EASTERN Premier newcomers Forfarshire were last night celebrating the easiest of 10-wicket victories over SMRH as they continued to adjust to life in the top flight.
It looked like being a long season for the Forthill side when they were dismissed by Heriot's on the opening day for just 88.
However, they hit back by beating Watsonians in their second match and yesterday dished out some serious punishment to the SMRH batsmen who were bundled out for just 69. Having won the toss and elected to bat at Inverleith, all seemed to be going well for the hosts when they reached 25-0 in the sixth over, Cedric English leading the way with two boundaries in his 15.
However, the former Saltires batsman offered a return catch to 'Shire's Australian professional Arron Lilly to spark the collapse.
Steven Parker went to the same bowler one run later and when Lilly picked up his third wicket, trapping the experienced Martin Speirs in front, the visitors were firmly in command.
Worse followed for SMRH when Aman Bailwal removed South African Brad Moses for just four and the Forthill side quickly moved in for the kill.
Dale Sweeney claimed four of the remaining six wickets, conceding just 11 runs in the process, while Umair Mohammed took 2-6 in his six overs.
With that first-day total of 88 on their minds, Forfarshire may have been wary of a similar collapse, but openers Matty Parker and Craig Wallace quickly settled any nerves with a series of blistering shots to carry the total to 32-0 from just three overs.
Nor did they ease up, the pair going on to complete one of the fastest victories on record by reaching their target in exactly six overs. Parker top-scored with 33no including six boundaries while skipper Wallace's 14-ball 27 included three fours and two maximums.
Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire recovered from the loss of two early wickets to former Kent bowler Deald Nel to post 227 en route to victory over Watsonians at Mannofield. Chris Venske maintained his prolific start to the season by top-scoring for the Dons with 62, featuring nine boundaries and two sixes.
There was also a half-century for Harsha Cooray while Callum Martin's run-a-ball 41 kept the hosts on top despite Ewan Chalmers' five wickets. The 'Sonians skipper did not fare so well with the bat, removed for a duck by opposite number Tyler Buchan, though it was Tony McKenna, a former Watsonians player, who did the bulk of the early damage with three wickets.
Andrew Fraser-Harris hit a defiant 64 in a 76-run stand for the eighth wicket with Fraser Sands, but Aberdeenshire sealed victory by 72 runs.
Champions Arbroath, with half- centuries from Greg Peal and Fraser Burnett, continued their return to form with a 123-run win over Heriot's, while Grange, for whom former Scotland spinner Gregor Maiden claimed four wickets, inflicted a first defeat of the season on Falkland.
Carlton were in trouble on 14-3 against Stoneywood-Dyce at Grange Loan, but youngster Ruari Macpherson led the recovery with a composed 43no to push their total to 178 - enough for a 34-run win.
There was disappointment in the west when the top match on the opening day of the CS Western Union Premier Division season was abandoned. They did manage to make a start at Hamilton Crescent where West of Scotland had reached 59-1 from 17 overs against Clydesdale before the rain set in.
Elsewhere, Drumpellier, having reduced Renfrew to 37-6 at Langloan, allowed their visitors off the hook to reach what proved to be a winning 154.