Kelso title hopes on a sticky wicket

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Kelso’s march towards the title hit a bump last weekend, while Gala and St Boswells made it a hat-trick of off-days for Borders sides in the East of Scotland Cricket Division One.

Kelso had threatened to run away with the championship at one stage this season, but after a blistering start, the division leaders’ title parade remains on hold after stuttering performances in recent weeks.

The Shedden Park outfit are still favourites for the title, but must win at least two of their remaining three league fixtures to guarantee success and secure back-to-back promotions for the first time in club history.

“It was a sore one to take on Saturday, but if we win two of our last three games then we are promoted, which was always the aim at the start of the season,” said Kelso captain Dougie Wilson, following his side’s agonising three-run defeat at the hands of Heriot’s II.

“We basically played Heriot’s at the worst time as they had a full squad with some real stud players, while we were without a few lads due to call-offs.

“That being said, we still managed to make a game of it and only missed out on the victory by three runs in the end.”

At the other end of the table, cellar-dwellers St Boswells welcomed second-placed Dunnikier to a damp Green and the title challengers put on a show with bat and ball, thrashing their hosts by seven wickets.

Winning the toss, the visitors sent the Villagers in to bat first and, using a combination of spin and pace, managed to skittle the home side out for a paltry 52 runs from 26 overs.

After lunch, the Kirkcaldy team wasted little time in wrapping-up the victory, taking just 17 overs to pass 52, reaching 55-3.

For fourth-placed Gala, their inconsistent 2015 campaign continued at Myreside, losing to Watsonians 2 by 34 runs in a rain-interrupted contest. Batting first, Watsonians took advantage of a good wicket and early mild conditions to knock 233 all-out in 50 overs.

In reply, the Borderers could only manage 188 from 40.