A FINE half-century by David Boland guided Gala to a nine-wicket victory over an understrength Langholm side in the Border League at Meigle Park.
Langholm opted to bat first on winning the toss, but opening batsmen Andrew Bell and Euan Wilson were given an uncomfortable time by Kris Mein and Andy McMenemy.
The pair did well to weather the early storm and took the score to 23 before Wilson under-edged a short ball from Mein onto his stumps.
Some aggressive hitting by Bell took the score to 43 before the introduction of Graeme Ormiston brought immediate reward as he beat Bell’s defence to bowl the opener.
Ormiston struck twice more in quick succession as Jamie Ashton-Smith edged to McMenemy and David Little gave Ormiston a simple return catch.
Duncan Elliot also was fortunate to survive two straightforward chances off the spinner, before being caught by Halls at slip off Andy Lawrie.
Steve Johnstone held the lower order together with a solid 19, but left Chris Stewart high and dry when he called him for a quick single, only for David Hancock to throw down the stumps with Stewart short of his ground.
Jack Pool came out swinging but hit Lawrie to Rory Hancock at mid-off, John Reid was held in a juggling catch by Duncan Millar and Johnstone’s resistance was ended when Lawrie trapped him lbw after an enterprising ninth wicket partnership with Steven Jackson.
Jackson was last out when McMenemy returned and pinned him lbw.
In reply, Stevie Halls, playing his first match of the season, was immediately away with a boundary off the first ball of the innings. He struck two other crisp boundaries before hitting a Jackson full-toss straight to Reid at mid-off. Josh Irvine now joined Boland and the pair batted sensibly, playing themselves in before taking advantage of anything loose to push the score along at a good rate.
Boland struck 10 boundaries in a 51-ball knock of 56 not out and Irvine ended on 43 not out with five fours and a six, as Gala passed the visitors’ total in the 20th over with no further loss.
A. Bell b Ormiston 29
E. Wilson b Mein 13
J. Ashton-Smith c McMenemy b Ormiston 4
D. Elliot c Halls b Lawrie 15
D. Little c & b Ormiston 2
C. Stewart run ou 14
S. Johnstone lbw b Lawrie 19
J. Pool c R Hancock b Lawrie 4
J. Reid c Millar b Lawrie 1
S. Jackson lbw b McMenemy 10
C. Little not out 0
Total all out 119
S Halls c Reid b Jackson 14
D Boland not out 56
J Irvine not out 43
Total for 1 122