Grange take big step towards title as rivals falter

Aman Bailwal from Watsonians celebrates a LBW against Heriot's. Pic: Greg Macvean
Aman Bailwal from Watsonians celebrates a LBW against Heriot's. Pic: Greg Macvean
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John Blain has praised the collective efforts of the wider squad after Mazars Grange took a massive step towards the CSL Eastern Premier Division title at the weekend.

Going into round 16 of fixtures they knew that a victory over Arbroath would set them up for round 17 and a showdown with top of the table rivals Heriot’s.

Grange went on to defeat Arbroath by 52 runs at Portgower Place on Saturday and, as they left the field, were given further good news with Heriot’s losing to Watsonians.

Those two results mean that, with two games remaining against Heriot’s and Stewart’s Melville, Grange now have one hand on the trophy.

Heriot’s could still pip them to the silverware, but it would take a strange set of results in the next fortnight for that to happen.

And of course Grange and Heriot’s also meet in the Citylets Scottish Cup final in Paisley on Sunday.

On Saturday half centuries from Ryan Flannigan, Preston Mommsen, Dylan Budge set the men from Stockbridge up for their 13th league triumph of the campaign.

Opener Flannigan made 69 and then Mommsen (53) and Budge (73) meaning that they posted 281-7 from their 50 overs.

Arbroath did get off to a flying start, Blain going for 30 runs from two overs opening the bowling, but then the rest of the bowlers came to the rescue.

Stuart Davidson took 1-33 up top and then Neil McCallum and Tom Foulds also took scalps, the latter getting the key wicket of visiting captain Marc Petrie for 67.

Gordon Goudie then took 3-25 in a great spell and young Charlie Peet took a wicket as Arbroath’s run chase fell short.

Grange player/coach Blain said: “This was a key win for us, in most games this season we have found a way to adapt to the situation in front of us and get over the line.

“What has pleased me in recent weeks is that everyone has stepped up and done a job for the team at different times and that has meant that we now have real competition for places heading into the last couple of weeks including the Cup final.

“This weekend the senior players really stood up and when they have been doing that in games it has allowed the younger players to com in and play assuredly.

“We will just keep focusing on the job in hand.”

Over at Myreside, Heriot’s had set themselves up well, scoring 270-7 batting first with Hayes van der Berg hitting a superb 164 in one of the innings of the season.

However, Watsonians had made themselves safe from any relegation worries the previous week and as a result played with freedom.

George Munsey came out of the traps hitting the ball to all parts and when he was out for 63 his side were well set in their run chase.

Andy Hislop and Aman Bailwal, the latter making his only appearance of the season as he now lives abroad, came together and hit 69 not out and 45 not out respectively to see them home by four wickets.

Stewart’s Melville are now safe from relegation after they defeated bottom side Glenrothes at Inverleith.

Kyle McCallum (49) and Greg Bissett (42) led the way with the bat in the 88 run victory and skipper Greg Ruthven said: “I am very happy with the win and hopefully now we can sign off the season with some more good performances.”

Carlton bowled out Aberdeenshire for 101 on the way to a five wicket win at Grange Loan with Jacob Wood scoring a century in RH Corstorpine’s loss at Forfarshire.