Mein holds nerve to guide Gala to Presidents win

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Gala won a thrilling President’s Trophy final against East Division One side Murrayfield DAFS in a contest that ebbed and flowed throughout.

It came down to Kris Mein knocking back Murrayfield number 11 Neil Yelland’s off-stump with third ball of the final over, with Murrayfield one run behind Gala’s total.

The victory capped off a superb weekend for Gala, who 24 hours earlier won East Division Two thanks to a five-wicket win at West Lothian.

Playing at the picturesque Lewisvale ground in Musselburgh for the final on Sunday, Stevie Halls chose to bat first, but Gala soon found the going tough as Halls, Josh Irvine and Duncan Millar found themselves back in the pavilion with only 16 on the board.

Neil Crooks added 18 before being given out lbw, but this brought Mein to the crease and the all-rounder batted with power alongside anchor Graeme Ormiston.

The pair added 93 before Ormiston was bowled by Sam Ferguson for 46. Mein would go on to score 50 not out, while Dinesh Tharanga crucially hit the final two balls for consecutive fours as Gala ended on 163 for 5 from their 40 overs.

Mein then opened the bowling and claimed Luke Hayes lbw with the score on 25. Tharanga had Phil Hawkins caught behind before Madhu Gaddam swung across the line and skied a catch to Millar off Crooks’ bowling to leave Murrayfield on 56 for 3.

Crooks picked up the crucial wicket of Ferguson for 41 and Gala looked well on top as further wickets fell to leave DAFS on 108 for 7.

However, Anand Venkatesh (38) and Somanna Chengappa (25 not out) put together a partnership which looked set to win Murrayfield the cup until Scott Paterson bowled the former.

A run out meant Murrayfield required three runs to win from the last over by Mein. After Chengappa picked up a single, Mein produced a dot ball, before bowling Yelland to spark wild celebrations.

On Saturday, Gala bowled out West Lothian for 56, Paterson taking four wickets, to set up what appeared to be an easy win over West Lothian 2nds.

Gala looked in control as Halls and Ormiston put on 24 for the first wicket in good time before Halls was short of his ground going for a second run.

Four more wickets fell cheaply, including Ormiston for 30, as Gala slipped to 45 for 5 to leave the Meigle Park team watching on nervously.

But Mein held his nerve to score an important 11 not out and take the visitors past the Linlithgow side’s total and into Division One.