Nailbiting finale sees Gala lift President’s Trophy

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A thrilling ESCA President’s Trophy final saw Rory Hancock and Rishi Jain edge Gala past Edinburgh by just one wicket.

Played at St Boswells, the match saw the Gala side cruising at 98 for 3, chasing Edinburgh’s total of 128, before a batting collapse saw the last pair come together with eight runs still required.

But Hancock and Jain proved up to the task, getting Gala home with an over to spare.

Gala skipper Stevie Halls won the toss and asked Edinburgh to bat first in the final that was held over from the end of last season due to poor weather,

Kris Mein started for Gala for the first time since 2011 and the pace bowler soon found his rhythm to pick up three wickets for 19 runs from his eight-over spell.

The other Gala seamers found the going tough bowling into the strong wind, although Hancock picked up the crucial wicket of Ashraf, but it was spinners Ormiston (2 for 24) and Neil Crooks (4 for 10) who managed to restrict Edinburgh’s total.

In reply, the Gala innings was built around a fine 59 from Stevie Halls, who hit four fours and two towering sixes, while Josh Irvine looked solid in his first innings of the season with 17 before being trapped lbw by Farooq.

Gala were in control before losing four wickets in four runs as the batsmen panicked.

When Dinesh Tharanga went, driving Aziz to mid-off, Gala were 121 for 9, but Hancock and Jain kept their cool – most of the time – to see Gala home, much to the relief of their support.

Stevie Halls said: “It is great to pick up the trophy on the back of winning Division Three last season.”