A successful weekend’s work for Hillhead 1st X1 – May 27 and May 28

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It was a very short trip on Saturday to the south side of Glasgow to play Poloc in WDCU Division 1 at their wonderfully appointed Shawholm ground, well curated by Adam Richardson of GMG. The outcome was in the balance till the final overs of this game, but Hillhead stood strong to win by 12 runs.

Sunday saw the Hillhead X1 travel to rural Aberdeenshire to play Huntly in round 2 of the CS Challenge Cup. This game required an early departure at 07.45, a 180 mile drive, then a delayed start due to heavy showers, but finally a win by 83 runs with a return home at 23.45 !!

Saturdays victory was a fine team effort in which all players contributed. Yet of the first 7 Hillhead batters, only vice captain, Hassan Azhar occupied the crease for any length of time , contributing a dogged 32 runs. By the 38th over the visitors had staggered to the underwhelming score of 96 for 6 wickets and looked in danger. However the fireworks began to crackle when Ross Jones partnered Cammy Horn. The 7th wicker pair added 40 runs in 7 overs with Horn falling for 19, but Ayub Khan was up to the fight and he helped Ross Jones add a further 32 runs in 5 overs to finish undefeated on 11 with Hillhead’s batting hero, Jones, on 36 not out.

The Poloc target of 171 was far from demanding on an easy paced pitch with a spacious outfield, but like their opponents , the host’s batters made their craft look difficult. By the 40th over Poloc had reached only 101 for the loss of 3 wickets with their main problems being Shehroz Mehmood’s miserly 10 over spell conceding only 12 runs and opening bowler Gavin Lynch’s burst of 10 overs unchanged for 24 runs and 2 wickets. Poloc then had the task of scoring 70 off the last 10 overs.

That they failed to reach their target was down to some exceptional catching in the deep from Jack Holland and Ben Ward and some fine “ death bowling “ from Cammy Horn and the coltish Ayub Khan with 3 for 23 from his spell, from over 39 through to 50. A fine outcome with Hillhead taking the full 25 points from this league game.

Sundays cup match was dominated by Ben Wards 112 no out in a game reduced to 35 overs/side. Jack Holland provided sound support early on with a well struck 30 and “Extras” came next with 23. James Lindley-Dawe looked threatening with a mixture of off drives and the long handle but he holed out to long on for 19. Ben Ward was particularly severe on one of the home attack, creaming 35 of 2 overs with one six dislodging a roof tile from an adjacent property.

In reply, Huntly struggled for a decent start against the tight opening attack of Khan and Soni, each of whom conceded only 10 runs from their 5 over opening bursts. Jack Mitchell, the Huntly captain, battled well for his 31 but the rest of the home batters could make little of Mehmood with his 3 for 27 and Jack Holland’s mopping up of the tail with 4 for 11. Once again Hillhead’s fielders backed up the bowlers with some exceptional catching. Paul Bartlett, giving the impression of being able to catch birds in flight, took a sharp chance at gulley while his son, Jared, pouched one at deep cover. Huntly were finally all out in the 30th over for 118 with Hillhead winning by 83 runs.

WDCU business resumes on Saturday June 4 when Irvine visit Hughenden for a 12.00 start. Round 3 of the Challenge Cup reunites Hillhead, last season’s beaten finalists with their conquerors, Morton CC, at Hughenden on Sunday July 3rd.