Forfarshire win U18 National Club Championship
Semi-finals: Clydesdale 133/6 (L James 3/30) beat Poloc 98/7 (C James 34)
Forfarshire 115/4 (C Robertson 62*) beat Grange 114/4 (J Dickinson 42*)
Final: Forfarshire 113/0 (R Johnston 43*, C Garden 59*) beat Clydesdale 109/7 (R Johnston 3/17)
Cricket Scotland’s U18 National Club Championship Finals’ Day took place at Titwood (Clydesdale CC) on Sunday 30th August 2015.
The first semi-final saw a Glasgow ‘southside’ derby take place as hosts Clydesdale CC played Poloc CC. Clydesdale chose to bat first and their early effort was based around 24 from Gregor Anderson. However, Poloc kept picking up wickets – with Lewis James (3/30) doing the main damage. This left Clydesdale 86/6 in the 15th over – until U15s Ihtesham Ul Haq (20*) and Luke Macias (22*) built a vital partnership to take Clydesdale to 133/6 off their 20 overs.
Despite losing the early wicket of Owais Shah (0), Poloc had reached 51/1 off 10 overs. However wickets then fell at regular intervals as the pressure to keep up with the run rate increased. U15 Calum James made an impressive 34, with Adil Ghaffar (2/15) being the pick of the bowling attack. Poloc finished on 98/7 off their 20 overs.
The second semi-final saw Grange CC bat first against Forfarshire CC. The Forfarshire bowling attack had kept the Grange batters in check, with the score being just 86/4 off of 18 overs. However, an explosive final two overs saw Grange take their total to 114/4. James Dickinson (42*, including two sixes in the 19th over) was the pick of the batters.
Early in the reply the momentum stayed with Grange as both Rory Johnston (0) and Scott Cameron (3) were bowled, to leave Forfarshire 6/2 after two overs. However, Christian Robertson and Scotland U15 captain Callum Garden were in no mood to let Grange take full control of the match. The pair built an excellent 68 run partnership for the third wicket, taking the score to 79/3 off 15 overs. With 36 needed off 30 deliveries, Robertson stayed calm and continued his superb innings – bringing up a well-deserved fifty and then going on to see his side home with two deliveries to spare. Forfarshire 115/4, Robertson 62*.
Clydesdale batted first in the final and looked to be well set, at 42/0, as openers Kallum Dhami and Gregor Anderson built a platform. However, Anderson’s dismissal to Rory Johnston sparked a collapse to 63/6. Johnston had done the main damage with 3/17. Luke Macias (23*) and Harris Mahmood (18) managed to partially re-build the innings, as Clydesdale finished 109/7 off their 20 overs.
Clydesdale needed early wickets, so two early dropped catches were not what they were looking for. However, once they had survived that first over, the Forfarshire openers (Johnston and Garden) never looked like getting out! It was a quite superb partnership – with both batters displaying a perfect balance between finding the boundary and hitting the gaps and running hard. Garden led the way, racing to fifty – and he would go on to finish 59 not out. Johnston too would remain not out, on 43, as the pair saw their side all the way home. Forfarshire 113/0, in 14.1 overs.
Forfarshire had played the best cricket on the day and were deserved winners. The partnership in the final was worthy of winning any final – and it enabled the team, and their bus of travelling supporters who helped to create a great atmosphere on the day, to return home happy and with the trophy.
Thanks must go to host club Clydesdale CC and their groundsman Cyril McLatchie, to Cricket Scotland Chair Tony Brian for travelling through to present the medals and trophy, to the caterers, the umpires, all the spectators and the players – as everyone played their part in a great day of cricket.