Geary delight as Dumfries lift title
Willie Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
JOSH Geary expressed his pride after guiding Dumfries to the Western Premier Division title on Saturday.
The Australian led from the front with a battling 67 as the Nunholm side held off closest challengers West of Scotland to clinch the silverware.
Geary only took the reins as Dumfries entered the closing straight of a rain-hit campaign after Stuart Corbett-Byers opted to stand down.
And Geary, who is unlikely to return to Scotland next season, also paid tribute to his predecessor before the celebrations got into full flow.
“It’s real honour for me to captain this group of players to this success,” said Geary.
“Winning the title in our first season in the top flight is a fantastic achievement by all concerned.
“Stuart deserves big praise because he got us on course with some great results early in the season and it was easy for me when he decided he wanted to off-load the weight a few weeks ago.
“I think the key to our success has been good team-work. We obviously have some star players like young Tommy McBride who is just back from the U19 World Cup.
“But it’s not so much about stars as the whole team. When someone fails we’ve got another guy who will put his hand up to be counted.”
It was not all plain sailing for Dumfries on a day which could also have seen Clydesdale come from behind to clinch the title.
Indeed, after being sent in to bat on a soft wicket, they were in dire straights on 30-3.
However, Geary and McBride put on more than 100 runs for the fourth wicket to put their side on course.
The Australian top-scored with 67 while McBride made 35 as the home side posted 196-7.
However, John Blain’s 3-18 appeared to have kept West firmly in contention.
That assessment reckoned without the contribution of Dumfries bowler Alan Davidson who claimed 6-30 as the visitors subsided to 134 all out.
“I’d been trying to take Alan out of the attack for about six overs,” admitted Geary.
“But every time I said it was his last over he kept taking a wicket. It was a brilliant performance.”
Dumfries’ success meant Clydesdale’s seven-wicket win over Greenock was in vain.
Majid Haq claimed four wickets as the Glenpark men were shot out for 95.
Richie Berrington hit 33 runs and then claimed three wickets but his efforts were unable to prevent Greenock plunging through the relegation trapdoor.