Scottish Cup Week 6
Carlton claimed a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable five-wicket win over West of Scotland at Hamilton Crescent.
The pair went into the encounter as joint leaders of Group H but an under-strength West side were unable to match a team many have tipped to go all the way.
Having made just 126 all out, West at least gave their visitors a fright, reducing them to 26-2 and continuing to battle all the way.
Dave McNulty made the breakthrough when he had Carlton’s promising young batsman Kyle McPherson caught behind for 10.
Player-coach John Blain then struck an even bigger blow, dismissing Saltires captain Preston Mommsen with his second delivery thanks to a sharp return catch.
However, Hamish Gardiner and Kyle Stirling provided the biggest partnership of the day, digging in to add 67 and put the Edinburgh side firmly on course.
Stirling became Blain’s second victim, caught behind for a well-compiled 34.
Blain picked up a third scalp in Ali Shah as West plugged away, albeit in an apparently lost cause.
Carlton briefly seemed to suffer a dose of the jitters as a run-out cost Jamie Kerr his wicket but Gardiner remained the immoveable object, the Australian batsman finishing unbeaten on 54 while Gordon Drummond joined him to finish the match with a couple of lusty blows to the boundary.
Earlier, West missed the steadying influence of the experienced Dougie Lockhart as their innings never got any momentum.
Indeed, after a flurry of soft dismissals it was left to Blain, batting at No7, to top-score for West with 25 including a six and four from consecutive Haris Aslam deliveries.
McNulty also hit a maximum during a defiant lower order rally but it was too little, too late.
Elsewhere, west came out on top of east as Clydesdale enjoyed a six-wicket win over SMRH to top Group A at the expense of East Kilbride.
Zeeshan Bashir claimed three wickets to help restrict the Edinburgh club to just 122, Cedric English top-scoring with 30, before Safyaan Sharif’s half-century led Dale to a six-wicket success with almost twenty-four overs to spare.
Clydesdale’s win rendered East Kilbride’s huge 196-run victory over West Lothian academic.
Grange booked their quarter-final berth at the expense of Renfrew who needed an improbably big win at Portgower Place to oust their hosts on run-rate.
In the event, Grange were victors by six wickets in a match which saw Renfrew’s Pakistani pro Ahmed Said finish unbeaten on 96 before home batsman George Munsey went even closer to a century, only to fall three runs short.
In the only other group still to be decided holders Heriot’s, missing several key players, crashed out following a heavy defeat at Dumfries.
The Goldenacre side’s demise paved the way for Ferguslie to progress thanks to their win at Falkland.
THE skipper of Scottish Cup favourites Arbroath admitted his side will have to be at their best to live up to the tag when they face Stoneywood-Dyce in the quarter finals.
With several big guns out of the tournament – including holders Heriot’s – the stage is set for a series of intriguing last-eight ties, not least the visit of Marc Petrie and his troops to Peoples Park.
Elsewhere next Sunday, revived giants Ferguslie are on home turf to take on old rivals Clydesdale, captained by one of their former stars, Majid Haq, while Grange welcome Aberdeenshire.
And Carlton, who triumphed in the group decider at West of Scotland, face Drumpellier at Grange Loan. But for Petrie, the quest is on to complete a Premiership and cup double.
He insisted league form will count for little when they make the hop to Aberdeen, saying: “We always find them tough opponents, especially at their place where we haven’t had a great record over the years.
“Our guys are looking forward to the challenge and whatever the outcome, I think the spectators will be guaranteed some entertaining cricket.
“If we can keep performing the way we have been doing so far this season we should be favourites.
“It is all about everyone contributing to the cause.”
Despite already having qualified, Petrie’s side maintained the momentum on Saturday by demolishing Stirling County at Lochlands, though he was less than delighted with an uncharacteristically sloppy fielding display.
The defeat at Dumfries for a depleted Heriot’s outfit paved the way for Ferguslie to win their section in the wake of their convincing success over Falkland.
Spokesman Michael English said: “Everyone at the club is thrilled to bits after events at the weekend.
“After a tough few years, things are looking good with several young players coming through strongly. I have to give special mention to Hamza Tahir, who has been bowling unbelievably well.
“I am also chuffed with my own form and it means a lot to be able to contribute with bat and ball.
“Taking on Dale at Meikleriggs is certainly an exciting prospect.”
George Munsey was robbed of a century by only three runs in Grange’s six-wicket triumph over Renfrew at Raeburn Place.
East Kilbride’s hopes of sneaking through were snuffed out as Clydesdale got the win they needed at home to SMRH.
While Arbroath were already home and dry in Group B, Forfarshire made sure of the runners up slot thanks to a superb unbeaten 117 by captain Craig Wallace, who was supported strongly by Matty Parker (88).
Quarter-Final Draw - To be played on Sunday 21 July 2013 (Reserve date 28 July 2013)
Grange v Aberdeenshire
Ferguslie v Clydesdale
Stoneywood v Arbroath
Carlton v Drumpellier