Bailwal confident Forfar can bounce back
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
AMAN Bailwal last night insisted fallen giants Forfarshire can bounce back to the top flight of Scottish cricket at the first time of asking.
The young all-rounder confidently issued his forecast after it was confirmed that the Broughty Ferry side will finish at the basement of the Eastern Premiership.
A combination the abandonment of their tussle with Carlton in Edinburgh and the cancellation of the Stoneywood-Dyce v Aberdeenshire clash meant that there is no escape route for Bailwal and his mates.
However, he was quick to issue a defiant statement of intent by declaring: "I believe there is enough ability in our squad to go straight back up to where we should be.
"Weatherwise, it has been a wretched summer, but that is not the reason we ended up where we did.
"We simply under performed as a team and as individuals. Not enough of us - me included - played anywhere near our potential or with any consistency.
"A year ago we were challenging for the SNCL title, and even though we lost the influence of Ryan Watson and Umair Mohammed, we should have been able to go through our transition period in the middle portion of the table rather than in the relegation zone."
Carlton were also down in the dumps when stumps were drawn because the no-result ended their lingering hopes of landing the crown.
Having skittled Shire for just 80, they had raced to 53 without loss in the eighth over - however they couldn't win the race against the precipitation.
Earlier, Scotland pair Preston Mommsen and Gordon Drummond shared seven wickets at a total cost of 16 runs to demolish Forfarshire.
The upshot is that Watsonians and Grange are left vying for glory on the last Saturday.
Sonians' showdown with Arbroath was also a victim of the elements, however against the odds, Grange managed to squeeze out a victory over neighbours Heriot's at Raeburn Place.
It was ironic that the ground that was under water for a large portion of the campaign was the only venue to host a completed fixture!
Neil McCallum emerged as the prime performer with 54 as Grange posted 139 for six in 30 overs - and he followed up with four cheap wickets to peg Heriot's to 76 for seven in 20 overs - 21 short of the amended target.
The skipper said: "Somehow the rain stopped and we were able to get the match completed - it is a case of all to play for next weekend."
It was the same miserable climatic story in the West zone, where Dumfries, West of Scotland and Clydesdale remain in contention for the title as a result of no matches reaching a conclusion.
To make the situation even more exciting the first two teams go into head-to-head confrontation on Saturday, while Dale take on struggling Greenock.