MICHAEL English stroked a composed century as Western Warriors ended a miserable Tilney Pro50 campaign with their first win and denied champions Eastern Knights an unbeaten record.
In a match reduced to 43 overs at Merchiston Castle School, English’s effort helped the visitors set the Knights a 247 target and the champions suffered the worst possible start to their chase when they lost big-hitting George Munsey who was bowled by Gavin Main in the first over.
Fellow big-hitter Oli Hairs launched the counter-attack with a series of typically expansive strokes as the home side quickly recovered from the shock.
However, having raced to 41 from only 24 balls in a total of 62, the tournament’s leading run scorer was bowled by Abdul Sabri.
Adil Ghaffar, making his first appearance of the season, inflicted a further blow when he became the third Warriors bowler to hit the stumps, removing Dylan Budge for 17.
With the total on 73-3, the champions badly needed a partnership of substance but it refused to materialise as captain Preston Mommsen was next to go, caught by Mo Awais off Ross Lyons.
The Knights had to be content with a series of cameos as the Warriors seized their opportunity to end the campaign with a morale-boosting victory to take into next month’s T20 Blitz.
Peter Ross top-scored for the Knights with 48no but Main’s pace proved too much for the home side’s lower order, the Uddingston bowler claiming 3-20. Sabri, Lyons and Hamza Tahir had two each as the Warriors claimed a 56-run win.
Earlier English dominated the Warriors’ batting effort with a brilliant century as the men from the west looked intent on making a last-day statement.
Arriving at the crease after Mo Awais had been run out in the fourth over by Budge, English put on 59 for the second wicket with Owais Shah who marked his first appearance of the season with a solid contribution of 33 including three boundaries and a six.
There were further useful partnerships with Craig Young (20) and Riyaad Henry (21) but, in the continued absence of injured skipper Richie Berrington, it was English who took responsibility to go on and play a major innings.
The former Ferguslie batsman reached a deserved century with six boundaries and three maximums but was out to a superb catch by Mommsen shorty afterwards as Gordon Goudie struck.
That left Sabri to provide the late fireworks, the Uddingston all-rounder blazing his way to a 22-ball 33 with three big sixes before being bowled by Goudie.
However, his effort helped the Warriors post a creditable 246-8. Goudie was the most successful Knights bowler with 3-60 while youngster Jamie Cairns impressed with 2-43 from his nine overs.