Uddingston Cricket Club skipper and wicket keeper Bryan Clarke has hailed the club’s title win as “the best moment of my career”.
Clarke (39) – battling a heavy cold – starred as the Villagers secured a comfortable 85-run success at Clydesdale on Saturday to land the Western District Cricket Union Premier Division crown for the first time in six years.
“It was a really good day,” Clarke told the Times and Speaker.
“Gavin Bradley and Amir Gul put on almost 150 runs together. That was the key to the victory and underpinned what we were doing.
“Among the bowlers, Gavin Main returned to the side after missing two games and managed three wickets for 14 runs with the ball.
“We won it relatively comfortably in the end and winning the title this year is the best moment of my career.
“It was great to be handed the Borland Trophy.
“There was a sense of relief as well to finally get over the line as this year the matches have been blighted by a lot of rain.
“We have been a wee bit better than everyone else but because of the wet summer it has been with games being missed we have never been able to run away with it.
Uddingston – who knew pre-match that a win by any score would see them crowned champions – opened with a formidable score of 233 for five from their 50 overs.
They then made light work of Clydesdale’s batsmen by skittling them over for 148 runs in just 36 overs.
“Other than their best player Richie Berrington, Clydesdale didn’t really threaten us,” Clarke added. “No-one on their side got more than 20 runs apart from him.”
The only side which could have overtaken Uddingston at the top after Saturday’s final round of fixtures was Prestwick, who had to win at home to Ferguslie and hope the Villagers lost.
But that scenario never had a chance of becoming a reality as Prestwick lost by 42 runs in any case.
This meant that Uddingston’s brilliant season of 11 wins from 12 matches (94.67 per cent success rate) put them well clear of ultimate runners-up West of Scotland who triumphed in 11 of their 13 fixtures for an overall winning ratio of 87.39 per cent.
“I wasn’t really that surprised Prestwick lost,” Clarkesaid.
“Ferguslie were the reigning champions and have a very good team.”
Clarke – who has played for Uddingston for 25 seasons – and his mates will round off 2019 this Saturday in a play-off against East Region champions Forfarshire at Titwood.