Gala are on the verge of promotion after Sid Siddhu led the Braw Lads to a five-wicket win against Watsonians 2nds at Meigle Park.
Siddhu scored a superb unbeaten 65 as Gala overcame their opponents’ total of 115 to stay top of Division One.
Ground staff Stevie Halls and Davie and Caitlin Ormiston carried out a minor miracle to get the game played, after the consistent heavy rain during the previous week had left Meigle Park sodden.
While the pitch was green and outfield damp, it was certainly playable and produced a tense and exciting game.
Watsonians chose to bat first upon winning the toss but were soon in deep trouble at 53 for 5, as Jack Gammie, Rory Hancock and Kenny Paterson all made good catches, with Scott Evans, Scott Paterson and Dean Moir among the wickets.
Worse was to follow for the Edinburgh side as they slumped to 74 for 8, as Dinesh Tharanga claimed Willsdon with a superb slower ball, Hancock and Duncan Millar combined for a brilliant run out of Robertson and Paterson bowled Burgess.
But youngsters Abbey (16 not out) and Vehlow (23) batted with maturity and skill to add 41 for the ninth wicket before Evans bowled Vehlow and Moir brilliantly ran out last man Baltzer to conclude the innings.
Evans was top bowler again with 3 for 20, with Scott Paterson (2 for 21) and Moir (2 for 25) also among the wickets.
In reply, Siddhu played with his usual aggressive style while Max Hastings played an anchor role to take Gala to 35 before being adjudged lbw to Abbey.
There was then controversy when Siddhu was caught by Willsdon off a Burgess delivery, only for a no ball to be given. It was a late call which left Watsonians furious but the umpire was adamant Burgess’ front foot had been beyond the crease.
Millar (11) fell soon after lbw to Burgess and captain Dinesh Tharanga was then run out as Gala began to creak at 66 for 3.
But Evans and Ross Patterson supported Siddhu well to get Gala to the verge of victory, before the Indian clipped another four in the 28th over to seal the win.
Siddhu finished with 10 fours and deservedly picked up the man of the match award from main sponsor Sinclair Duncan on the club’s annual Supporters’ Day.
F. Kinloch ct R. Hancock b S. Evans 11
F. Sands ct J. Gammie b D. Moir 5
C. Martn b D. Moir 4
K. Rae ct K. Paterson b S. Evans 11
O. Robertson run out (R Hancock) 16
P. High lbw S. Paterson 7
C. Willsdon b D. Tharanga 10
E. Burgess b S. Paterson 2
A. Abbey not out 16
D. Vehlow b S. Evans 23
G. Baltzer run out (D. Moir) 0
Extras – 10
Total – 115 for ten wickets
D. Moir 9-1-25-2; S. Evans 9-2-20-3; S. Paterson 9-2-21-2; D. Tharanga 9-2-14-1; R. Hancock 2.4-0-14-0; R. Patterson 2-0-16-0.
S. Siddhu not out 65
M. Hastings lbw A. Abbey 4
D. Millar lbw E. Burgess 11
D. Tharanga run out (F. Kinloch) 0
S. Evans ct C. Willsdon b P. High 0
R. Patterson ct C. Martin b P. High 5
K. Paterson not out 0
Extras – 23
Total – 117 for five wickets
F. Sands 6-0-27-0; A. Abbey 5-1-18-1; E. Burgess 8.4-1-42-1; P. High 8-0-20-2.
Elsewhere, a youthful Gala/Hawick Development side put in an excellent performance at Penicuik 2nds, only to fall to a two-wicket loss.
The team contained nine players under 20 years of age but pushed their hosts all the way at Kirkhill.
Batting first, Alex Hastings made an excellent half century to get Gala/Hawick up to a total of 120 all out, with Stuart Skeldon adding 20 and John Purves – on his first game of cricket for over 20 years – scored 18. Walter took 3 for 11 for Penicuik.
Penicuik looked set for a comfortable win as first team player Murray got them off to a flyer but Gala/Hawick claimed regular wickets to set up a tight finale before Airey (30 not out) got the hosts over the line.
Liam Skeldon claimed two wickets, while Robbie Paterson, Maisie Maciera, Fergus Hastings and Finlay Skeldon took a wicket each.
A special mention went to 12th ‘man’ Murray Purves, who turned out for the first time for the Development Team alongside his dad.
J. Boyle ct F. Ingram b R. Airey 3
A. Hastings b P. Kingsbury 54
J. Bell b F. Ingram 0
R. Paterson b R. Airey 6
J. Purves lbw b G. Ingram 18
L. Skeldon run out (R. Docherty) 1
C. Fernandes b G. Ingram 0
S. Skeldon not out 20
F. Hastings b S. Walter 0
M. Maciera b S. Walter 3
F. Skeldon b S. Walter 0
Extras – 15
Total – 120 for ten wickets
F. Ingram 5-1-17-1; R. Airey 8-1-12-2; B. Gray 1-0-1-0; P. Kingsbury 8-1-28-1; H. Murray 5-0-16-0; G. Ingram 2-0-6-2; R. Docherty 2-0-11-0; S. Walter 3-0-11-3.
D. Ainslie lbw L. Skeldon 18
H. Murray b R. Paterson 44
J. Leslie ct J. Bell b L. Skeldon 13
P. Kingsbury lbw M. Maceira 8
R. Airey not out 30
S. Walter b R. Paterson 3
G. Ingram b S. Skeldon 1
F. Ingram run out (A. Hastings) 0
H. Fisken ct J. Bell b F. Skeldon 0
B. Gray not out 0
Extras – 11
A. Hastings 3.1-0-33-0; L. Skeldon 8-0-41-2; R. Paterson 4-0-16-1; F. Hastings 4-0-8-1; M. Maceira 4-2-5-1; J. Boyle 2-0-13-0; F. Skeldon 3-0-4-1.