Gary Heatly reports from Sunday’s Scottish Cup final…
Heriot’s have now won the Scottish Cup five times in their history after they defeated Edinburgh rivals Watsonians to lift the trophy at New Cambusdoon in Ayr on Sunday.
Before this year Heriot’s had been victorious in the showpiece event in 1978, 2000, 2012 and 2019 and they added 2021 to the list with a strong team performance.
Key to the 139-run win was 88 with the bat from player of the match Hayes van der Berg, 59 from skipper Mark Watt and a generally strong all-round fiending performance as 261-5 played 122 all out.
Tom Pratt bowled well with 2-26 for Watsonians, but their fielding let them down a bit in the latter part of the Heriot’s innings and their long wait to get their hands on the Scottish Cup for the first time goes on.
After a delay, the match got underway at 1.50pm and had been reduced to 40-overs-a-side.
Watsonians skipper Pete Maksimczyk won the toss and decided to have a bowl.
Heriot’s got off to a steady start before Keith Morton, playing in his fifth Scottish Cup final and his fourth for the Goldenacre men, was caught behind by wicketkeeper Parker Neame off the bowling of Pratt in the sixth over for five.
Van der Berg then joined Matthew Cross at the wicket and at the end of the eighth over Heriot’s were 26-1.
Seventeen runs came off the 11th over bowled by Josh Stinson as Heriot’s upped the scoring rate, moving on to 49-1.
By the end of the 16th over Heriot’s had moved on to 79-1 with Cross well set on 39 from 57 balls and van der Berg on 31 from just 26.
Young spinner Gregour Carr then got the key wicket of Scotland man Cross for 44, having him caught behind by Neame in the 19th over.
With captain Watt joining van der Berg at the wicket, Heriot’s were 88-2 at the 20 over mark.
The 100 came up in the 23rd over bowled by Carr and then in the 27th, bowled by the same bowler, van der Berg brought up his 50 off 50 balls including seven fours.
Off the first ball of the 30th over van der Berg hit Mike Carson for a six that went into a nearby garden and, later that over, a Watt single brought up the 150 for Heriot’s and it was 153-2 with 60 balls of their innings remaining.
Maksimczyk, who had been bowling earlier, brought himself on again in the 32nd over and had van der Berg and Watt both dropped by Carr in the deep within the space of a few balls.
A four by Watt brought up his 50 off 47 balls including seven fours and, having ridden their luck in the over, Heriot’s were now 180-2 and motoring on.
The 200 came up in the 34th over before Watt was caught on the boundary by Stinson off Pratt for 59.
With five overs of their innings left Heriot’s were on 209-3 with van der Berg having been joined at the crease by Michael Shean.
Van der Berg’s innings of 88 off 79 balls came to an end when he was caught by Andrew Chalmers off the bowling of Zach Place in the 37th over to leave them 212-4.
Two catches were dropped in the 38th over off Pratt with Shean and Lloyd Brown batting.
Stinson bowled the last over and Shean hit a four and a six before being caught by Maksimczyk for a quickfire 20.
Ryan Brown then hit a four and in the end Heriot’s posted 261-5 with Lloyd Brown finishing up on 21 not out.
Place and Carson opened the batting for Watsonians in reply with Elliot Ruthven and Joe Kinghorn-Gray opening the bowling for Heriot’s.
Kinghorn-Gray took a wicket early on, having Carson caught at slip for just one to give Heriot’s the perfect start to the second half.
Place and key batter Hairs then came together at the crease to consolidate things and after five overs ‘Sonians were 22-1.
However, in the very next over Place was out LBW to Kinghorn-Gray for 18 and the Myreside men were in a spot of bother.
Greg Brown joined Hairs at the crease and after eight overs they were 34-2.
In the ninth over Hairs hit a four and then a six – which went over the fence to the ground – off Gavin Main as they looked to speed up the scoring rate.
Hairs hit another six over the wall in the 11th over off Main, but the bowler got his revenge when he bowled the left hander for 26 off 28 balls to leave Watsonians on 57-3.
Brown and Chalmers then put on 11 for the fourth wicket before the latter was bowled for five by Main and Heriot’s were in control.
In the 18th over, Brown, who had been joined at the crease by Neame, hit a six off Adrian Neill and after 20 overs Watsonians were 91-4, needing another 171 runs from 120 balls to win.
In the 24th over a mix up in the middle saw Brown run out after wicketkeeper Cross took the bails off following a good thrown from Ruthven.
He had made 35 from 51 balls and at 107-5 Watsonians had it all to do.
Three overs later Neame was caught by Shean off the bowling of Watt for 15 and it was 118-6 and things rapidly went downhill from there.
In the end they were 122 all out as Heriot’s won by 139-runs after a great afternoon hosted so well by the Ayr club.
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