CARLTON skipper Stevie Gilmour looked back with relief at his side’s crucial Eastern Premiership derby triumph over Watsonians and shone the spotlight on 16-year-old bowler Calum Everett.
The result at Grange Loan sparked a shake-up at the top of the league, with previous pacesetters Sonians dropping to fourth, Grange, thanks to their success at the expense of Heriot’s, remaining in third place and Carlton tucked in behind new leaders Forfarshire on run rate.
Gilmour marvelled at the performance of Everett, while also paying tribute to Rory McCann, who steadied the batting following a middle-order collapse.
The captain declared: “There is no doubt that Calum was our star turn. He bowled excellently to take four wickets at a cost of just 16, backed up by some high quality fielding.
“Fraser Watts and Arun Pillai were solid at the top of our order, but it was disappointing to lose seven wickets on our road to the win. Thankfully Rory saw us through.”
Gilmour went on: “We are happy with our position at this stage of the campaign. We have a simple plan in each match we play and the guys are executing that at the moment.
“Another factor that made this performance so pleasing was that it was achieved without three of our main bowlers.”
Watts said: “Calum was well backed up by Cheeky Gosain and Arun, who picked up a couple each.”
Only one Sonians man was able to pass the 30 mark in their total of 153, Everett’s spell preventing any late flourish.
Pillai (48) and Watts (41) provided the ideal launching pad for the chase before both were removed by Ben O’Connell.
A three-wicket burst from Henk Conradie turned the tide towards the visitors, his victims being Gilmour, Hugo Southwell and Ruari Macpherson.
However, Rory McCann held his nerve to steer Carlton across the line with 37 not out.
Grange emerged convincingly on top in the other Edinburgh derby at Goldenacre, where Heriot’s were skittled for just 127 in pursuit of 261.
Victorious coach John Blain labelled the outcome “a good solid win”. He went on: “Heriot’s have some dangerous cricketers and we seemed to win the vital battles within the match.
“Preston Mommsen batted nicely to allow the team to play around him and on a slow pitch, Chris Sole bowled with pace.
“We are in a good place as we move towards the halfway stage of the season.
“Our big aim is obviously to retain our league title and we are heartened by the statistics which show that over the years we have played our best cricket in the latter stages of the summer. That gives us confidence. We are strong in all departments and we have an excellent skipper in Andrew Brock.”
Mommsen’s 60 was the backbone of the Grange innings, which featured collective consistency as opposed to individual stardom.
In the ESCA Championship, SMRH earned a four-wicket victory over Edinburgh CC to bolster their position at the head of the promotion race.
Mike Miller (67), Craig Bissett (55) and Greg Ruthven (43 no) were the men who did the damage at Campbell Park.
Elsewhere, a century by Kyle Macpherson inspired Carlton Seconds to glory against Holy Cross at Arboretum Road.
Matthew Foulds also notched a ton at Kirkhill as Penicuik trounced Marchmont, but there was a shock in the Borders where Kelso picked up their first win of the season while inflicting a first defeat on RH Corstorphine.