Mazars Grange captain Preston Mommsen has praised his players for going through the first half of the CSL Eastern Premier Division season unbeaten, but he knows there is still plenty of cricket to be played before any trophies are handed out.
The Portgower Place men won comfortably at Stewart’s Melville on Saturday, while Heriot’s kept up the pressure with a solid win over Arbroath.
Mike Carson and Ewan Chalmers hit centuries as Watsonians triumphed at Aberdeenshire and Carlton edged out RH Corstorphine.
Grange have been the frontrunners in the top flight since day one of the campaign and they have won eight of eight completed league games in the last nine weeks.
At the weekend they were in ruthless form at Inverleith, bowling the hosts out for 86 and then knocking off the required runs in just 12.5 overs with nine wickets in hand.
With the ball this week Gordon Goudie was the main man with four wickets, while Nick Farrar hit 56 not out.
Mommsen said: “I am really pleased with how the first half of the season has played out. Our batters are in good form and our bowlers keep doing the business so as a captain that makes my job much easier.
“The work coach John Blain is putting in with the Grange Academy is shown by the number of young players who have come through and played first XI cricket.
“Having said that, we are all aware that there is plenty of hard work left to do. We have an ambitious group and we want to make sure we achieve what we set out to do this season.”
Last year’s champions Heriot’s made it seven wins from eight completed matches at home to Arbroath.
The bowling attack put in a good show to restrict the visitors at Goldenacre to 183-6 batting first, spinner Michael Shean taking 4-23.
Hayes van der Berg and Elnathan Meiri were then the men on form with the bat.The South African duo hit 84 and 77 respectively as they got home by seven wickets.
Heriot’s captain Keith Morton said: “It was a really clinical performance.
“Michael Shean bowled an excellent spell in the middle overs while it was great to see Elnathan and Hayes take responsibility and put together a big partnership with the bat to get us the win.”
Prior to Saturday Watsonians only had one league win under their belts this term. However, they batted with intent at Mannofield to make sure they would see off Aberdeenshire.
Carson hit 175 to lead the way with skipper Chalmers making 100 not out and his younger brother Andrew hitting a quickfire 35 not out as they posted a daunting 336-3.
Opening bowlers Tom Pratt and Lewis Dingle then took one wicket and three wickets respectively to leave the hosts in a bit of bother on 16-4.
They rallied somewhat, but the sting had been taken out of the game and in the end they were 221 all out.
Dingle finished with 5-37 and after the 115-run away victory, captain Ewan Chalmers said: “Things haven’t quite gone our way this season, but the guys have stuck at it and got their rewards up in Aberdeen.
“The batting unit has been waiting to click like that while Lewis Dingle bowled very well.”
At East Barton Avenue, Carlton knew they would have to bowl well in the second half having been dismissed for 158 against Corstorphine.
And they did just that, all five bowlers taking wickets and some great fielding seeing them dismiss the hosts for 148 to win a tense affair by 10 runs.