CSL Eastern Round Up
Kevin McLaren told yesterday how he batted through the pain barrier to help Heriot’s surge to their first Premiership success of the season.
The former Scotland squad man collapsed in agony at the Goldenacre crease after sustaining a dislocated kneecap.
McLaren refused to depart from the middle - and bravely ignored the acute discomfort to claim a crucial half-century in the demolition job on Stoneywood-Dyce.
He explained: “I swivelled in an attempt to pull a short ball, only for my studs to stick in the turf and my back leg just folded under me.
“I was on 49 at the time, so I opted to stay put - and hit the next delivery for six!
“I then limped my way to a single, but the pain was getting worse and I skied the following one and was caught.
“I have no idea about timescale, but I imagine I will be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks.”
Sean Weeraratna also smashed a quickfire unbeaten 50 to propel Heriot’s to 284 for eight before the northerners were disposed of for only 139.
New captain Keith Morton was the chief destroyer with the ball, mopping up the tail to end with five for 45.
McLaren added: “Sean’s knock was terrific - and he carried on the good work by removing Shaun Coetzer with the first delivery of their innings.”
Falkland also put an opening day-loss behind them as they snuffed out the challenge of Watsonians at Myreside.
But spokesman Ryan Hepburn believes curbs imposed on skipper and opening bowler Safyaan Sharif could have scuppered the chances of the Fifers.
Hepburn revealed Scotland chiefs had ordered the paceman to bowl only six overs to avoid any fitness worries ahead of the regional Pro Series.
He said: “I suppose the positive aspect was that we proved we can finish off teams without him.
“But you pick a line-up every week assuming your top players are able to fully perform.
“These restrictions just don’t make sense.
“The 13-over rule was brought in to have our best bowlers running in for longer spells - but then they stop them doing this.
“The majority of clubs - ourselves included - asked to go back to 10 overs, yet it was the national performance coaches insisted on keeping it at 13.”
He added: “We got the job done, and credit is due to Craig Hepburn, who hit 30 not out to get us over the line after a last-minute call up from the seconds.”
Sonians stumbled to 145 all out, with Falkland scraping the win by two wickets.
Champions Aberdeenshire were indebted to Kenny Reid as they overcame a major dose of the jitters before snuffing out the bold challenge of Forfarshire.
The visitors had been on course to snatch a shock win in Mannofield’s battle of the shires, thanks to some excellent cricket from the Sweeney clan.
But the resolute Reid halted the rot to steer the Dons over the line by three wickets.
First, a brilliant catch at mid off by Dale Sweeney accounted for the hosts’ prolific overseas ace Hayes van den Berg for only one as they chased 150.
Then brother Liam snapped up three middle-order wickets in quick succession to leave the home side toiling.
However, Reid (49 not out) held his nerve to complete the comeback.
The Broughty Ferry brigade had to depend on captain Craig Wallace (70) to post a reasonable total in bitter conditions.
Grange’s George Munsey delivered a nudge to the Scotland selectors by striking a fine century to inflict a second defeat in succession on Arbroath.
Munsey’s 107 inspired Grange towards a tally of 293 for seven, in which Neil McCallum (62), Ryan Flannigan (46) and Chris Sole (43) also starred.
Spinner Craig Ramsay was the only Arbroath bowler to pose any problems with three for 29.
And had it not been for a gutsy 93 by opener Ross McLean, the gulf would have been even greater.
Carlton again underlined their title credentials by demolishing capital rivals RH Corstorphine.
The visitors had enjoyed a solid start at Grange Loan as they grafted their way to 28 without loss, but then the wheels came off in devastating style.
A superb spell of bowling by Omar Ahmad sent them hurtling to an abject 59 all out.
He claimed four wickets at a cost of only five runs in 5.3 overs, four of which were maidens.
Overseas import Roy McCloy also played his part with three for 16.
In-form Scotland batsman Hamish Gardiner spearheaded the response with 40 not out as Carlton cruised to another notable success in less that 12 overs, following their opening-day triumph at Arbroath.
ALI Shah emerged as the prime performer of the weekend as he cracked a superb century for Carlton’s second stringers in their solid success against Holy Cross at Arboretum Road.
Shah and Co had been determined to bounce back in the wake of their opening day defeat by their Grange counterparts - and they achieved their aim with plenty to spare.
His unbeaten 114 enabled them to reach 273 for eight, an impressive tally given the bitter weather.
Skipper Rob Thornton (34), Fin Clarkson (33) and Ben Thurman (31) also made notable contributions before the hosts were pegged to 229 all out - Thornton claiming three scalps.
Edinburgh CC bowler Usman Haider produced a remarkable stint as Freuchie came a cropper at Campbell Park.
He bagged five wickets at a cost of only eight runs to send the Fifers sliding to 56 all out in pursuit of 262.
Elsewhere, Chris Greaves (60) top scored again as Glenrothes brushed aside Marchmont by 111 runs at Gilvenbank Park.
And SMRH were too strong for MDAFs at Murrayfield.