On the warmest weekend of the season so far, Galloway overcame the disappointment of a cancelled league match on Saturday by securing a rare Scottish Challenge Cup win at Gatehouse on Sunday when they beat Fife club Freuchie by 67 runs.
It was a fine team effort, including major contributions from Akhil Somarajan with the bat and Alan Lamb with his first five-wicket (or Fife-wicket!) haul. The visitors, who had travelled somewhat further than Helensburgh (the opposition who cried off the previous day), chose to field first on a good pitch.
Galloway openers Phil McMenemy and Stevie Carr saw off the five overs apiece from the new ball bowlers, and took the score to 35. Stevie scored most of these with six boundaries, including two crisp cover drives in an over.
Whippy medium-pacer Lewis and left-arm spinner Young reduced the hosts to 59-4 at drinks, each bowling one of the openers and respectively having Pat Druce caught at point and Ross Lamb stumped for 12.
Top scorer Akhil and Glen Montgomery rebuilt the innings by adding 51 in 9 overs, almost half of which came in the eventful 29th over that yielded 25 runs and a wicket. Akhil hit a straight six, smashed a high full toss tennis style over the bowler’s head and lost the ball with a massive six into the trees off the resultant free hit.
Akhil added six more runs before being caught in the deep, and there was still time for Anup Domanic to get off the mark. Glen maintained the momentum with two boundaries off McLaughlin, and although his opening partner Niemann took three wickets for three runs in his second spell Galloway already had a good platform.
Pat Druce and Ross Lamb set the tone for the Freuchie reply, limiting them to 27-2 after ten overs. Pat had Cresswell caught at second slip by Ross, who hit Glasgow’s leg stump. Niemann looked to be the Fifers’ main threat, hitting two early boundaries.
The change bowlers, Alan Lamb and Akhil, were even more effective, squeezing Freuchie to 40-4 at drinks, and 70-8 by the time both had finished their eight-overs spell. Galloway were undeniably helped by the umpires adjudging wides, their usual nemesis, on normal cricket law rather than limited overs regulations.
Alan took the key wicket of Niemann, LBW for 12, saw catches held by Akhil at short mid off and superbly by Simon Mein running from mid off to mid on, where Alex then caught Welsh, before bowling McLaughlin first ball.
Glen removed top scorer Russell LBW with one that kept low, Anup hit Bisset’s middle stump with a leg break and Ross returned to clinch victory by hitting Young’s leg stump. The tea and post-match barbecue were much appreciated by all the players and the umpires.
In the second round Galloway will be at home to Forfar based side Strathmore on Sunday 18 June.
Galloway 155 (38 overs) A Somarajan 42, S Carr 31, G Montgomery 23, J Niemann 3-13
Freuchie 88 (32.5 overs) A Lamb 5-13, R Lamb 2-19, P Druce 1-5, A Domanic 1-9, G Montgomery 1-13