EASTERN Knights continued their relentless unbeaten Tilney Pro50 title defence with a fourth straight win against Cally Highlanders at Forthill today (Sunday).
It was pretty much business as usual for the Edinburgh-based side though on this occasion there was no century for Oli Hairs.
The left-handed opener, going for a third consecutive three-figure score, looked in the mood as he led the visitors’ reply to a competitive 241 which the Highlanders had posted earlier in the day.
Hairs raced to 33 at almost two runs per-ball before he miscued off Michael Leask and was caught. By then the Knights had already lost Mike Carson for 19, the hard-hitting opener bowled by Jamie King.
At 57-2, the Knights needed a partnership but it proved elusive as Majeed Rasheed marked his representative debut by bowling the dangerous Dylan Budge before Michael Shean was run out to leave the visitors wobbling on 102-4.
However, having played second fiddle to several of his team-mates in previous matches, former Scotland captain Preston Mommsen took centre stage to lead the victory charge.
He had useful support initially from Tom Sole before Mark Watt joined Mommsen in an unbroken fifth wicket stand which carried the Knights to their fourth straight win.
Mommsen finished unbeaten on 84 while Watts contributed a crucial 45no.
Earlier Elliot Ruthven had the hosts on the back foot, removing Rory Johnston, Kyle Coetzer and Craig Wallace to reduce the Highlanders to 35-3.
Leask and Chris Greaves also went cheaply as Knights remained in control but Callum Garden and Rasheed produced a handy sixth-wicket stand as the home team rallied.
Garden went on to top-score with 65 at a run-a-ball with five boundaries before being stumped off the bowling of Sole while Rasheed’s debut innings was brought to an end when Ruthven returned to the attack to bowl him for 22 and claim figures of 4-39.
At 189-8, the Highlanders were in danger of failing to pass 200 but Brock Ditchmen hit a defiant 23 to support Ryan Brown who cleared the ropes on one occasion on his way to a 53-ball 37.
Their effort put Cally in with a chance but once again the Knights’ batting strength saw them to victory.