Dumfries and West gain last over wins
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
THE season may have been blighted by rain and fears over declining standards but the Western Premier Division is at least poised for a dramatic finale.
With two weeks of the campaign left three teams remain in contention to lift the title while Greenock and Stirling are still haunted by the spectre of relegation.
Clydesdale’s clash at Drumpellier having become the latest victim of a sodden ground, Dumfries and West of Scotland carved-out thrilling last-over wins to boost their hopes of silverware.
The prospects looked less than encouraging for Dumfries when they required 13 runs from the last six deliveries of a tense clash at Uddingston.
To make matters worse for the visitors, their last pair were at the crease and Sri Lankan professional Ras Priyadarshana, who already had four wickets to name, was the bowler.
However, Pat Druce hit boundaries off the first two deliveries before scampering a single off the next.
That left Jerry Goodin as the hero, striking the only ball he faced through the covers for the winning boundary that keeps Dumfries top of the table.
The reality is now tantalising for the Nunholm club whose captain Stuart Corbett-Byers declared: “Results like that are the making of champions.
“We have two games to go and with two wins we will be crowned champions.”
West of Scotland might have something to say about that after they too held their nerve in dramatic circumstances.
In a match reduced to 35 overs at Glenpark the Partick side found themselves defending a healthy 154/7 thanks to Ricky Martin’s 58.
John Blain struck a seemingly decisive blow when he dismissed Greenock’s Richie Berrington for 43.
However, the hosts were still in contention going into a final over from which they needed 11 runs.
They fell agonisingly just one run short as Ian Cran claimed a wicket with the last ball of the match.
Defeat has sent Greenock back to the foot of the table after Stirling secured only their second win of the season at Ayr.
Craig Thyssen’s 90 helped the hosts reach 215 all out but Josh Edwards stroked 70 as Stirling reached their target with five wickets to spare.