Fraser Watts hails Carlton’s fighting spirit

Gordon Drummond's 50 not out was vital in seeing Carlton home. Picture: Toby Williams
Gordon Drummond's 50 not out was vital in seeing Carlton home. Picture: Toby Williams
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Carlton’s stand-in skipper Fraser Watts praised his team’s battling qualities after they defeated Heriot’s in a rain affected CSL Eastern Premier Division clash on Saturday and kept their league and cup double hopes alive.

The victory leaves the Grange Loan side in second place behind leaders Arbroath with two rounds of fixtures to play. The Carlton players are now fully focused on the match against the leaders this coming Saturday at home and the Scottish Cup final against Barclays Grange 24 hours later in Stirling.

Following the three-wicket win against Heriot’s in which Gordon Drummond’s 50 not out was vital in seeing them home, Watts said: “We tried to make things hard for ourselves in the run chase, but Gordon stood firm and batted really well for us.

“It may not have been our best all-round team showing, but at this stage of the summer it is all about digging in and getting results and the guys did just that.

“The league is still in Arbroath’s hands, but with us playing them this coming weekend and then them facing Grange on the final weekend we can keep the pressure up and we want to take the race to the last day.”

On Saturday Carlton were without skipper Preston Mommsen due to an ongoing groin problem, but Watts expects him to be fit for the double header with Arbroath and Grange and admits there will be some tough team selection calls for the cup final XI.

After early morning and lunchtime rain at Goldenacre the Heriot’s-Carlton encounter started late with the hosts batting first.

They posted 132-7 from their 31 overs, Cameron Farrell making 34, David Ross 32 and Keith Morton 29. Young spinner Chayank Gosain was the pick of the visiting attack with 2-26 while Drummond took 2-33 and Mo Ahmed and Omar Ahmad both picked up one wicket apiece.

In the Carlton reply they lost Hamish Gardiner, Watts and Kyle Macpherson to leave them 42-3 and when Kyle Stirling and Toby Bailey followed them back to the Goldenacre pavilion they were 95-5 needing 37 runs off the last seven overs.

Former Scotland skipper Drummond is known for being cool under pressure and he took them home in the last over alongside Ahmed who was on two not out.

SMRH were defeated by Arbroath at Inverleith, the leaders showing ruthless form. Batting first in a match reduced to 43 overs each Arbroath made a daunting looking 264-6, Fraser Burnett leading the way with 98 while Chris Bissett managed to take three wickets for the home side. Last week’s match winner Oliver Knight top scored with 24 for SMRH in reply while Cedric English, the skipper, made 23, but they were bowled out for 90.

Yesterday’s scheduled league match between SMRH and Aberdeenshire did not go ahead with the latter deciding to take their strongest team to play in the Murgitroyd Twenty20 competition finals day.

Barclays Grange are third after they saw off Stoneywood-Dyce at Portgower Place.

The home team made 170-8 from their 40 overs, this match also affected by rain. Josh Edwards made 65 not out and Henry Edwards made 50.

In the visitors’ reply Raj Routray and Gregor Maiden were the stars of an in-form bowling attack, both taking three scalps each as the visitors were bundled out for 86 as Grange won by 79 runs via D/L.

James Easton’s cracking form continued for Watsonians as he made 45 not out to help them defeat Aberdeenshire at Myreside.

Left arm seamer Mike Legget’s good run also continued, four wickets helping them restrict the visitors to 152-9 batting first.

In the Watsonians reply there were a number of wobbles, slipping to 99-7, but Easton’s runs and a crucial 21 by Pete Legget saw them home in the final over by two wickets.

Penicuik are still in danger of finishing bottom and dropping in to the East Leagues after defeat to Falkland at Kirkhill in the CSL Eastern First Division.

Chris Ashforth battled hard for 36, but the hosts were all out for 119 in a match reduced to 31 overs and Falkland chased down the 122 they needed on D/L with relative ease.

RH Corstorphine lost at Dundee HSFP by four wickets.