Ferguslie march towards title
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
A potentially decisive day at the top of the Western Premier saw leaders Ferguslie continue their march to the title while both their closest challengers slipped up.
Ferguslie skipper Jamey Carruthers admitted he may have enjoyed a slice of luck by losing the toss at Uddingston where the home team elected to bat first.
Instead of the anticipated run-feast, though, the wicket proved to offer more assistance to bowlers than batsmen as the home side soon discovered, subsiding to 12-3.
Stand-in captain Hari Singh dug deep to score an impressive 65no as Uddy clawed their way to 141-8 from fifty attritional overs but the Ferguslie bowlers, for whom Riyaad Henry was the standout with 3-36, always looked in control.
The visitors lost in-form Michael English and Gregor Preston-Jones early in the reply as batting continued to prove challenging but Henry completed a man-of-the-match performance with 67 as Ferguslie won by six wickets with almost eight overs to spare.
Carruthers said: “On reflection it was a great toss to lose because I was set on batting.
“But the pitch proved to be very tough for batting. Riyaad was the big difference today – he bowled and batted beautifully.
“It’s another great result for us. I’m not too bothered with other results but if they go in our favour that’s all the better.”
The outcome at Titwood certainly went in Ferguslie’s favour as second top Clydesdale crashed to a 105-run defeat to Stirling.
Brandon McMullen (69) and skipper Matt Tweedie (68) made the most significant contributions to an imposing total of 303 before Tom Jones was on-song with the ball, claiming 3-31 to help dismiss Dale for 198.
The victory moves Stirling into third place and Tweedie, whose side were promoted last season, said: “I would definitely have taken this at the start of the season and hopefully we can keep this momentum going into a couple of big games coming up.
“It was a really good team performance from start to finish. The top order set a great platform and were well supported by the rest throughout the innings.
“Bowling was shared between eight players and everyone bowled really well in partnerships, keeping it tight and taking our chances when they came.”
It is so congested in mid-table that Poloc have fallen from third to sixth after their winning run came to an end at Prestwick.
The visitors squandered a solid start which had seen them put on 70 for the first wicket to post just 157 before Fraser Macdonald’s unbeaten 66 guided the champions to a four-wicket win.
It is similarly tight at the foot where previously bottom Greenock’s three-wicket win over Ayr was enough to propel them out of the relegation places, leapfrogging their opponents in the process.
West of Scotland’s clash with Dumfries was abandoned due to an unfit Hamilton Crescent pitch.