Centurions help Carlton crush Grange
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
Stevie Gilmour played down one of the best knocks of his career at the weekend and diverted the praise towards Carlton stalwart Cedric English.
The pair figured in a remarkable double-century unbeaten partnership to seal a nine-wicket victory over capital rivals Grange at Raeburn Place.
It was a result that propelled Gilmour and Co to the head of the Premiership title race - and he branded it very special on two counts.
He explained: "For a start, beating Grange always adds something. We know their guys well and we are great mates, but on the field the rivalry is red hot.
"Also, achieving a performance like that without Scotland squad guys Fraser Watts, Gordon Drummond and Preston Mommsen was amazing."
From a personal point of view, Gilmour could not disguise his joy after his 108, saying: "It was my first ton for several seasons and there is no doubt that Cedric was a big help.
"He is such a calming influence out in the middle and his talents just rub off on you. It was his fourth century in his last six SNCL knocks, which is a wonderful sequence. I really think he is the best batsman in the country - amateur or professional."
English struck 119 as Carlton cruised to the target of 262.
Giles Holmes had top scored for Grange with 68, while Ally Evans was the most effective visiting bowler with three for 47.
Adam-Lockhart Krause was another centurion as Heriot's outgunned Aberdeenshire at Goldenacre.
Former Scots seamer Craig Mackellar - who snapped up three crucial Dons wickets - reckons Heriot's can, like Carlton, mount a strong challenge for the crown.
He said: "If we keep up the momentum and steer clear of injuries then we can be right up there.
"I am delighted I made the move to the club. They are a great bunch of lads with terrific spirit. "Adam's hundred was great to watch, though he had a scare when he was dropped on 47. He let rip with his second 50, which just took us out of reach."
Mackellar rocked Shire by removing Ian Brand and Gerry Strydom (a sizzling gully catch by Sean Weeraratna) with successive balls.
Lockhart-Krause (117 from 137 deliveries) was well supported by Peter Ross (62), while Tyler Buchan was the pick of the Shire attack with three for 47.
Set 259 for victory, the Dons suffered a big setback when veteran Neil MacRae was trapped lbw to the first delivery of Andre van Niekerk's spell.
Heriot's seemed to be destined for a clear-cut success, but a last wicket Aberdeenshire stand of 57 made it a dramatic finale and they went down by only six runs.
Chris West was the mainstay of the latter part of their innings, with 32.
Arbroath veteran Ben McGill insisted there will be no panic after their surprise home defeat by basement boys West of Scotland.
Paceman McGill - back in action after abandoning plans to retire from first-team cricket - reckons the result will help to concentrate the minds of the squad's youngsters over the rest of the campaign.
Arbroath appeared to be in the box seat as they dismissed the visitors for 158, but the worsening weather did not work in their favour and they were teetering on 76 for eight when the tussle was decided.
McGill said: "We really did well to bowl them out for that total, even though wasn't our best fielding performance of all time.
"We then struggled with the bat, but in fairness their pro Colin de Grandhomme and Dave McNulty bowled well first up, taking the game away from us.
"They definitely deserved their victory and it was a bit of a wake-up call.
"We know we have a talented young team, but was also knew when the season started that we would take a few beatings at this level.
"We are still confidence that we will prove ourselves to be good enough to survive and compete in this division.
"The cricket we produced to beat Uddingston and Aberdeenshire was first rate, and we are looking on the West game as a minor glitch.
"And hopefully we will have our pro for next weekend's trip to Greenock - along with vice-captain Calvin Burnett, who has been on Scotland duty.
De Grandhomme (36) and old stager Dougie Lockhart (32) were the mainstays of the West innings, while Craig Ramsay and Greg Peal shared seven wickets. Dunfermline's shaky run continued as they plunged to a six-wicket reverse at the hands of Watsonians in Edinburgh. The host batsmen made a mockery of the amended target of 176 from 44 overs, clinching the glory in the 32nd.
Stuart Chalmers was in great nick with 63 not out, finishing the job in the company of skipper Craig Wright (33 not out). Tim Weston had provided the early momentum with 47.
Half centuries from George Ninan, John Fletcher and Michael Leask enabled Stoneywood-Dyce to brush aside the challenge of Clydesdale by seven wickets.
Zulfi Shaheed (60) had propelled Dale to 220 for nine before the Aberdonians completed the job in the 46th over.
The rest of the programme was washed out.