Western Premier Review
The Western Union title race will go down to the final day of the season after Ayr’s celebrations were put on hold by Clydesdale on Saturday.
Andi McElnea’s side picked the worst possible moment to produce their most disappointing display of the season as their unbeaten record was emphatically brought to an end by the only team which could yet pip them for the Borland Trophy.
Dale, gearing up for yesterday’s Scottish Cup final, were dominant throughout a surprisingly one-sided encounter at Cambusdoon.
Batting first, the Glasgow side took the attack to the home bowlers almost from the start and solid contributions throughout meant they were always destined for a big total.
Paddy Barbour led the way with a hard-hitting 21 before the main substance to the innings was provided by Con de Lange and Sam Page.
De Lange showed his class with a series of boundaries on both sides of the wicket before he fell for 72 to a good catch off the bowling of Callum Leck.
But the South African-born player’s effort was eclipsed on this occasion by Page, the former Scotland U19 batsman going on to top-score with 83 – his highest score of the season.
There were also useful contributions from Richie Berrington (31) and Mo Awais (29) as Clydesdale powered their way to 264-5.
For once, there was little over which to enthuse about Ayr’s bowling figures though Scott McElnea and Steve Liburd plugged away to claim two wickets each.
Nor did the home side’s batting do anything to lift the spirits, only three players making it into double figures before the team was dismissed for just 93.
Four bowlers took two wickets each for Clydesdale while de Lange conceded just ten runs in as many overs.
The Titwood club could yet win the title if they beat Drumpellier on Saturday and Ayr lose at Dumfries.
Colin Mitchell, Dale’s chairman of cricket, declared: “I think Ayr would have hoped to at least pick up a couple of bonus points even in defeat so the pressure has built on them.
“Our guys did their job in a pretty emphatic way and we’ll just try to take care of our own business again on Saturday.”
Elsewhere, with 49 runs and five wickets, former Clydesdale player Harmanjit Singh was the hero of East Kilbride’s 66-run win over Uddingston at Bothwell Castle.
Meanwhile Drumpellier were consigned to the wooden spoon after going down heavily to basement rivals West of Scotland a Langloan.
In a match reduced to 37 overs per side, West battled through to reach 144-6 with Dave McNulty making 34no.
There was little resistance from the Coatbridge team who succumbed to 60 all out, Stu Brown claimed 4-25.
Scott Beveridge hit a fine unbeaten 41 as Dumfries edged out Renfrew by just one wicket at King George V Playing Fields. Beveridge had earlier claimed four wickets to help dismiss the hosts for 162.