Sunday saw the four clubs, who had come through the regional rounds, competing in the Scottish finals of this UK competition to represent Scotland in the later rounds against English opposition. On a dry and pleasant day at Stirling County’s ground, the two pitches were ideal for the four games, including the final itself between Clydesdale and Grange, two old rivals in junior cricket.
After the recent dry weather, the outfields were quick and the 60-yard boundaries were ideal for this age group with most innings during the day producing over 100 runs and five batters having to retire having reached 50.
In the morning Clydesdale and Grange had comfortable semi-final victories over Perth Doo’cot and Gordonians, by 10 wickets and 89 runs respectively. That meant Clydesdale only needed two batters and that lack of batting practice for others perhaps hampered their run chase in the later final.
Gordonians won the third / fourth play-off by 58 runs (182 for 5 v 124 for 4) in the highest scoring game of the day. Both Adi Hegde for Gordonians and Charlie Standish for Perth Doo’cot reached their half centuries.
Grange won the toss in the final and decided again to bat. A quick start saw them 43 for 2 after 5 overs. Wickets continued to fall but 42 off the final 5 overs lifted them to 139 for 8 with William Hood reaching 52 in the last over off 38 balls. On a day for batsmen, Shlok Thaker stood out with an economical 1 for 12 off 4 overs.
After 10 overs in reply, Clydesdale had scored 69, identical to Grange, but only for 1 down. Needing 26 to win off 24 balls with 8 wickets in hand, Ben Willmott, the Clydesdale captain, reached 50 and had to retire.
This gave Grange, led by Callum Swanson, their wicket-keeping captain, the chance to squeeze the incoming batsmen. 10 were needed off the last over but Clydesdale managed only 3 leaving them on 133 for 4, and Grange had won by six runs in a thrilling final.
Grange with the Trophy