Amazing victory for Galloway team
Worked hard to triumph over Stirling
In an exciting finish at the Gatehouse of Fleet Cricket Ground on Saturday, Galloway dug deep to pull off an amazing onewicket victory against Williamfield.
With weather to match the beautiful surroundings, Galloway worked hard in the field after their visitors from Stirling opted to bat first, restricting them to just 41 runs from their last 16 overs.
Halfway through their innings Galloway were 91-2 and looking well-placed to reach the 204 target, before slumping to 161-8 with 10 overs left. Heroics from number 10 batsman Will Jones saw the home side to a deserved, though nailbiting, first win of the season.
Ross Lamb and Tommy McGrath produced more pace than control with the new ball, conceding several wides, and Stevie Carr soon entered the attack. His accuracy was rewarded by dismissing both openers, Cheema LBW on the back foot and Wilkinson yorked leg stump.
In his first bowl of the season Mark Pagan (1-52) maintained the pressure, not conceding a single wide in his 10 overs and having Morton caught by Lamb. He switched ends and Jess McCulloch (1-36) took over at the hotel end. Her line was also exemplary and in her last over she trapped Machana LBW for 46.
The opening bowlers returned and were far more effective, both picking up an LBW and preventing the classy Fergus Martin from cutting loose towards the end. Four tidy overs from skipper Neil McGrath brought him two late wickets, both victims being bowled for a duck.
When Galloway batted it became evident that Williamfield were relying on four bowlers, being without one of their regulars. Their plan to bowl them through almost worked, though two new bowlers would be needed for the crucial 10-over climax.
The innings ebbed and flowed fascinatingly. Seven early wides were followed by four consecutive maidens. Ross Lamb put Wilkinson to the sword with three fours in an over, then the bowler had him caught at deep mid off. Paul Cooper (27) took up the role of aggressor, with four boundaries, though the stout defence of Mat Williams (12) ended when he chipped Martin to cover.
It was 122-4 after both Cooper and Neil McGrath were bowled, though Tommy McGrath was by now going well, having driven his first ball for four. Then two cheap wickets fell within three deliveries, as Pagan was bowled and Carr was adjudged LBW despite looking a long way forward. The score was now 135-6.
Tommy McGrath hit 12 in an over off Morton, including a massive leg side six, but was immediately bowled in sight of his maiden 50, a superb innings of 46 taking only 33 deliveries. Paul Swift kept the score moving, but lost Andy Naylor just before the occasional bowlers were due to come on. Naylor was stumped the ball after being bemused by the umpire’s decision to invoke law 23.3 (refusal of leg bye) when trying to steer the ball into a gap.
Out strode Will Jones and with fierce pulling and driving that brought him six fours, he added 35 runs with Swift, who was bowled by Cheema for a valuable 16. Last batsman Jess McCulloch calmly played out the over and after seeing the 200 come up with another Jones boundary, she was alert enough to run an overthrow to bring the scores level and keep Will facing. He duly won the match next ball with a drive into the off side, to the great adulation of the spectators.
The most pleasing aspect of the victory was the teamwork. All the Galloway bowlers took a wicket, strongly supported by wicketkeeper Andy Naylor, who stood up to the medium pacers, and the rest of the team all contributed significantly with the bat. Williamfield 203-8 (50 overs): F Martin 80; N McGrath 2-4, S Carr 2-35.
Galloway first XI 204-9 (45.4 overs): T McGrath 46, W Jones 31 not out, R Lamb 30; F Martin 4-36.
On Saturday Galloway are due to host bottom of the table Anniesland.