TRIBUTES were paid around the country across the weekend with a minute’s silence before fixtures in the Eastern and Western Premier divisions in memory of Scotland all-rounder Con de Lange who died last week of a brain tumour.
Players also sported Beanies in support of Cricket Scotland’s #Beanies4BrainTumours campaign to raise funds for the charity.
Nowhere did the emotion run higher than at Titwood where Clydesdale and Ferguslie, the two Scottish clubs de Lange represented during a distinguished career, were due to meet. Sadly, rain caused the fixture to be abandoned but heartfelt respects were paid nonetheless.
The weather took a heavy toll elsewhere in the west with only Uddingston’s derby clash with promoted Drumpellier reaching a conclusion at Bothwell Castle.
Niall Alexander marked his debut with 4-33 as the visitors were restricted to 136-7 before a superb 113no from Mo Awais accelerated Uddy to their revised target with nine wickets in hand.
Prestwick’s encounter with Stirling at Henry Thow Oval was the only other game to get underway but, having dismissed the visitors for just 67, the Ayrshire club were denied the chance to complete the job.
Rain also had a say in the east where a sparkling century from Scotland star Michael Leask lit up the day’s top match as Forfarshire defeated Eastern Premier champions Grange in another weather-affected match at Portgower Place.
Having elected to bat, the visitors showed positive intent from the start with Rory Johnston striking a brisk 43 and Callum Garden going on to 50 as the Forthill men reached 115-1 from 20 overs.
But it was left to Leask to claim centre stage and play the innings of genuine substance, the former Somerset player, in typically belligerent mood, despatching a raft of blistering shots to the boundary, several of them clearing the ropes.
Leask took a few risks along the way and might have been caught on 97 but, having reached three figures, he went into overdrive for a final onslaught before being out for 124.
He had faced just 78 balls with thirteen boundaries and four maximums, his effort propelling ‘Shire to an imposing 332-9.
However, the champions, undaunted, set about their run-chase with genuine purpose and may well have fancied their chances of reaching the target had rain not intervened.
When play was stopped Grange had reached 150-3 from 28 overs – 22 short of the par score but with Tom Macintosh going well on 75 from 80 balls and former Saltires skipper Preston Mommsen having just joined him at the crease.
DLS also came into play at Goldenacre where Heriot’s prevailed by 11 runs in their derby clash with Watsonians.
A modest batting effort of 144 all out proved enough for the home side whose bowlers reduced ‘Sonians to 72-5 before the rain arrived.
It was a similar story at Grange Loan where Stoneywood-Dyce marked their return to the top-flight with an 11-run win over Carlton, Ewan Davidson’s unbeaten 60 and three wickets from Jan Stander the significant contributions for the Aberdonians.
Arbroath, consistently among the title challengers, suffered a surprise defeat to RH Corstorphine at Lochlands where the hosts were bundled out for 134 – despite Hayden Laing’s battling 63 – before Elliot Foster’s 82no and 44 from Mo Saad guided the capital side to a comfortable nine-wicket success.There was no joy for Stewarts Melville who made the long trip north to Mannofield and scored 9-0 from the first over only for the heavens to open and send them on their way back home with no further play.