DON’T mention Forfarshire in the same sentence as the word “champions” to Michael Leask.
The Scotland all-rounder made that clear as he looked back on an unblemished first-half to the league campaign of the Broughty Ferry boys.
They marked the midway stage with a predictably comfortable victory over Stew-Mel at Forthill and they will now aim to protect their unbeaten record on the same turf when they square up to chief chasers and current title holders Grange next weekend.
Leask said: “Of course we are where we want to be at this stage of the season – but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!
“There is no denying that we have had a very successful couple of months, but we are aware that we have some massive challenges to come.
“The most heartening aspect for me is that so many guys in the squad have contributed to our run of victories in every discipline of the game. We now have three home fixtures in quick succession, starting with Grange. They are always a threat and have some amazing players.
“We are looking forward to a tough encounter. They will be snapping at our heels and we need to be geared up for a real battle throughout the second and decisive portion of the season.”
Craig Wallace (76) and Umair Mohammed (73 not out) emerged as the prime heroes at the weekend as Forfarshire cruised to the 209 target with more than eight overs and seven wickets in hand.
Earlier, Brock Ditchmen was the pick of the attack with three scalps.
Grange’s success against RHC at Raeburn Place was equally comprehensive. Dylan Budge smashed 124 not out and George Munsey made 80 to propel the champs to a lofty 312 for four before youngsters Charlie Peet and Conor Shorten shared four wickets as the visitors were shot out for 192.
Drop-zone strugglers Aberdeenshire returned to losing ways as Carlton demolished them at Mannofield.
Ali Evans and Corne Dry boasted combined figures of six for 18 to send Shire hurtling to 45 all out – leaving the Edinburgh men with a formality of a pursuit.
There was further misery for Arbroath, whose battling qualities were not enough to halt Watsonians at Lochlands. Mike Carson (98) inspired the Myresiders to post 239 before the hosts were dismissed 57 runs adrift of the target.
Heriot’s needed to dig deep to account for Stoneywood-Dyce at Goldenacre. Responding to SD’s 151 all out, they got across the line with only three men to spare.