WITH very little to play for in the league this season, Langholm are hoping for success in the League Cup.
And, after their match against Gala was abandoned, the Muckle Toon men needed to secure maximum points against nine-man Melrose on a sunbaked Castleholm.
Gregor Park won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat on a dry track. Park and Euan Wilson opened the batting and it was no time until the former was back in the pavilion after a brief innings of 12 with the score on 14.
Wilson soon followed for seven, leaving Duncan Elliott and Ben Maxwell to repair the damage – which they did with some steady play and cautious running between the wickets.
Elliott was eventually bowled for 20 and Andrew Bell joined Maxwell.
The run-rate increased with some rather more spirted running and lusty boundaries, adding 65 for the fourth wicket.
Bell was to the fore, smashing six fours in an impressive innings of 41 before he was clean-bowled with Langholm on 128.
What happened next was a disastrous collapse, with Jack Pool, Chris Stewart and Jason Hall all being dismissed for the addition of only six runs.
Stevie Johnstone added two, but it was left to John Reid to get the tail to wag slightly with a majestic six not out, eventually running out of partners, or possibly more a case of running out his partner, the evergreen Geoff Maxwell, who kindly returned to action after three years away from the game.
Colin Green and Barry Scott opened steadily for the visitors against some tight bowling from Elliott and Johnstone, and it was the latter who made the breakthrough, trapping Scott lbw for 17 with Melrose on 48.
Captain Park brought himself into the attack, but was a little too expensive, giving away 11 in his first over.
With Green looking dangerous, swing bowler Jack Pool was called upon and provided immediate success with a fuller delivery which Green spooned to Park in the covers.
Lively Euan Wilson then clean-bowled Josh Loftus with the score on 57. This brought Ally Prabaher to the crease.
Wilson then provided a moment of brilliance when Prabaher struck a straight drive which Wilson managed to glance onto the stumps, running out Elliot Jessop who was left stranded at the non-striker’s end. Ben Maxwell took a good catch off the bowling of Wilson to dismiss Mark Runciman.
Prabaher then looked to up the run-rate with some big hitting and it was another moment of great fielding by Andrew Bell, running out the Melrose man with a direct hit for only 15, leaving Melrose reeling on 85 for 6.
With the game almost tied up, Park and Elliott came back into the attack to clean up the tail, taking a wicket each and Melrose were eventually all out for 102.
G. Park, c Green b Murray 12
E. Wilson, b Prabaher 7
D. Elliott, b Loftus 20
B. Maxwell, lbw b Prabaher 30
A. Bell, b Prabaher 41
J. Pool, run out 4
C. Stewart, c Green b Prabaher 1
J. Hall c & b Murray 1
S. Johnstone, c McLennan b McKay 2
J. Reid, not out 6
G. Maxwell, run out 0
Total all out 142
C. Green, c Park b Pool 29
B. Scott, lbw b Johnstone 17
J. Loftus, b Wilson 5
E. Jessop, run out 0
A. Prabaher, run out 15
R. McLennan, c Maxwell b Wilson 10
M. Runciman, b Park 2
R. Murray, b Elliott 9
S. McKay, not out 6
Total all out 102