Cricket: LocHire Stenhousemuir lose out to league leaders Ayr in close encounter

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LocHire Stenhousemuir had hoped to be the first side to defeat league leaders Ayr last Saturday at the Tryst but lost by five wickets.

It was not as convincing as that looks as at several points they were in promising positions. Having opted to bat first the home side were all out for 187 in the last over.

With John Vaughan-Davies missing, Peter Hamilton opened with Zander Smith but was out for 13.

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Twenty three for one became 66 for two when Dennico Hollis was caught off the bowling of Michael English for two. What followed was the crucial passage of the match. Zander Smith and Danie Rossouw were going well and things looked promising when Rossouw was run out for 32.

Stenhousmuir lost out to Ayr over the weekend (Stock photo: Alan Murray)Stenhousmuir lost out to Ayr over the weekend (Stock photo: Alan Murray)
Stenhousmuir lost out to Ayr over the weekend (Stock photo: Alan Murray)

This changed the whole complexion of the game and Ayr gained the upper hand. Smith fell for 70 and apart from 21 from Callum Grant there was little resistance from the tail and the side were all for 187.

Not a great total but a win was still possible. Ayr reached 72 before Callum Grant had Neil Flack caught by Tippu Sultan for 34. With the total on 94, Zander Smith had Michael English caught by Nicky Rodgers for 42 and when Michael Miller was run out without addition to the score, hopes rose again.

Once again, Ayr seized the initiative and Dale Philip and Jake Woodhouse put on 71 for the fourth wicketbeforet Philip was bowled by Tippu Sultan for three. Adil Raza removed Hamza Tahir but Woodhouse with 34 not out safely saw Ayr home by five wickets. Stenhousemuir remain fourth and have the benefit of having played all their games

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Meanwhile, the Stenhousemuir’s second string finally managed to play a match, a first since early June, when they made the long trip to Castle Douglas to take on Galloway’s second string. Even this was reduced to 20 overs a side.

The LocHire side welcomed back the very experienced Bobby Angus for his first game of the season and he took three wickets as Galloway reached 100 for nine off 20 overs. Peter Quinn took two wickets and Ryan Rainsforth and Campbell Mackay one each.

Lucas Laing also made his first appearance and he made 43 not out as Stenhousemuir reached 101 for two. William Sneddon made 23 and Scott Bain 14 not out.

In the next two weeks, Stenhousemuir take on third-placed placed Ferguslie at home and second top West of Scotland away. The seconds are away to Anniesland next Saturday.