Poloc retain Premier status
William Dick, Cricket Media Scotland
Poloc last night put their off-field problems behind them to secure premier division status at the expense of an Aberdeenshire side which suffered the heartache of missing out on promotion for the second year running.
The Glasgow side went into this winner-takes-all clash at New Williamfield, Stirling, on the back of revelations that opening batsman Zulfi Shahid had been expelled from the club while a number of players had left in protest.
However, they put these issues to one side and ran out comfortable 34-run victors against a Shire side which found the absence of two of their key players - Colin Smith and David Cox - a harder handicap to overcome.
Having posted 213, Poloc virtually had the match in the bag after reducing their rivals to 55-7. The celebrations were put on hold as Simom McGillewie and Tyler Buchan staged a brave rearguard action in an eighth-wicket stand that threatened to throw the match into the melting pot.
However, when McGillewie fell for 76, the game's top score, the Dons fell away and were bowled out with almost five overs remaining.
Earlier Poloc recovered from the early loss of Keith Sheridan to provide the platform for a substantial total. The former Scotland player had made just a single before he edged Chris West to first slip.
West thought he had struck again when Robin Cheesman skied one towards cover point but the chance was spilled. Instead Cheesman, on 26 at the time, went on to record a half-century in a punishing second-wicket partnership with South African compatriot Gary Hampson.
Cheesman greeted Graham Clubb's introduction to the aberdeenshire attack with two straight fours while Hampson, Poloc's talented professional, also opened out as the bowlers toiled.
On this occasion Hampson was upstaged by his colleague, eventually trapped in front by McGillewie for 39.
Cheesman maintained his onslsaught, though, with two expansive sixes over wide long-on.
The young South African amateur went on to top-score with 71 while Saleem Sajjad contributed 44 but three wickets apiece for Buchan and Graham Clubb prevented Poloc from reaching the 240+ score which experts reckoned had been attainable.
In the event they had more than enough.
Arbroath held their nerve in a thrilling first/second division play-off, the Lochlands men retaining their place in the higher group thanks to a two-wicket triumph off the last delivery against Dunfermline.
Meanwhile, stand-in Saltires coach Pete Steindl stroked a superb 91 to help Corstorphine retain their SNCL status at the expense of Strathmore.
Steindl offered to come out of retirement after his old club's two Aussie stars returned home before Corstorphine's most important game in years.
And the ex-Scotland star, who will help coach the national side during the Twenty20 World Cup later this month, turned back the clock with a vintage display.
The Aussie-born all-rounder took advantage of two dropped catches to hammer the ball to all corners of the Freuchie ground as Corstorphine rattled-up 261-6.
In reply the Forfar men could only stagger to 89 all out while seamer Mark Allan claimed career-best figures of 6-19.