Ruthless Grange defeat the leaders as Foulds takes four

James Tapper celebrates Brendan Ford's wicket
James Tapper celebrates Brendan Ford's wicket
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Tom Foulds chose a good day to put in his best bowling performance of the season on Saturday, his four wickets helping Mazars Grange defeat Arbroath and keep their CSL Eastern Premiership title hopes alive.

Grange knew they had to win the top-of-the-table clash at Portgower Place and they were in ruthless from from the outset.

Arbroath won the toss and decided to bat, but it soon looked like the wrong decision with Gordon Goudie, James Tapper and John Blain putting them under pressure.

Goudie and Blain went wicketless, but they conceded just 28 runs between them and Kiwi, Tapper, took 3-28.

Tapper had taken the first wicket of the day, Brendan Ford being caught by Foulds, and when the latter came into the attack he had Hayden Laing caught by Goudie and Arbroath were 57-2.

Vice-captain Ross McLean was then run out smartly by Neil McCallum for 29 and Arbroath’s innings subsided from there.

Before the start of play 26-year-old all-rounder Foulds had just three league wickets to his name in 2017, but now he has seven after he finished with figures of 4-24.

As well as Foulds and Tapper, Andrew Brock and Neil McCallum also grabbed wickets as Arbroath were all out for 113, Fraser Burnett top scoring with 32.

In reply Grange switched things around a bit, opening the batting with the new pairing of Nick Farrar and Gordon Goudie to try and get off to a quick start.

Goudie made a quick 15 before he was first out, bowled by Elton Willemse.

Captain Preston Mommsen then joined Farrar at the wicket and they progressed things nicely to 63 before the latter was out to Willemse for 37.

Mommsen and Neil McCallum, the side’s two best batsmen, then came together and put on a 51-run partnership, finishing on 38 and 18 not out to see the Capital men home by eight wickets.

The result means that Arbroath are still top, but only just and Grange and Heriot’s still have a chance to lift the trophy come August 26.

Foulds said: “Firstly we should pay tribute to the club’s groundstaff who did a great job getting the match on given the heavy morning rain.

“The bowlers up top did a great job to make it hard for Arbroath to score runs while our fielding was pretty slick.

“I haven’t bowled too much in the first team this year, so to be brought on and take four wickets was as good as it gets really.

“With the bat the guys who were required did a good job against some good Arbroath bowlers and this is really a massive result for us.

“Since we lost to Watsonians a couple of weeks ago we have come together well and worked hard and it is going to be some finish to the season.

“We just have to make sure we get two wins.”

Third placed Heriot’s kept themselves in the mix by beating Falkland at Goldenacre, the latter relegated as a result.

Mark Watt led the way with 75 not out as the hosts made 222-2 batting first before Falkland were 62 all out. Adrian Neill took five wickets for Heriot’s.

Fifth placed Watsonians lost out at Glenrothes while Carlton are sixth after they dug in to defeat Tayside Group Forfarshire by nine runs at Grange Loan.

SMRH made sure they will be in the top flight in 2018 after a home victory over Aberdeenshire.

In a 40-over contest South African Cariston Diedericks was the star man, top scoring with 39 runs and then taking four wickets in a 15-run win.