Ferguslie and Clydesdale battle it out for Western Premiership title

Ferguslie and Clydesdale will today battle it out at Meikleriggs in a winner-takes-all clash to determine the destination of the Western Premier championship trophy.
Richie Berrington will be absent as he is on Scotland duty.Richie Berrington will be absent as he is on Scotland duty.
Richie Berrington will be absent as he is on Scotland duty.

In a fitting finale to a season which was delayed by Covid restrictions, the best two teams in the division have the chance to end in a blaze of glory.

Both have already savoured success this term with the Paisley team winning the Rowan Cup earlier in the season while Dale lifted the McCulloch Cup just last Sunday.

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Ferguslie may hold a slight psychological edge, having won the corresponding league encounter at Titwood in July but Clydesdale, with just that one defeat, have had their noses in front for much of the campaign.

Dale skipper Paddy Barbour is relishing the opportunity to lead his club to their first league title since 2016 and said: “It’s a privilege to captain this team in any circumstances but to do it when we are challenging for the league is special.

“I think it’s great for the league that we’ve got a decider on the last day between two really good teams.

“We’re in confident mood because in the last few weeks we’ve been hitting proper form. Earlier in the season we were finding ways to win games we should probably have lost and that could stand us in good stead but hopefully we can play some quality cricket.

“We’ve only lost three games in all competitions throughout the season and although one of them was against Ferguslie I don’t think that will have any bearing on tomorrow’s match."

Riyaad Henry, the Ferguslie captain, scored one of his three centuries of the campaign in that Titwood encounter and Barbour added: “A couple of small things went against us that day and, of course, Riyaad played a great knock.

“But it was pretty close and it could be again, but we’re confident we can come out on top.”

Ferguslie counterpart Henry said: “The excitement has been building all week and the guys are really up for it.

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“Clydesdale are a very good team but as always we will focus on our own game. We’ve gone on a long unbeaten run and the exciting thing for me is that we still haven’t played our best game.”

Ferguslie are without Haroon Tahir while Clydesdale miss Richie Berrington who is on Scotland duty.

Elsewhere, Dumfries go into their final match of the season at Prestwick with their top flight status secure after league officials awarded them the points from their controversially abandoned match at Greenock last month.

The game was called-off at the halfway stage when a Greenock player received news of a positive Covid test. Originally declared as a No Result, the Cricket Management Committee this week ruled that the outcome should be “victory by concession to Dumfries CC.”

Dumfries captain Chris McCutcheon declared: “We’re delighted and believe the correct decision has been made.

“Knowing we’ll be in the premier division next season allows us to build for the future and is great news not just for the first team but for all the youngsters who are coming through.”

The decision means relegation for Poloc who bow out with a home fixture against southside rivals Langside while relegated Greenock entertain Stirling and outgoing champions Uddingston visit West of Scotland.

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