Ayr claim first Irvin Iffla Shield with win at Stirling
Cricket silverware is not often handed out in June but Ayr’s victory over Stirling at New Williamfield on Saturday was worth more than ten points in their quest to climb up the table.
In addition they became the recipients of the Irvin Iffla Shield, a trophy which will be up for grabs each time these sides meet. The prize has been raised in honour of the great West Indian all-rounder, who captained both Stirling and Ayr, after settling in Scotland in the 1950s.
Iffla died this year, and Keith Graham, who has also skippered the two sides, was a guest of honour to witness the unveiling of a memorial bench before Ayr completed an 83-run win.
Graham said: “Irvin was a great man and a great cricketer and this trophy is a fitting way to keep his memory alive. He was a straight-talking guy that you didn’t mess with. He was also a very generous man. Often in games that didn’t matter too much he would get a young player out lbw but not appeal because he wanted to give the youngster another chance.”
Iffla would no doubt be an asset around either of these clubs both of whom are in a period of transition. On the day it was Craig Thyssen, Ayr’s South African professional, who made the difference. Thyssen stroked a superb 97, supported by Andi McElnea’s 38, as the visitors posted 212.
Stirling never got going and they were dismissed for just 128.
Elsewhere, the lead changed hands as Dumfries suffered defeat for the first time at the hands of Uddingston, while West of Scotland took advantage with victory over Greenock.
Having restricted Uddingston to 189-8 at Nunholm, Dumfries may have fancied reaching their revised target of 182 in 40 overs.
However, Calum MacLeod claimed 4-33 as the home side were restricted to 157-7.
MacLeod said: “It was an important win for us and a good one because we were without a few first team regulars.”
West are the new leaders after a brilliant eight-over spell by John Blain turned their game with Greenock at Hamilton Crescent.
The visitors were holding their own with Sailesh Prabhu going strong before former Scotland star Blain entered the attack to claim 3-8.
After a rain interruption Ryan Begley’s 41no hoisted Greenock’s tally to 135-8 before West easily reached their revised target of 164 with seven wickets in hand.
Talented teenager Andrew Umeed top-scored with 66 while Greg Watson also hit a half- century.
Rain was the winner at Titwood where just 3.4 overs were possible in the clash between Clydesdale and Drumpellier.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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