
At Goldenacre, stand-in skipper Watt and seamer Neill took four wickets apiece to help bowl Aberdeenshire out for 151.
Neill now has 28 league wickets and must be edging closer to a Scotland cap while with the bat, Kevin McLaren’s 47 and 46 not out from Hayes van der Berg helped Heriot’s home by six wickets and they sit fifth.
SMRH are still unbeaten at the top of the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship after a comfortable win at Holy Cross.
Daniel Payne’s 88 not out saw RH Corstorphine beat Carlton II with Mazars Grange II defeating Stuart&Stuart Penicuik by one-run in a thriller.