Grange and Clydesdale win CSL Premier Titles
Grange were last night crowned champions as the Eastern Premier campaign reached a dramatic climax in the capital.
The Stockbridge side, who went into the final day in second place, saw off derby rivals Heriot’s while across the city at Myreside leaders Arbroath fell at the final hurdle in a gut-wrenching defeat to Watsonians.
For Grange, who will try to complete the double and pile the misery on Arbroath in today’s Scottish Cup final, it was the forgotten men of the Scotland international set-up who did most to clinch glory.
Until recently Gordon Goudie and Ryan Flannigan were mainstays of the national squad only to fall out of the reckoning.
The pair, though, proved their worth when it mattered, Goudie claiming four crucial wickets as Heriot’s were held to 220-7 at Portgower Place despite a battling 58 from another former Saltire, Steve Knox.
Flannigan then led the chase as Grange showed few nerves in chasing their target – and their dream.
Flannigan was quick to pounce on any loose deliveries and bludgeoned 78 runs while Nick Farrar, a former Scotland U19 international, weighed-in with 68 to help Grange race to their target with six wickets and almost twenty-four overs to spare.
Meanwhile, Arbroath were left licking their wounds despite a fine bowling display in which Craig Ramsay claimed six wickets to restrict Watsonians to 182.
Despite then slumping to 131-8, Fraser Burnett carried Arbroath to within five runs of their target with a defiant 79 before being last man out - run-out as he attempted to keep the strike.
It was cruel on the Lochlands side who must bounce quickly if they are to lift the Scottish Cup for the first time.
The battle between fourth placed Forfarshire and third Carlton at Forthill went emphatically in favour of the latter who produced a dominant display.
The ever-consistent Hamish Gardiner and Fraser Watts scored half-centuries in a total of 234-8 before Forfarshire were bundled out for 138.
Aberdeenshire and Stoneywood-Dyce ended a disappointing campaign with a tie at Mannofield while Corstorphine finished without a win after losing to Falkland at Scroggie Park.
MEANWHILE, Clydesdale confirmed their status as Western Union champions with a convincing win over Renfrew at King George V Playing Fields.
There was a theoretical chance that the Titwood club might be caught in the improbable event of them failing to garner a single point from their remaining two games.
Briefly, the jitters seemed to be in evidence when they slumped to 3-2 and 40-4 after being sent in to bat in bowler-friendly conditions.
However, the Dale innings was rescued by maiden half-centuries from two of the young players who again showed that the champions do not always rely on their big-name players.
Skipper Majid Haq and Scotland batsman Richie Berrington had already departed when Basit Ali and Akram Shakoor came together with their team in a spot of bother.
However, the latter made a composed 62 while Basit went on to top-score with an excellent 77 as Clydesdale recovered to post 264 before dismissing Renfrew for 190 and consigning them to relegation.
Elsewhere Kelburne are course for the runners-up spot after a hard-fought win over East Kilbride at Torrance House.