Kelburne score low but Freuchie still fall short
To that end, they scratched from this season's UK-wide tournament, recruited a professional from Pakistan and turned their focus on survival in their own back yard.
But their quest suffered a surprise setback yesterday when they were beaten by newly promoted Kelburne in a depressingly low-scoring encounter at Whitehaugh.
The picture had looked bright for the Fifers when they dismissed their Paisley hosts for only 103.
However, the tide turned quickly in favour of the home side when Freuchie had their turn in the middle, hurtling to 89 all out.
Explaining their policy, president John Anderson said: "It was a very, very hard decision to make about our participation in the Village Cup because it is an event which had become synonymous with us.
"The bottom line was that we had to turn all our attention to staying in the SNCL because that is our bread and butter competition."
Yesterday's outcome notwithstanding, Anderson added: "The approach seems to be paying off because our results overall to date have been much more encouraging than they were at this stage last season."
David Harper emerged as the dominant threat with the ball, snapping up five Freuchie wickets for 27, while Steve McLister grabbed three for 21.
Pacesetters Dumfries took another stride towards the title by sweeping aside the challenge of Weirs at Nunholm.
Scott Beveridge led the charge with 131, while one of the country's most talented young batsmen, Tom McBride, made 95 to propel them to 298 for three – well beyond the scope of the Albert Park brigade.
West Lothian again had pro Kruger van Wyk to thank as they dumped Imans Edinburgh by five wickets in the capital.
George Heath and Alan Williamson shared a seven-scalp haul, sending the home side sliding to 132 all out.
Van Wyk then took centre stage with a typically robust 63 to rule out any chance of a fightback.