Watson believes win will be springboard to success
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
WEST of Scotland skipper Gregg Watson believes Saturday’s hard-fought win at Dumfries can provide the springboard for a successful return to the top flight.
The Hamilton Crescent club’s first game back in the Western Premier following a two-season absence was marked last week by a heart-breaking last-over defeat to Poloc.
But Watson’s men shrugged that disappointment aside to secure a morale-boosting three-wicket win at Nunholm.
Having reduced the hosts to 30-3, West were kept waiting as a century stand between Scott Beveridge (67) and Andrew Mascall (57) rekindled Dumfries’ challenge.
However, West’s bowlers fought back to claim the last seven wickets for just seven runs, with three apiece for Trevor Garwe and James Fennah as Dumfries were restricted to 165.
Watson then gave his side a solid start with a battling 28, an innings which set the tone for the Partick club’s reply as a series of modest contributions edged them towards the target while Dumfries stayed in the hunt by claiming wickets at regular intervals.
However, a couple of lusty blows from Dave McNulty eased the tension and got the visitors over the line with 2.4 overs to spare.
Watson said: “It was a brilliant win for the lads. This will give everyone a lift and now we’re really looking to get some momentum going.
“We had a good start in both innings before Dumfries fought back really well but we never gave up and got ourselves over the line.
“We’ve managed two partnerships of 50 for the first wicket in our first two games and from my point of view it’s good to be back playing at the higher standard – it certainly gets the adrenalin going.”
West’s next challenge comes against a Greenock side who must lift themselves following Saturday’s nine-wicket reverse at Ayr.
Indian professional Saurabh Bandekar, on debut, was one of just four players to reach double figures as Greenock were dismissed for 84, home skipper Andi McElnea returning remarkable figures of four wickets for just two runs from 5.5 overs.
McElnea’s unbeaten 37 then eased Ayr to victory.
Meanwhile Ferguslie are emerging as the team to beat after securing a second consecutive win against Uddingston at Meikleriggs.
The Paisley team were given a solid start by Gregor Preston-Jones and Michael English who contributed 80 before a spectacular collapse saw eight wickets fall for just 18 runs.
However, a valuable last-wicket stand of 30 between Greg Cameron and skipper Jamey Carruthers propelled the total to a competitive 169.
Uddingston’s hopes of a successful chase were dented when their first three batsmen fell to run-outs and they never fully recovered, going down by 39 runs as Hamza Tahir claimed 3-10.