GRANGE and Ferguslie, the Eastern and Western Premier leaders, secured easy wins yesterday to set up an intriguing Citylets Scottish Cup semi-final this afternoon.
The pair meet at Raeburn Place and both will be full of confidence as they home-in on a possible league and cup double.
Having slipped-up for the first time last week, Grange bounced back in style to post 260-6 against Watsonians at Myreside, Scotland star Dylan Budge stroking a classy 95 after Gordon Goudie had set them on their way with a rapid half-century.
Grange’s spinners then took control, Neil McCallum and Andrew Brock sharing seven wickets as ‘Sonians responded with 178.
There was more good news for Grange when they left the field to discover that closest challengers Heriot’s, who host Arbroath in today’s other semi-final, had fallen to a surprise derby defeat at Carlton.
Chasing 181, youngster Tom Simpson was the home hero with 62no while Ali Evans contributed 45 as Carlton recovered from 82-5 to reach the target with four wickets in hand.
Elsewhere third top Forfarshire survived a mini-scare to overpower struggling Stewarts Melville at Forthill.
Having dismissed the visitors for just 90, Liam Sweeney claiming four wickets and Scott Cameron three, ‘Shire found themselves in trouble on 6-2 following the loss of Matty Parker and Rory Johnston.
However, Scotland duo Craig Wallace (26no) and Michael Leask (46no) saw their side home with no more alarms.
Six Aberdeenshire players recorded ducks as they went down to RH Corstorphine by 76 runs at Barnton where Calum Clarkson claimed 3-20 and Majid Haq 3-31.
Haq had earlier made 33 and Elliot Foster 34 in a total of 157.
Glenrothes remain winless after a 6-run defeat to Arbroath at Gilvenbank.
Ferguslie, who will host next month’s cup final, managed to stay focused on the job in hand when they swept aside the challenge of Ayr with a 154-run win at Cambusdoon.
Gregor Preston-Jones was the star of a solid batting display, hitting 73 while there were good contributions from Elliot Moses (59) and Riyaad Henry (31) along with some lower order cameos as the visitors posted 281-6.
Ayr’s reply never got out of first gear as the Ferguslie bowlers took control, skipper Jamey Carruthers claiming three wickets to help dismiss Ayr for 132.
West of Scotland secured a dramatic one-wicket win at Greenock to ease fears of being sucked into a relegation scrap and leave the home side in deep trouble.
Having dismissed Greenock for 143, West were cruising on 133-6 until they lost three wickets in a single over.
With the scores tied batsman Nick Boller then struck the ball straight to a fielder who spilled a straightforward catch allowing the batsmen to scamper the winning single.
Coenie Nel’s second century of the campaign proved in vain for Poloc who went down by five wickets to Clydesdale at Shawholm.
Poloc, seeking a rare southside derby win, were in contention when Nel’s 97-ball 107no carried them to 216-7, Zeeshan Bashir the standout bowler for Dale with 2-19 from his ten overs.
Richie Berrington, who also claimed two scalps, then led the reply with 60 before Kallum Dhami guided his team to the target with an unbeaten 61 as the visitors won with fifteen balls to spare.
Scott Beveridge claimed 4-23 before Chris Bellwood stroked 86no as Dumfries moved off the foot of the table with a six-wicket win against Prestwick while Stirling, for whom skipper Matt Tweedie top-scored with an unbeaten 92, maintained their excellent form with a 13-run win over Uddingston at New Williamfield.