The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Falkland find stunning response
It appears there is nothing in Scottish cricket as dangerous as a Falkland side suffering pain and dented pride.
That certainly seemed to be the case at Raeburn Place on Saturday as the fired up Fifers pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Premiership history.
They followed up the previous weekend’s hammering at the hands of Carlton, by claiming the scalp of league pacesetters and title favourites Grange.
The fact that the success was achieved without skipper Safyaan Shariff made the feat all the more remarkable.
Stalwart Ryan Hepburn made it clear the result was one of the highlights of his career with the club as he beamed: “How about that for a bounce back!”
Hepburn added: “It was all about determination and heart.
“The boys were really hurting in the wake of what Carlton did to us and emotions certainly surged to the opposite extreme.”
Opener and stand-in captain Jack Henderson defied the pace of John Blain to make 82.
Normally, a tally of 189 all out would not have created tremors among the home ranks, but they folded in the face of some pinpoint bowling by Brock Ditchmen and Cloete Buitendag.
Ditchmen bagged three for 38 from his 13 overs, while Buitendag also struck three times, with only one host batsman able to break the 30-barrier in the response of 153.
Grange cling on at the head of the title race, but the Falkland effort enabled Carlton and Arbroath to narrow the leeway, thanks to decisive victories over Watsonians and Stoneywood-Dyce respectively.
Craig Ramsay emerged as the potent force for Arbroath, grabbing five for 15 at Lochlands.
Elton Willemse also had two wickets as his former team slithered to 139 all out, leaving the stage clear for Brendon Ford (54) and Ross McLean ( 49) to complete the demolition job.
Ex- Saltires skipper Ryan Watson turned back the clock by thumping an unbeaten 116 to propel Forfarshire to an equally clinical win at Corstorphine.
Liam Sweeney (six for 30) had restricted the Edinburgh brigade to 174 all out before Watson lit the fireworks in a pursuit that lasted only 30 overs.
In the Championship, Glenrothes couldn’t have written a better script for themselves as they snuffed out the challenge of chief chasers Carlton II to open up a gap of 20 points at the top of the table.
Not only did Glens do the business on home turf, they also benefited from SMRH’s derby defeat by Holy Cross.
The Fifers’ total of 156 was meek by their own standards, but the attack came into their own when it mattered most.
The capital outfit stumbled to 37 for four, but Rizwan Akbar stepped in to finish with four for 11, sending Carlton sprawling to 139 all out.