Heriot’s now sole rivals to Arbroath for East title

SMRH's Gregor Bissett in action
SMRH's Gregor Bissett in action
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Heriot’s will head into this coming weekend’s last round of fixtures in the CSL Eastern Premiership still with a chance of winning the title after a dramatic day of action on Saturday.

At the start of play Mazars Grange were the closest challengers to leaders Arbroath, but the Stockbridge men lost out surprisingly at home to Aberdeenshire ruling them out of putting their hands on the trophy.

Arbroath edged a two wicket home win over Glenrothes while Heriot’s, third at the start of play, were comfortable victors at SMRH.

All of that means the race for title goes down to the wire. If Arbroath win at Carlton then they will be champions, but if they slip up then Heriot’s could snatch the title with a victory of their own over Aberdeenshire.

Heriot’s captain Keith Morton said: “It is great that we have put ourselves in a position to have something to play for on the last day of the season.

“Our aim for August was to go unbeaten and see where it took us.

“There is a great buzz around the club at the minute and our second team are still in contention for promotion from their league too so it should be a good weekend coming up.”

On Saturday Heriot’s were always in control against SMRH having made the short trip along Ferry Road.

The hosts, who had already confirmed their status in the top flight for 2018, fell to 22-4 in the 19th over before a rain shower.

When the players got back out on the field the Heriot’s bowling attack continued to show no mercy and in the end Greg Ruthven’s men were 103 all out. Scotland man Mark Watt now has 30 league wickets for the season for Heriot’s after he led the way with 4-20.

The 21-year-old then led the way with the bat, scoring 38 not out with Michael Shean making 26 as Heriot’s won by seven wickets with more than 18 overs to spare.

Down the road at Portgower Place, Grange, without skipper Preston Mommsen, were seeing their title hopes fade at the hands of Aberdeenshire.

Grange lost the toss and were put in to bat and Nick Farrar and Harris Aslam put on 36 for the first wicket before the former was out for 25.

Aslam and Neil McCallum then followed him back to the pavilion, but at 100-3 they were well placed for a good score.

In the end they made 223-9, Ryan Flannigan scoring 82 and Andrew Brock 28, but it was perhaps 50 runs short of what they would have liked.

Aberdeenshire’s run chase got off to the perfect start, Kenny Reid and Ian Kirk putting on 128 for the first wicket. Reid was then run out for 62 by Tom Foulds, but Kirk continued on his merry way and his 82 set-up his team’s four wicket victory.

That left the Grange players wondering what might have been from this summer, a tie earlier in the season against Aberdeenshire and this result hitting them hard.

Watsonians comfortably defeated Carlton in the mid-table clash at Myreside.

Aman Bailwal led the way with 4-14 against a Carlton side resting a couple of regulars ahead of yesterday’s Citylets Scottish Cup final between the two.

Ally Sadler and Brendan O’Connell both took two wickets apiece as Carlton were 84 all out, Rory McCann top scoring with 17.

O’Connell’s 31 then led the home side to a seven wicket victory.

The Baillie Gifford ESCA Champinship title race is also going down to the wire.

Leaders RH Corstorphine saw their home match with Kelso called off while second placed Edinburgh were easily defeating Stuart&Stuart Penicuik by nine wickets.