Clydesdale survived a huge scare before clinching the Western Premier championship at the second time of asking with a tense win over Kelburne at Whitehaugh yesterday. The Titwood men thought they had completed a successful defence of their title seven days earlier when their match against Prestwick was abandoned.
However, they failed to follow the proper procedure in calling that game off and a subsequent disciplinary hearing awarded the points to Prestwick, opening the door for East Kilbride to win the trophy had Clydesdale lost yesterday. And for several anxious minutes that possibility looked more of a probability as Dale, chasing just 62 on a minefield of a pitch slumped to 30-6. However, just as he had done in last Sunday’s Scottish Cup final triumph against Arbroath, Con de Lange rose admirably to the challenge. The South African-born Scotland all-rounder had earlier claimed five wickets and he completed a match-winning display with the outstanding innings of the game.
Taking matters into his own hands as his colleagues came and went, De Lange three times in one over hit Ross Maclean back over his head to the boundary. Maclean, with three wickets, including those of Richie Berrington and Majid Haq, had helped spark the mayhem along with the veteran Scott Hamilton who claimed 4-14. However, De Lange had the final say as Dale completed their victory by three wickets. Skipper Haq, pictured, said: “Con has stepped-up another level with two fantastic innings in the last week. As our player-coach he is the hardest worker at the club and this is a reward for that hard work.
“But all the players deserve credit for the way they have performed all season. This has been a difficult week for everyone at the club and it’s a relief to finally get the trophy.”
Clydesdale’s win meant the outcome of East Kilbride’s match against Uddingston became irrelevant but the Torrance House troops did their bit, winning by 68 runs. Ross Lyons again starred with the bat, striking six maximums in his 27-ball 59no as EK posted 226-8.
Elsewhere Fraser MacDonald and Fazal Jawad scored half-centuries in Prestwick’s eight-wicket win over Stenhousemuir and Hamza Tahir claimed six wickets as Ferguslie won at Drumpellier.
Eastern Premier champions Carlton warmed-up for Saturday’s CS Grand Final showdown with Clydesdale by hitting the highest team total of the season. They rattled-up 388-5 against relegated Stoneywood-Dyce, Mario Olivier (105no) and Hugo Southwell (94no) adding 195 in just 94 balls.
Graeme Beghin hit a century in his final game for Forfarshire who beat Grange by seven wickets at Forthill while long-time leaders Watsonians were too strong for Glenrothes.
Aberdeenshire secured victory at Arbroath while Safyaan Sharif took 6-19 as Falkland dismissed Heriot’s for just 69 to win by 115 runs at Scroggie Park.