Veteran Fraser Watts hailed the quiet but effective influence of stand-in Carlton skipper Cheeky Gosain in the wake of their richly-deserved Eastern Premiership derby triumph over Watsonians.
Mike Herdman’s superb century at Grange Loan proved to be the springboard to success for the champions.
However, former Scotland star Watts insisted the mature approach from Gosain was also crucial. He said: “Cheeky is doing really well as a stand-in captain, especially for someone his age.
“He is a quiet guy, but leads from the front with bat, ball and in the field.”
Watts went on: “Herdy batted excellently yet again – he is a real class act. But Cheeky’s 32 was also very important in our quest to post a defendable total
“The bowling was then disciplined, which was necessary on that wicket.”
Watts himself had hit 32 to establish early momentum with Herdman.
Sonians were left with a target of 230, but could only reach 192 for seven.
Brendan O’Connell put them in the hunt with a dogged 57, but despite a fighting 36 from Andy Hislop, the middle order couldn’t raise the tempo when it mattered.
Grange’s winning sequence came to a dramatic halt up at Mannofield – though they did preserve their unbeaten record in a tie with Aberdeenshire.
The Raeburn Place brigade needed to score five off the final over by Connor Shorten to snatch the glory, but could only manage four. Highlight of the tussle was a century by home captain Chris Venske.
Six Grange batsmen got over the 20 mark, however Harris Aslam and Ryan Flannigan top scored with 31 each.
This fact was testament to Shire’s persistence in the field.
Venske said: “We could easily have lost it – but maybe we should have won it!
“For much of the contest it could have gone either way.
“We batted first and were struggling a bit on 45 for four, so at that point if you had offered me a tie then I would’ve bitten your arm off. I was frustrated to get out with nine overs of our innings left because there were still plenty of runs available to me.
“We could have posted a total exceeding 250 rather than the 223 that we did reach.”
On his own knock of 110, he said: “I was pleased with my knock – but I got out at the worst time.”
Current form was reflected at Goldenacre, where hosts Heriot’s cruised to a 52-run win against SMRH.
Ryan Brown led the way with 38 as the home side grafted their way to 166 all out on a tricky surface.
Then Adrian Neill snapped up three wickets for 22 to send their neighbours sliding to 114 all out.
Matthew Angelini was alone on providing any resistance as he made 46.
Elsewhere, a depleted Arbroath suffered their first defeat of the campaign at the hands of Glenrothes at Gilvenbank.
And Forfarshire stepped up their revival with a clear-cut home win against Falkland.