Academy win last-ball thriller

Duncan Millar (Galashiels Academy) accepts the 2011 Earlston Cup from Neil Cameron.
Duncan Millar (Galashiels Academy) accepts the 2011 Earlston Cup from Neil Cameron.

THE second annual Earlston Cup – a mixed indoor six-a-side tournament for Borders secondary schools – involved two teams each from hosts Earlston High School, Berwickshire High School (two girls) and Galashiels Academy (one girl) in the finals.

Galashiels Academy, led by Duncan Millar, retained the title in quite dramatic style, winning off the last ball of the tournament, when it looked as though Earlston A had clinched a well-earned victory after a well-crafted target was set.

In the group matches the academy suffered its first defeat, going down to the eventual league leaders and fellow finalists Earlston A – Joseph Flynn was the pick of the bowlers in sealing the win.

In the second game Berwickshire HS brushed aside Earlston B following a masterclass of batting from Iain Sim.

Earlston’s early burst to the top of the leaderboard was superbly undermined by an Earlston B team intent on upsetting the rankings; that they did so owed much to Jordan Chisholm’s deft leg-breaks.

Gala resumed normal service against Berwickshire and strolled to a crucial win. In the final group games, Earlston A secured top spot by overcoming a plucky Berwickshire side and the academy snuffed out Earlston B’s hopes of an all-Earlston final to claim second spot.

In the third place play-off, Berwickshire were undone by Jordan Chisholm’s guile and Sam Connington’s crucial miserly last over before Eoin Smith and Chisholm set up a win within three overs.

In lifting the trophy for the second year, Duncan Millar praised an all-round team effort and that never-say-die Gala spirit.

Development officer Neil Cameron told TheSouthern: “The standard of cricket shown in these games is a marked improvement on last year and owes much to the enthusiasm of Earlston High School’s Jamie Bryson as it does to the weekly visits that Stuart McKay and Melrose Cricket Club have made to support Earlston High School’s afterschool club.”