The future’s bright for Eastern cricket champions Grange

The Mazars Grange team celebrate clinching the CSL Eastern Premiership title following their win over Heriot's at Goldenacre
The Mazars Grange team celebrate clinching the CSL Eastern Premiership title following their win over Heriot's at Goldenacre
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Mazars Grange captain Preston Mommsen has praised the three talented Scotland age-grade players who helped get the club across the line to win the CSL Eastern Premiership title.

The Portgower Place men made sure of the lifting the silverware with one game remaining by defeating nearest rivals Heriot’s – the 2017 champions – in emphatic style at Goldenacre by 138 runs.

In the XI for that match were a trio of players who have been involved with Scotland at under-15 and under-17 level at various stages this summer in the shape of wicketkeeper/batsman Tom Mackintosh and bowlers Charlie Peet and Jamie Cairns. And, despite their tender years, the 15-year-olds have certainly not looked out of place this term in the top team for Grange. They have had experienced players around them and come into a winning environment, but they have shown very few nerves and a willingness to learn.

“We have a great Academy in place at Grange headed up by John Blain and we are always keen to bring through young players into senior cricket when we can and we feel the time is right,” former Scotland skipper Mommsen said as he looked back on the league success.

“This year we thought a number of teenagers would get regular game time with the second XI but, as things have transpired, quite a crop have actually ended up playing first XI cricket with Tom, Charlie and Jamie the ones going on to be involved quite regularly.

“They have contributed a lot when required and have shown maturity beyond their years, so when I reminisce about this league triumph in years to come the part they played and their contribution will be at the front of my mind.

“Other young guys like Patrick Ritchie have also been exposed to first-team cricket and it is exciting for Grange for the years to come that these guys could be the core of the club.

“In general, it has been a huge pleasure to lead this team over the season and I want to say a big thanks to the senior players too. Ryan Flannigan has had one of his best seasons for us with the bat opening the innings and he and Gordon Goudie have set us up for a number of big totals or run chases in the top flight. Dylan Budge and Neil McCallum have shown their quality and Nick Farrar and Tom Foulds have also done great work with the bat.

“Wicketkeeper Harris Carnegie has been unlucky with injuries, but young Tom and Patrick have stepped in when required. In terms of the bowling, Andrew Brock is the most reliable guy around and you always know you are going to get ten overs of quality spin from him. John Blain and Stuart Davidson have played the game for years, but still bring a great skill level and enthusiasm to the team and that has allowed players such as young Charlie and Jamie to flourish under their guidance.

“To win a trophy is always a sweet feeling and to do it in the Premier Division with this group of lads is special to me.”

The one player who has had a big part to play that 30-year-old Mommsen did not mention is of course himself.

A number of his team mates have remarked in recent weeks just what a good leader he is while he played some vital innings with the bat.

On Saturday, Grange posted 225-5 batting first – Mommsen top scoring with 61 – and then bowled Heriot’s out for 87, Blain taking four wickets.

Elsewhere, Carlton and RH Corstorphine lost to Forfarshire and Arbroath respectively while Stewart’s Melville-Watsonians was off.

• THE Citylets Scottish Cup final between Grange and Heriot’s, due to be played at Ferguslie’s Meikleriggs ground in Paisley yesterday, was postponed due to rain. It will now be played this coming Sunday at the same ground at noon.