Gala may have been playing Watsonians’ 2nd XI, however it was a Hawick man who spoiled the Gala Day celebrations as Stuart Chalmers made his comeback in the city side’s second string after a month-long injury lay-off.
After bowling 10 tight overs and picking up two late-order wickets, the ex-Hawick and Penicuik player scored 45 to control the visitors’ runs chase.
While Gala did manage to dismiss him just short of a half-century, it was too late, with only 23 runs required for victory, and the home side could make no further breakthroughs.
Earlier, Gala had recovered well from slipping to 67 for 4 to post 164 and, while slightly under par, at least gave their bowlers something to aim at. The returning Stevie Halls looked good early on with a fluent 30. But Gala were indebted to Graeme Ormiston with 56, well supported by Kenny Paterson, with the pair adding 61 for the fifth wicket, while a late flourish by Dean Moir saw Gala over 160.
Moir was amon- the action early with the ball as Murray got a thick edge to a drive and gave Pringle a catch at point. Fox and Dryden took the score over 50 before Crooks yorked Dryden and followed up by dismissing Fox and Rae to reduce Watsonians to 71 for 4. The experience of Chalmers came to the fore as he took control of the chase, punishing any loose bowling and calming the visitors’ nerves.
He received good support in a fifth-wicket partnership with Little before Dinesh Tharanga returned to the attack and Little steered a short ball to Crooks in the gulley.
Robbie Irvine got some extra lift on a delivery to J. Cousin who gloved to Halls, and when Chalmers was finally dismissed, flicking Robbie Pringle to a juggling Paterson at square leg, the visitors were 142 for 7.
With the Gala tails up, Pringle and Graeme Ormiston went after further wickets, however Dryden and F. Cousin stayed calm to see Watsonians home with no further loss and four overs to spare.
z Last Thursday night, Gala produced a frustrating display to slip out of the Murgitroyd 20-20 Cup after losing their first-round tie against Kelso at Meigle Park by 13 runs.
All three disciplines will cause Gala some concern after a slack opening spell with the ball, some tired and sloppy fielding in the face of aggressive running by the Kelso batsmen, and allowing the visiting bowlers to bowl too many dot balls in the middle of the innings, despite the field being spread.
Tom Grindell provided the backbone for the visitors’ innings with 58 before being run out. Robbie Irvine and Neil Crooks picked up a wicket each as the Kelso innings, that contained only four boundaries, ended on 127 for 3.
In reply, David Boland took charge for the home side, and after losing Duncan Millar with the score on 29, added 47 with Graeme Ormiston for the second wicket. However, the innings began to lose momentum and as wickets fell, the steadil- increasing asking rate proved too much for Gala as Kelso eased to victory.