Watsonians captain Ewan Chalmers believes that bowling duo Ally Sadler and Alec Sim can go from strength to strength in the coming weeks after they helped their side defeat Heriot’s on Saturday.
The three-wicket victory at Myreside kept Watsonians top of the table, but that does not tell the story of an afternoon that was dramatic throughout.
Having won the toss, Watsonians put Heriot’s in to bat and had the visitors in all sorts of trouble with Sim taking the wickets of Kevin McLaren, Hayes van der Berg and Pete Ross.
Andy McKay also got Eastern Knights man James Hearn out for one LBW and although Scotland cap Mark Watt showed some resistance with 26 he became one of Sadler’s four victims.
In the end Heriot’s limped to 83 all out, extras being the second highest scorer behind Watt with 14.
For the home side left arm seamer Sadler, who turned 19 last week, returned the superb figures of 4-9 while Sim, who is back bowling seam after a spell as a spinner, took 3-31. Experienced New Zealander McKay also took three wickets.
As mentioned in the build-up to the match, Watsonians were wary of the threat of Heriot’s opening bowler Adrian Neill given the fact that he had taken ten wickets on the same ground last term with previous club Aberdeenshire.
Heriot’s captain Keith Morton and his men knew Neill would need another great spell if they were to defend their low total.
Neill did his utmost best, spectacularly taking another seven wickets to make Sonians very nervous as they crept towards their target.
It was an inspired period of bowling from the Scotland fringe man, only Henk Conradie managing to handle him and he hit a crucial 30.
In the end Andy Hislop (seven not out) and McKay (five not out) saw Sonians home, but it had been a tough run chase.
Skipper Chalmers was a relieved man at the end and he praised the efforts of Sadler and Sim.
“I thought we bowled really well right from the off and put Heriot’s under quite a bit of pressure,” he said. “Andy McKay just goes about his job, but with Dewald Nel missing we need the younger bowlers to step up to the mark and Ally and Alec both did that in this match.
“They are both good bowlers and their figures against Heriot’s will give them confidence heading into what is a big run of matches for us. Fair play to Adrian Neil, he bowled very well for Heriot’s too, but we managed to get there in the end and keep a good league run going.”
Carlton and Mazars Grange also recorded wins.
At Grange Loan, 81 from Fraser Watts and 51 from Hugo Southwell helped Carlton post 261-6 against Falkland.
Ally Evans then took 4-23 with the ball and Omar Ahmad got the key wicket of Safyaan Sharif for 92 as the visitors were all out for 180.
Gordon Goudie as the star for Grange at Stoneywood Dyce, smashing 132 from just 71 balls as they chased down their victory target of 216 in less than 20 overs.
Nick Farrar’s good form continued with 58 not out with skipper Andrew Brock having led the way earlier in the day with three wickets.
In the Ballie Gifford ESCA Championship, RH Corstorphine won the battle of the top two. Five wickets from Joe Kinghorn-Gray helped them defeat Edinburgh by nine-runs.
SMRH are second after 60 and 3-27 from Australian Tom Beaton helped them defeat Stuart&Stuart Penicuik.
Mazars Grange II defeated Kelso and Carlton II saw off Marchmont, but Holy Cross went down at Dunnikier.