Vice-captain Ewan Chalmers once again showed his superb temperament and talent with 70 not out to guide Watsonians to Cricket Scotland national championship glory on Saturday.
The Myreside men were crowned Cricket Scotland Eastern Premier Division champions seven days ago, but, having lost the Scottish Cup final 24 hours later against old rivals Heriot’s, it was always going to be interesting to see how they reacted.
The answer was positively, defeating Cricket Scotland Western Premier Division champions Dumfries at Carlton’s Grange Loan in the showpiece match to win their second piece of silverware in a week.
Three wickets by left arm seamer Mike Legget helped Watsonians skittle the men from Nunholm out for just 125 batting first.
And then Chalmers showed why many believe he should be a permanent fixture in the Scotland top order with his composed innings as ‘Sonians managed to edge home by three wickets.
Watsonians double winning skipper Stuart Chalmers said: “I’m delighted with this win. It’s the culmination of the hard work this year by all the guys. Special mentions to Ewan Chalmers for his match-winning 70 not out and the great bowling performance from Mike Legget.”
In the Scottish Cup final, Stuart Chalmers had won the toss and decided to bat, but this time around he called correctly and decided to insert Dumfries who were without their Australian skipper Josh Geary.
The Watsonians opening bowlers, Paddy Sadler and Legget, were on fire, giving the batsmen a tough time from the off and soon Dumfries were 4-2 after one run out and one scalp to Legget. Andrew Chalmers then took a catch off the bowling of fellow youngster Sadler to remove Dumfries danger man Chris Bellwood for nine, and, at 19-3, the men from the west were struggling.
Legget’s fine spell continued with the wickets of Scott Beveridge and Tom McBride, the latter from his first ball faced, to end with figures of 3-19, and, in this successful year for his club, he has become one of the most consistent seamers in the country.
After they had fallen to 26-5, the 34-run partnership between Dumfries captain Stuart Corbett-Byers (32) and Alan Davidson (11) at least saw their team past the 50 mark.
David Davidson went on to top score with 38 not out to see his team from 76-6 to 125 all out. However, there was no getting away from the fact that ‘Sonians were on top and as well as Legget’s wickets, his brother Pete also took two while Stuart Chalmers, Ewan Chalmers and Sadler also had success with the ball.
Pat Druce had taken five wickets for Dumfries when the two sides met way back at the start of the season in the Scottish Cup group stages and he was causing problems once again at the start of Watsonians reply. He took two wickets as the Edinburgh club slipped to 21-3 and when Stuart Chalmers, Andrew Chalmers and Craig Wright all fell for low totals they were 59-6 and making tough work of reaching their target of 126.
While all others around him were finding the going tough, Ewan Chalmers kept his head though and a crucial 62-run partnership between him and Pete Legget – whose batting this season lower down the order has been key – saw them within five runs of the win.
With Legget back in the pavilion for 22, it was left to Chalmers (70 not out) and Mark Yellowlees (two not out) to see them over the finish line and spark celebrations among the players and supporters.
Despite all the rain this summer and the stop-start nature to the season which has caused frustration, all at Watsonians will look back on 2012 with great fondness, picking up two trophies after being the nearly men in recent years.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies will be back in the East Leagues next summer after they lost their Cricket Scotland Eastern First Division play-off to Glenrothes yesterday.
The men from Stockbridge were blown away by the Fifers, the East One champions, at Falkland’s Scroggie Park ground. Chasing 256 to win Accies were bowled out for just 62 to round off a miserable campaign for them. On Saturday, Glenrothes had beaten Dundee HSFP to set up the clash.