Uddingston upbeat as battle for title goes down to wire

UDDINGSTON can today end a 79-year wait for a major league title when they face outgoing Western Premier champions Dumfries at Bothwell Castle Policies.

Victory will be enough to spark the celebrations and deny Clydesdale as the race goes to the last day of the season for the second year running.

The Lanarkshire side have led from the start and, despite a wobble going into the home straight, they are still in pole position to lift a league championship for the first time since the Western Union was claimed in 1934.

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There has, of course, been much more recent joy in cup competitions with two Scottish Cups while the CS Trophy was won six days ago. However, winning the Western Premier would trump these triumphs for the Bothwell club. Skipper Bryan Clarke said: “This is the big one for us and we’re looking forward to tomorrow especially after some great performances last weekend.

“We’re not interested in what’s happening elsewhere as we need to concentrate 100 per cent on our own game.”

Uddingston are without Derek Allan, whose place goes to Allan Laycock. Dumfries may have little to play for but beat West last week with Alan Davidson claiming 7-9.

Meanwhile, Clydesdale will be champions should they beat West of Scotland and Uddingston lose. However, even if Uddingston win, the Titwood men still have a chance of overhauling the Lanarkshire side’s superior net run-rate.

Such a scenario would require Clydesdale to overcome their Glasgow rivals by a massive margin and manager Colin Mitchell admitted: “It is not impossible to become champions that way but it is improbable. We have to focus first and foremost on beating West then seeing what has happened elsewhere.”

Clydesdale are at full strength while West will make changes to the side that lost to Uddingston in the CS Trophy final last Sunday.

If most interest centres on the battle for the title, it is just as close and perhaps even more tense at the other end of the table where Stirling and Ayr meet in a relegation dogfight.

The losers at New Williamfield will drop out of the top flight and, while Stirling currently prop up the table, a win would see their opponents go down. Ayr would settle for a repeat of the six-wicket win against today’s opponents earlier in the season. Both sides are close to full strength.

Renfrew entertain Drumpellier in the only clash with nothing at stake.