GALA ended the 2011 season with a six-wicket victory over Kelso in the final of the Border 20-20 Cup at Meigle Park, but both teams deserve credit for putting on an entertaining encounter in less than ideal conditions, with fielders continually struggling with their footing.
Stevie Halls had no hesitation in asking Kelso to bat first on winning the toss, and the home side made early breakthroughs when both Phil Dunkley and Tom Galbraith gave Josh Irvine catches at mid-off from Scott Paterson’s bowling. From 11 for 2, Dougie Wilson and Tim Wightman added 46 for the third wicket at a good pace, before Wilson edged behind to Duncan Millar off Graeme Ormiston.
Wightman (44) proved the steady rock around which the visitors’ total was built, but it was Stevie Patterson who added the impetus with a run-a-ball 20 to take Kelso over 100 before Kris Mein struck in successive balls, first having Patterson caught by Rory Hancock running in from deep cover, then knocking Wightman’s middle stump out the ground. Jason Gibson and Thomas Grindle took the score to 107 before Gibson was dismissed off the final ball, running past a Neil Crooks delivery and being stumped by Millar.
Gibson opened the Kelso bowling with a maiden, and Gala were on the back foot for the first part of their innings, scoring only 40 for the loss of David Boland and Steve Halls, in the first 10 overs.
When Irvine went to the first ball of the 12th over, Gala still needed 59 to win, but Crooks, having survived a couple of tough chances early in his innings, and Mein, finding his form with the bat after misfiring for much of the season, opened their shoulders and a crucial three-over spell, from the 14th to the 16th over, saw the pair add 34 runs before Crooks (37) gave Wilson a catch off Grindle with the score on 94.
Duncan Millar then joined Mein and hit a quickfire 12 to see Gala home with 10 balls to spare, Mein finishing on 20 not out.
P. Dunkley, c Irvine b Paterson 4
T. Galbraith, c Irvine b Paterson 3
D. Wilson, c Millar b Ormiston 24
T. Wightman, b Mein 44
S. Patterson, c R Hancock b Mein 20
J. Gibson, st Millar b Crooks 2
T. Grindle, not out 4
Total for 6 107
S. Halls, b Patterson 6
D. Boland, lbw b Gibson 11
J. Irvine, b Wightman 9
N. Crooks, c Wilson b Grindle 37
K. Mein, not out 20
D. Millar, not out 12
Total for 4 108