IF Uddingston go on to claim their first Western Premier title since 2013, they may look back on Saturday’s great escape at Glenpark as a pivotal moment in their success.
Having been dismissed for just 102 by an under-strength but in-form Greenock attack in which Sean Fischer-Keogh starred with 4-32, even Bryan Clarke, Uddingston’s ultra-positive skipper, feared the worst.
Instead his men dug deep, showing the resilience of champions, to bowl out the home side for just 84 in 30.4 overs.
Uddingston were given a huge boost when Niall Alexander claimed a wicket in the first over, perhaps striking alarm bells among home batsmen who have been found wanting in several run-chases this season.
But it was Amir Gul who emerged as the star of the show, the veteran slow bowler claiming 4-30 while Scotland paceman Gavin Main, returning from injury, claimed the key wicket of Indian pro Saurabh Bandekar as Uddingston maintained their lead at the top of the table.
Clarke admitted: “I definitely thought we were struggling. The pitch wasn’t great but I would have said 150-175 would have been a decent score.
“We also knew they have the best pro in the league in Bandekar so 102 wasn’t looking good enough.
“Gav only passed a late fitness test and I’m glad he did as he produced a fantastic delivery to get rid of the pro which really was the difference.
“Amir bowled really well for his four and everyone else chipped-in on a pitch that was always going to keep you interested.
“So, we’re rolling on for another week.”
Prestwick remain hard on Uddy’s heels but were denied the chance to secure a ninth win of the season when their clash with Drumpellier at The Henry Thow Oval was washed-out at the halfway stage, the visitors having made 205.
Third placed West of Scotland maintained their challenge with an excellent 44-run DLS win at Clydesdale to set up a mouth-watering clash with Uddingston next Saturday.
Skipper Ian Young led from the front, anchoring the innings with a well-constructed 81 while Rory Kleinveldt (60) and James Fearns (57) provided the hitting that allowed West to accelerate to 297-7 from their fifty overs.
Dale had been reduced to 117-4 from 26.2 overs before the heavens opened on the southside of Glasgow.
They finished just minutes before the deluge down the road at Shawholm where Poloc and Stirling produced a low-scoring thriller.
Stirling pace bowler Akram Shakoor put the home side on the back foot with five early wickets and, without Amaan Ramzan’s 81-ball 38, Poloc would have failed to reach three figures.
In the event their 123 proved competitive especially when Yasar Arfat and Ahmed-Raza Hanif claimed three wickets each.
But Stirling’s last pair held their nerve to secure a tense one-wicket win, Thomas Jones’ 29no proving decisive.
Elsewhere, skipper Riyaad Henry’s excellent 95 helped Ferguslie recover from the loss of three early wickets to post 231 before winless East Kilbride were struggling on 92-7 when rain confirmed a DLS victory for the hosts at Meikleriggs. 00000000