THE top two teams clashed at Kelso on Saturday and, with dry and windy conditions to start with, the Tweedsiders won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Their plan for early wickets were scuppered by a solid opening stance between Ali McIlroy and Elliot Ruthven, who picked off the bad balls for fours to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely.
As the score reached 69, and with Kelso bowlers struggling to make a breakthrough, they brought on their fifth bowler – new Australian import Tim Whiteman – and in his first over he trapped McIlroy for 30. Ruthven and Steven Broom continued to score steadily, but Whiteman claimed both, bowled and then caught for 36 and 18 respectively.
Scott Turnbull was Whiteman’s fourth wicket, but Richard Young then played freely for a decent 26 until he was stumped by Mark Henderson off Murray Scott. Scott then clean-bowled Kathryn White for 10, bringing Elliot Hunter and Rory Elms in, who pushed runs along quickly until Hunter went for another lusty blow but only skied it to Henderson off Ryan Hogarth for 23. Elms and debutant Bryan Potter finished 15 and 4 not out in a very competitive total of 193 for 7.
In reply, Kelso got off to a poor start as Dougie Wilson edged Turnbull to Hunter at first slip for only six and this brought in Aussie Whiteman.
Young Henderson was playing and missing a few, but in between, he hit a trio of good fours. Whiteman at the other end looked wary of the St Boswells attack, but scored steadily. Henderson was next to go on 20 when his drive off Turnbull was snapped up well by White in the covers.
Soon after, dangerman Whiteman drove Hunter straight to Elms who took a neat low catch for 26.
This appeared to deflate the Kelso side who seemed to look east every minute, waiting for the dark clouds to bring the anticipated rain. This lack of focus was brilliantly exploited by Hunter who caught and bowled Steven Patterson for zero, with captain Broom then bowling Thomas Grindell.
With a light drizzle blowing in the wind the visitors were keen to rush through the remaining wickets while the home team looked to block out until the heavy rain came. Hunter clean-bowled Jason Gibson for five and had Phil Dunkley caught behind by McIlroy for two. Neil Dagg was caught LBW to Broom for zero, but Stuart Cessford and Scott frustrated the visiting team with dogged defence.
The rain held off significantly for Hunter to wrap up the win with two wickets in two balls – clean-bowling Cessford and then Hogarth to finish with great figures.
This victory leaves St Boswells the only unbeaten team in the League.
A. McIlroy, lbw b Whiteman 30
E. Ruthven, b Whiteman 36
S. Broom, c Scott b Whiteman 18
R. Young, st Henderson b Scott 26
S. Turnbull, b Whiteman 6
K. White, b Scott 10
E. Hunter, c Henderson b Hogarth 23
R. Elms, not out 15
B. Potter, not out 4
Total for 7 193
D. Wilson, c Hunter b Turnbull 6
M. Henderson, c White b Turnbull 20
T. Whiteman, c Elms b Hunter 26
J. Gibson, b Hunter 5
S. Patterson, c & b Hunter 0
T. Grindell, b Broom 0
P. Dunkley, c McIlroy b Hunter 2
N. Dagg, lbw b Broom 0
S. Cessford, b Hunter 9
M. Scott, not out 2
R. Hogarth, b Hunter 0
Total all out 79