Capital clubs win to keep their seasons alive

Forfarshire's Craig Wallace dives in to avoid a run-out as Carlton wicketkeeper Rory McCann waits to pounce. Pic: Toby Williams
Forfarshire's Craig Wallace dives in to avoid a run-out as Carlton wicketkeeper Rory McCann waits to pounce. Pic: Toby Williams
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Three Capital clubs recorded CSL Eastern Premiership victories on Saturday to make sure that all local sides have plenty to play for with five weeks of the campaign remaining.

With the Mazars Grange match away to Aberdeenshire called off due to wet weather, the spotlight fell on Carlton, Watsonians and Heriot’s.

Carlton, in second place at the start of the weekend, were the only side playing at home as they welcomed third-place Forfarshire to Grange Loan.

Things started well for Steve Gilmour’s men, Ali Evans having Matthew Parker caught by Arun Pillai with the score on just 17.

Better was to follow when Evans, who now has 17 league wickets for 2016, bowled dangerman Graeme Beghin for a duck.

Carlton then turned to spin and it reaped almost instant reward when Chayank Gosain bowled Craig Wallace for 46.

Rory Johnston and Umair Mohammed then fell to the same bowler and Carlton were on the front foot.

The score at that stage was 134-5 and then another spinner, Arun Pillai, got in on the act and he and Gosain finished the job off.

They both ended up with four wickets apiece as Forfarshire posted 191 all out.

In their reply, Carlton made their way to 74-3 before a 59-run partnership between Gilmour and Rory McCann got them up towards to their target.

Irishman McCann top scored with 67 and in the end Carlton got themselves home by five wickets.

Watsonians stayed top after a win at Falkland. Like last time out against Stoneywood-Dyce, Watsonians struggled early on with the bat, going from 67-1 to 67-5 and then 84-6.

Andrew Chalmers (31) and Martin Versfeld (34) then put together a crucial 46-run partnership at Scroggie Park and in the end they made it up to 183-9.

With the ball, left arm seamers McKay and Sadler did not let Falkland settle.

New Zealander McKay now has 31 league wickets for the summer after his 5-21 while teenager Sadler bowled three maidens and took 3-12.

The home side had no answer to it and they were 36 all out as ‘Sonians won by 147-runs.

Watsonians captain Ewan Chalmers said: “It was a very difficult pitch to bat on, but we started well and then collapsed. It needed some fighting spirit from Andrew and Martin to get us up to 183 and we probably would have taken that score having been asked to bat.

“We then got a great run out early on and Andy McKay got rid of their dangerman [Safyaan Sharif] and Ally Sadler supported him well.”

This coming weekend Watsonians head to Heriot’s for a derby encounter and that has been set up nicely after the latter also recorded a victory on Saturday.

Keith Morton’s men had to wait around a few hours at Peoples Park as overnight rain delayed the start against Stoneywood-Dyce.

However, when a 28-over-a-side contest did get going, the Heriot’s batsmen got off to a flier against the bottom side.

Opener Kevin McLaren hit 86 and Hayes van der Berg 54 before Morton weighed in with 39 and Mark Watt 28 as they posted 256-6.

That was always going to be a tough ask for the hosts to chase and the Heriot’s spinners did the damage in a 91-run win.

With his two scalps Ryan Brown now has 21 league wickets.

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship leaders SMRH now have ten wins out of ten.

They defeated Carlton II by five wickets and RH Corstorphine are second after beating Stuart&Stuart Penicuik.

Mazars Grange II and Holy Cross – their first wins of the league season – also notched up victories.