The Citylets Scottish Cup Final is always a wonderful occasion and marks the culmination of a long season and tough campaigns for the two clubs gaining the chance to compete for the trophy.
The two Edinburgh teams were welcomed by a glorious day in Paisley and an excellent crowd at Meikleriggs. After the final was washed out twice at the same venue last year, there were concerns earlier in the week that it would once more fall foul to the weather as the lower end of the ground was under water with a mere three days to go to Sunday’s final. However, excellent new drainage and superb work from the tireless ground staff meant the pitch passed its inspection and though heavy under foot, and slightly slow in the outfield, play got under way at midday.
Temperatures reached 29 degrees during the day but the players demonstrated impressive energy levels throughout and provided great entertainment to the crowd who became more and more vocal as the game reached its climax. The Cricket Scotland President’s tent hosted some doyens of Scottish cricket past and present as well as representatives from the Scottish Cup sponsors, Citylets and the boundary was filled with young and old, all enjoying the rare August sunshine and the spectacle of a very close-fought sporting contest.
HERIOT’S skipper Keith Morton lifted the Citylets Scottish Cup after his side outgunned capital rivals Carlton in a tension-packed final at neutral Meikleriggs, the home of Ferguslie.
It was an emotional moment for Morton as it came just a few weeks after the sudden death of his father, the former Scotland spinner Willie Morton.
Responding to Carlton’s 142 for seven, Heriot’s made heavy weather of the pursuit, however their lower order held their nerve when it mattered to snatch the glory by four wickets.
Carlton captain Ali Evans made the initial breakthrough by removing Peter Ross. Then with the total on 34 in the 13th over, Elnathan Meiri holed out to Cheeky Gosain off Arun Pillai.
Gosain went on to seize the prized scalp of Mark Watt to throw the contest into the melting pot.
Wickets continued to fall at regular interval – two more to Gosain.
Heriot’s were left seeking 11 from the last six overs, and they scrambled over the line without further alarm.
Earlier, Evans had no hesitation in opting to bat first, however the upper order struggled to establish momentum against tight Heriot’s bowling.
Tom Simpson became the opening victim, leaving a delivery from Elliot Ruthven – only to see the ball shatter his stumps with the tally on 18.
Hays van der Berg then trapped Arun Pillai and Fraser Burnett was smartly stumped off Michael Shean to make it 52 for three.
Pro Corne Dry hit a series of boundaries, however Shean struck again to put Heriot’s on top.
Rory McCann and Ali Shah followed in quick succession, and it was left to Evans, Will Hardie and Gosain to provide some late impetus.
As well as congratulations to both clubs, and especially to Heriots CC for winning the Citylets Scottish Cup, thanks must also go to Lord’s International for their continued support of the match balls and to Ferguslie CC for delivering an excellent match despite recent biblical rain, and for putting on the delicious BBQ and impressive clubhouse service which ensure the continuing romance of the cup.