Ferguslie win CSL40
Greenock rolled out the red carpet and cranked up the stereo for the CSL40 Cup Final on Sunday. Two coachloads of East Kilbride's finest rolled into town, fresh from their magnificent CSL First Division triumph the day before and Ferguslie arrived with just about enough designated drivers to get back home at the conclusion of an epic battle on the Glenpark turf. Gregor Preston-Jones won the toss and decided his Ferguslie team would have first knock on a chilly, dank afternoon.
Umpires Mike Nash and Jim McClymont led the teams out at precisely noon to the cheers of the largely still sober crowd. East Kilbride bowled excellently and Ferguslie were indebted to Keith Dabengwa's 47 as they limped to 107 for 5 after 28 overs. David Stafford was joined at this point by Michael Homewood as they set about taking Ferguslie to competitive total. Homewood went for 30, at 163, but Stafford surged on with some wonderful driving and a magnificent 6 over the wall and into Fox Street as he made 56. Ferguslie were all out in the final over for 188 and East Kilbride, despite still being slight favourites, faced a stiff task.
Gary Kleinveldt and Harry Singh make the chase look very easy as they strolled to 69 but Hamza Tahir then removed both in successive deliveries to drag Ferguslie back into the contest. Again and East Kilbride partnership took command as Kampman and Johnston moved into the 90s before both fell in the space of two overs. Umair Saeed and Peter Bocock then looked comfortable as the pendulum swung back in favour of East Kilbride and with 35 needed from 7 overs with 6 wickets in hand the double looked certain. The last throw of the dice for Ferguslie was to give the ball to Michael English and a decisive throw it was.
English removed Saeed, Bocock went to a superb catch from Preston-Jones and, as the required rate increased and the field dropped back with there being no fielding restrictions, English ran through the tail to leave Ferguslie winners by just 12 runs. David Stafford's half century secured the man of the match award but praise is also due to Dabengwa, Homewood, English and Kleinveldt who all ran him close. A match that had ebbed and flowed first one way then the other all afternoon, was over, the bar was rapidly running dry, the East Kilbride bus was commendably in no hurry to leave and Ferguslie savoured the taste of success in the inaugural CSL40 Cup when presented to them by Peter Hempsey, President of the magnificent hosts.
At Titwood, Kilmarnock came agonisingly close to triumphing in the Western Cup. Chasing down the home side's 162, Killie were halted in their tracks by man of the match and former Clydesdale skipper Zeeshan Bashir who helped Titwood home by just 10 runs.