Braw Lads complete good double with last-end win

Gala vs Marchmont, Neil Crooks batting
Gala vs Marchmont, Neil Crooks batting
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Gala’s yo-yo start to the season continued with an emphatic 71 run win over Marchmont on a tricky Meigle Park wicket on Saturday.

The home men were asked to bat first and Stevie and Jack Halls made a steady start, patiently taking the score to 24 before Loeffen removed father Halls for 15.

This saw a quick flurry of wickets, with Tharanga and Boland’s cheap dismissals sandwiching Jack Halls’ return catch to Rees as Gala slipped to 47 for 4.

Neil Crooks then joined skipper Duncan Millar and the pair rebuilt the Gala innings with a stand of 54 for the fifth wicket before Millar mishit a full toss and was caught at point off Marr for 37.

Alan Oliver followed soon after, chipping Marr to square leg. However, Crooks was assisted first by Kenny Paterson and then Robbie Pringle to get Gala over 150 before the final three wickets fell with the score on 152, with Crooks finally dismissed for 45.  

Gala were on top of Marchmont from the start of the visitors’ innings, with Dinesh Tharanga having Peachey caught by Paterson at slip and Dean Moir seeing Loeffen sky a pull shot to Pringle at mid-wicket as the visitors were reduced to 5 for 2. 

Rees and Collier took the score to 26 before the Pringle-Moir combination saw the back of Collier, and Tharanga got immediate results changing to round the wicket to beat the defence of Rees soon after.

Crooks and Pringle were now in the attack and the former had Sardesai caught behind as half the visiting batsmen were back in the pavilion with just 43 on the board.

Ahmed and Chetty provided some resistance before Ahmed played on off Pringle, and Pringle struck again next ball to bowl Jalagandeeswaran.

Pringle picked up two further wickets, with Paterson taking his second catch in the slips to dismiss Wilson, while the stubborn Chetty mistimed a pull and gave Robbie Irvine a simple catch at mid-on.

With nine wickets down, it was Irvine who came on to finish the match as Sardesai slapped his first ball to David Boland in the covers and Marchmont were all out for 81.

And on Sunday, the Braw Lads made a start to their campaign to hold onto the President’s Trophy they won last year, thanks to a dramatic last-over victory at Fauldhouse Victoria.

The visitors were led by Stevie Halls, who scored 71 not out to ensure Gala won by four wickets, with two balls to spare in an, at times, bad-tempered affair in West Lothian.

Gala, chasing Fauldhouse’s total of 130 for 4 were a tantalising two runs short going into the last over.

When Robbie Irvine was bowled with the second ball of the last over, the pressure was on, but Moir picked up a single and Halls fittingly bagged the winning run.