Uddingston Cricket Club kept their title dream alive by recovering from a poor start to win by 52 runs at Dumfries on Saturday.
The Villagers were a poor 30 for four after just 10 overs of their batting stint, before a fine 76 for Ross Lyons and an unbeaten 62 by skipper Bryan Clarke helped them to a respectable total of 201.
Conversely, Dumfries began their reply well in this Western Union Premier Division clash by reaching 50 for one after 10 overs.
But this didn’t last as Uddingston’s spinners made a significant impact with Amir Gul taking three for 20 runs, Anwar Hafeez two for 39 and Harry Singh two for 21.
Lyons also contributed well in restricting Dumfries to a final total of 149 by conceding just 10 runs from his six overs bowled.
“We were struggling after a really poor start at Dumfries,” said captain and wicket-keeper Clarke.
“But we then showed we had a wee bit about us by managing to dig in and rebuild.
“On a pretty dry pitch, 201 was a good score.
“Ross was fantastic with the bat.
“We then produced a good bowling performance in which we were able to control the game and style it.
“It was a really good win, although it was hard work.
“The boys never gave in and it was a really satisfying victory.”
The win means that Uddingston remain second in the league table ahead of a massive home clash against leaders Ferguslie this Saturday, 12 noon start at Bothwell Castle Policies.
“This is probably our biggest game of the season,” Bryan said.
“We are approaching the halfway mark – this is game number nine – and we are playing them at home.
“We know we are capable of beating them and want to go top, but we are not thinking too far ahead.
“This is a competitive league and I think that by the end the winners will have lost two, three or four games.
“Ferguslie are a very good team, although we beat them in a very competitive 20-over match at Uddingston earlier in the season.”
Bryan was happy to contribute with a vital 62 runs at Dumfries, although he insisted that the win was all about the positive contributions of youngsters like Fergus Clarke (Bryan’s son) and Sam Allan, aged 17 and 18 respectively.
“We have young boys who can be top players in the future,” Bryan said. “It is about nurturing them and ensuring that they can cope.”
Uddingston 2nds are away to Ferguslie this Saturday, boosted by the inclusion of club legend Paul Hoffman in their ranks.