Victory for Poloc

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Thanks to some hard-working groundsmanship, two of the three main southside cricket teams managed to play their third-round match in the league section of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

Following two disappointing previous batting performances, Poloc finally came good with a 102-run away victory over Penicuik.

Professional Carl Huyser led the way with a scintillating 72 not out, but the scene had already been set by a 66-run partnership between Craig Young and Euan Sheridan.

Poloc’s impressive 217 for the loss of six wickets was sustained by excellent bowling from ‘Rusty’ Lauder (4-33) and Nick Lafferty (3-24) as Penicuik subsided to 115 all out.

PSL Team Sports Clydesdale had already had an earlier game cancelled, sharing the two points available for each game. So there was added urgency to ensure that Saturday’s game against West Lothian at Titwood wasn’t another victim of the weather conditions.

So it was a considerable relief that, after a delay of three hours for the ground to dry out, the umpires allowed play to begin at Titwood, the game reduced to 30 overs-a-side.

With Clydesdale’s captain Majid Haq away playing for the Scottish Saltires in the south of England, the game marked the debut of the club’s new coach-player, Shoaib Khan, as vice-captain Zulfiqar Shahid took up the leadership reigns.

Batting first, Clydesdale opener Haroon Sher was in positive mood, scoring quickly, but was unlucky to fall one short of his half-century.

At the other end, Khan gave good support, his contribution of 28 making a decent first impression on the watching members. But it was Shahid himself who guided the home team to a final score of 161, though a flurry of late wickets restricted what might have been a more challenging total.

In reply, the opening batsmen from West Lothian mounted what looked like a match-winning assault on the target, both scoring half-centuries.

But a sharp stumping and a run-out by Clydesdale’s new teenage wicket-keeper Ahmad Chaudhry, and three wickets from left-arm spinner Mo Ali strangled the visitors’ middle order, to secure a 14-run victory that took them to the top of the Group G table at the half-way stage.

The other three Cup matches are scheduled for mid-summer, so thoughts now turn to the season-long business of the Cricket Scotland League which starts this week.

Women’s Hockey (Pic attached of Neha Goyal scoring the first goal for India U21s)

A 10-day tour by India’s under-21 hockey women has been accommodated at short notice on the new water-based hockey pitch at Titwood, as they prepare for the Junior World Cup in Germany next month.

Their hastily-arranged trip to Scotland involves daily training sessions, and five representative matches, including three against Scotland, and one against Clydesdale Western, the hosts, who are also preparing for European competition this summer.

The first match against the Scots, on Friday evening, was played in truly atrocious monsoon conditions, the temperature 30 degrees below what the Indians are used to.

The game was heading for a goalless draw, but in the last 30 seconds, a penalty corner was awarded to the visitors, which became the last hit of the game after the hooter had sounded for full-time.

The corner routine was successfully converted to the only goal of the game, allowing the drenched Indians to leave the field feeling a lot warmer than might have seemed likely.

The second game, in much drier conditions on Sunday, was also won by India, who scored in each half, while the Scots pulled one back to make the final score 2-1.