Chalmers the star in first Grand Final
STUART Chalmers believes namesake Ewan has cemented his place in the Saltires team after batting Watsonians to Grand Final glory.
The Myreside skipper feared the worst when his side slumped to 59-6 against Dumfries in Saturday’s showdown between the Eastern and Western champions. ‘Sonians only needed 126 for victory but the target looked a long way off as the Nunholm bowlers seized control.
However, Ewan Chalmers came to the rescue with the innings of the day as the Edinburgh club finally eased home by three wickets and with 11 overs to spare.
Chalmers faced 95 balls for his unbeaten 70 and stroked eight boundaries on a day when no other batsman looked comfortable. The innings followed his 86 for the Scotland Lions three days earlier and his captain is in no doubt that the match-winner is destined for great things. Stuart said: “Ewan showed just how good a cricketer he is with that innings. He is a natural in everything he does and is still improving. I know he’s had a few games for the Saltires but for me he should now be a first choice.”
With the exception of Peter Legget, who gave Chalmers solid support with 22, the captain was less complimentary about the remainder of his batsmen. “I was really happy with the first half – bowling them out for 125 was a great effort and we’ve been rolling teams over cheaply all season. But in the second half we just didn’t play the conditions properly and too many of us got out to daft shots. It’s something we have to work on.
“With six guys down it was certainly more than a bit nervy but Ewan got us over the line with a brilliant innings.”
Scottish cricket’s inaugural Grand Final should have been a romp for Watsonians after they dismissed Dumfries for just 125.
However, the Nunholm club were clearly reading a different script – just as they have done all season. Instead, the evergreen Pat Druce and Chris McCutcheon induced early jitters by reducing the favourites to 23-1.
The left-arm spin of Scott Beveridge then claimed 3-17 in a superb ten-over spell and suddenly an upset looked on the cards.
Chalmers, though, held his nerve and showed his considerable class in winning the match.
Earlier, Dumfries had suffered a collapse of their own, slumping to 26-5 before Stuart Corbett-Byers inspired the recovery with a battling 32.
Davie Davidson carried on the fight with an unbeaten 38 including four boundaries as Dumfries posted a total which had looked beyond them.
Chalmers added: “We knew Dumfries would make it hard for us and all credit to them for the way they battled. We’re delighted to be Scottish champions and it’s an extra special feeling coming a week after we lost the Scottish Cup final.
“We are a young developing side who will benefit from both these experiences.”
Corbett-Byers, the defeated captain, shared his counterpart’s optimism for the future.
He said: “We may have come up a bit short on the day but we have had a fantastic season and no-one can take that away from us.
“People have ‘dissed’ us all season and said that the best team wasn’t at the top of the table but we won the Western Premier title on merit. The club is moving forward in the right direction.”
Meanwhile. Hillhead’s hopes of playing in the CS Western First division next season were dashed on Saturday.
The Hughenden side needed victory against Kelburne who finished bottom of the table this term. However, inspired by a century from Matt McMillan, the Paisley team staved-off relegation with a comfortable play-off win at Cambusdoon.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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