Seconds win battle in castle grounds
Galloway’s 2nd XI made the journey across the Firth of Clyde to the Cowal peninsula on Saturday to play Bute County in the latest match of their Western Union Division Four season.
The home team’s ground on Bute was under repair so the game was switched to Toward Castle, a picturesque country house set in beautiful surroundings about seven miles from Dunoon.
It was the visitors’ first look at a Flix pitch, a synthetic surface.
Visiting skipper Howie Bradley finally called correctly at the toss and had no hesitation in asking the home side to bat first and it wasn’t long before the decision was fully justified.
The opening pair of Bob Davidson and Paul Lindsay have bowled well in tandem in recent games and this occasion was no different. Paul kept it tight whilst Bob took the wickets.
Bob has been on fire recently and it wasn’t long before he’d induced the Bute opener, Andy Peacock, to play a false shot whereby he was caught at cover by Paul Cooper.
Next to depart was A Fielding who edged behind where Damien Brown claimed the first of his three victims.
Bob also removed J Wilson caught at extra cover, as the home side’s innings came under intense early pressure.
The two Galloway opening bowlers were so consistent and the fielding so tight that the home side had trouble scoring at more than one run per over. Paul Lindsay conceded only seven runs from his eight overs.
Skipper Bradley and Jessica McCulloch bowled “first change” hoping to carry on the good work and by and large they did.
Jess removed the troublesome D Peacock for 18, leg before and Bradley claimed a wicket to a wonderful reflex catch behind the stumps from D Brown.
Arron Richardson replaced Jess and was soon in amongst the wickets himself, removing R Wilson aided by a fine catch from Natalie Hamblin.
He then trapped A Guy leg before, clean bowled P Power and, with the help of Brown, claimed another via a stumping.
His “five for” arrived with the second last ball of the innings as Paul Cooper took a comfortable catch at mid off, much to the delight of the Galloway contingent.
Sixty all out off 40 overs is not a lot to chase. It was an excellent performance from Galloway in the field. The home side were forced on the defensive right from the start with only 35 runs coming from the bat, the 25 extras being the visitors’ only real blemish.
Although it was a low total and should have been a cakewalk it was important for the locals to go out with the right attitude.
Leon Stannus and Goochy opened for Galloway. Gooch settled the nerves early on with a boundary through square leg. Leon departed without scoring though, clean bowled, which brought together ex Castle Douglas pair Howie and Gooch.
Instinctive running between the wickets kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely and soon half the runs required had been scored.
Goochy, who had been batting well, struck a powerful shot through mid on but straight to where a fielder was standing who took a good catch.
That brought Paul Cooper to the crease who made eight before the vagaries of the wicket saw one pop up and he was caught at point. With two needed for victory, Bradley departed in exactly the same fashion, to the same bowler, he made 24.
Simon Mein and Damien Brown were at the crease when Damien struck a six to seal victory by six wickets and with 18 overs in hand.
Scotland’s victory on Sunday when the Galloway club took more than 25 people to the match, set the seal on a wonderful weekend’s cricket. Scoreboard Bute County 60 all out: A Richardson 5 for 13, R Davidson 3 for 15.
Galloway 2nd XI 66 for 4: Bradley 24, Thomson 18.