Aberdeenshire kept their title push on track winning a thriller against Heriot’s by one run.
The victory came at a cost for Shire, however, as opening batsman Chris Venske may be out for the rest of the season.
“It was a great game of cricket, spoiled only by the fact Chris may have broken his hand,” said Shire captain Tyler Buchan.
The win keeps Shire at the head of affairs in the Eastern Premier Division but they are being relentlessly chased by Arbroath United who beat Falkland.
“We just need to keep winning. I just hope we don’t have another nail-biter like this one,” said Buchan, who won the toss and elected to bat on a firm Goldenacre track.
The Mannofield captain’s decision to take first knock was vindicated by his batsmen who took the total for 237 for the loss of six wickets but owed much to Harsha Cooray who scored an unbeaten century after coming in with two wickets down for 55.
The Sri Lankan’s classy 102 included three 6s and nine fours, lasting 120 minutes, during which he faced 97 balls.
Venske had looked in good form until picking up his hand injury, prospering for 20 runs, while fellow opener Calum Howard kept up an end with 20 of his own, while Hayes van der Berg weighed in with 22. Vice-captain Kenny Reid scored a quickfire 19 to keep the scoreboard ticking over late in the innings.
The Heriot’s reply was led by former Stoneywood-Dyce player Steve Knox, who hung around for an invaluable 63, but it was Cameron Farrell (57) and James Hearn (48) who took the Edinburgh side to the brink of victory before Rory Martin and van der Berg accounted for the duo.
When van der Berg claimed the wicket of Ulrich Jooste with eight required it looked all over, only for the home side to rally, taking the score to one behind the Shire total with one delivery to come. South African van der Berg rose to the occasion, scattering the stumps of James Hearn to claim victory for title-chasing Shire.
Martin claimed the bowling honours with an impressive return of three for 42.