Heriot’s fall just short as Prestwick win Grand Final

Prestwick players Fraser McDonald (wicketkeeper), Tom Fleet (back to camera) and Shazad Rafiq celebrate the wicket of Heriot's and Scotland all-rounder Mark Watt. Pic: Donald MacLeod
Prestwick players Fraser McDonald (wicketkeeper), Tom Fleet (back to camera) and Shazad Rafiq celebrate the wicket of Heriot's and Scotland all-rounder Mark Watt. Pic: Donald MacLeod
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Heriot’s just missed out on winning the CSL Grand Final on Saturday at the same time as RH Corstorphine were booking their place in the top flight for next season.

After dramatically clinching the CSL Eastern Premiership the week before, Heriot’s headed to Ferguslie to take on WDCU Premier Division champions Prestwick in the final match of a long summer.

And everything seemed to be going well for skipper Keith Morton and his men when they bowled first and had the Ayrshire team in a bit of bother.

Adrian Neill, the tall seamer who is on the fringes of the Scotland squad, took four wickets as Prestwick’s usually reliable batting line-up failed.

Tom Fleet top scored with 22 but fell to Hayes van der Berg and the last five Prestwick batsmen added just 27 runs as they were all out for just 97.

Given that Heriot’s had scored 218 the week before in 45 overs against Aberdeenshire, many would have backed them to reach their victory target with ease, but Prestwick had other ideas.

They took the key wicket of Van der Berg for 21, trapped LBW by young prospect Mitchell Rao, and took heart from that. The Ayrshire side took wickets at regular intervals and spinner Sachin Chaudhary, Rao’s spin twin, became the hero with four key wickets.

A battling 21 from Morton kept Heriot’s in contention but, when he was bowled by Fraser Macdonald, Prestwick knew they were on to a winner and soon finished things off with Heriot’s 92 all out.

Although disappointed to lose this one, Heriot’s can still look back on a fine campaign where they came from behind to snatch the league title from Arbroath and Mazars Grange and played their part, albeit in defeat, in a cracking Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy final against Watsonians.

Meanwhile, RH Corstorphine will be mixing it with the big boys and have made it six Capital teams in the top division for next year after a convincing promotion play-off win over Stoneywood-Dyce.

The previous weekend had seen Edinburgh lift the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship after they won against Carlton II while RH Corstorphine lost at Dunnikier.

However, with Edinburgh not having the infrastructure to go up to the top flight, RH Corstorphine were at Falkland taking on the Strathmore Union champions for the remaining promotion spot.

And bowling first the Barnton men made sure that spot was theirs, skittling out their opponents from Aberdeen for just 28.

Majid Haq took six wickets and skipper Joe Kinghorn-Gray four before their team knocked off the required runs to come through by eight wickets.

Kinghorn-Gray said: “We are obviously delighted to win this game and get promoted to the Premiership.

“The team has worked hard all season on the pitch and in training so it feels great to end a long summer on such a high with everyone playing their part.

“The players have been great, but we would not have been able to do our job without the support of integral club members such as Jim McFadyen, our groundsman and president, and Rob Drummond, our scorer and secretary, among others.”

Key to RH Corstorphine’s promotion was Haq, the all-rounder who joined last winter and played for Scotland for a number of years.

The spinner took 31 regular season wickets plus the six in this play-off match while he has been well supported by seamer Kinghorn-Gray with 22 regular season scalps plus the four at the weekend, and Sam Flett with almost 400 runs.

Finally, the T20 national 
finals day due to feature Watsonians has been postponed until early next season.