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Grange out of the blocks with low-run victory as Heriot's maintain steady progress

GRANGE survived a series of scares to kick-start their Eastern Premiership campaign with a gritty victory over Stoneywood-Dyce.

It was clear from the start that runs would be at a premium in the moist, early-season conditions at Raeburn Place.

And even when the Aberdonians were skittled for just 82, it was never going to be a cakewalk for the hosts. They eventually crawled over the line with three wickets in hand, but they will be heartened by any win following their opening-day defeat to champions Arbroath.

Skipper Andrew Brock and Scotland age-group star Chris Sole inflicted the bulk of the damage on the visiting line-up. Each bagged a four-scalp haul, with the ever-dependable Raj Routray also making his mark by striking twice.

At 46 for six in their pursuit, Grange appeared to be on thin ice, but Simon Smith and Sole maintained their composure to get the job done.

Heriot's have quickly emerged as dark horses for honours and they underlined their potential by edging out Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.

A target of 175 should have been within the grasp of the Granite City outfit, but they were unable to mount partnerships of sufficient bulk when it mattered and fell short by four.

Overseas amateur Hayes van der Berg was the pick of the host attack, earning four for 33 from his eight overs, and the picture looked bright as they stood on 81 for one following the early dismissal of Calum Howard.

Van der Berg's departure at the hand of Mark Watt signalled a steady fall of wickets, with Harsha Cooray and Chris Venske perishing quickly.

That left them on a jittery 107 for four, a position from which they couldn't fully recover.

Carlton had to dig deep to halt the charge of capital rivals SMRH at Grange Loan in a scrappy match that featured a spate of spilled catches and fluctuating fortunes.

Carlton had recovered from a shaky start to reach 209 for nine thanks mainly to the application and awareness of Preston Mommsen and Alex Rajendran.

Mommsen steadied the ship with 50 after they had been toiling on 23 for two, then Rajendran was run out five short of his half century.

Veteran left-arm seamer Craig Mackellar was the visiting bowler who posed the early problems, snapping up both openers in quick succession.Craig Bissett was also in fine nick to finish with three for 42.

The SMRH chase wobbled in the sixth over as Martin Speirs was trapped lbw to Cheeky Gossain with the tally on 10. And teenage spinner Gossain kept up the good work to help rip apart the SMRH middle order. The Inverleith outfit needed 13 off the last over, but the home nerves held firm as ex-Scotland captain Gordon Drummond ran in.

It was an over that was to feature one frantic delivery, from which a catch was dropped. A single was then scored before a run out was completed as the batsmen tried to scamper for a second run. Then came a dot ball, with Drummond grabbing the decisive wicket with the next.

Newly-promoted Forfarshire were inspired by a half century from Craig Wallace as they outgunned Watsonians at Broughty Ferry.

Dewald Nel (72) was the mainstay of the Watsons innings, while Liam Gough took four for 24 for Shire, Matty Parker with 49 and Umair Mohammed (36no) offered stout support to Wallace in the face of fine bowling by Ewan Chalmers, who snapped up five for 34 in vain.

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