Sep 2 2011 Dumfries Standard Friday
APD Dumfries took the Scottish Championship title away from leaders West Lothian on Sunday in a top of the table decider at Benfield Park Nunholm.
They notched up a convincing seven-wicket win in what was the final league game of the season.
That earned the side, for the first time, promotion to the Scottish Premiership and into the top league in Scotland.
Dumfries won the toss and were able to put West Lothian in to bat. Then Allan Maskrey gave his captain the start he wanted with an lbw decision with the second ball of the game.
Five overs later he had another victim, bowled by a testing yorker.
It could have been even better for the Nunholm side but Smith,at number four, was uncharacteristically dropped at slip off Breetzke and he, with overseas player Cookson, set about consolidating the innings.
However, after 20 overs the match swung when Beveridge had Cookson well caught by keeper Corbett-Byers in his first over for what became West Lothian's top score of 39.
In the very next over Jim Patterson had Smith caught at mid-off and Black was bowled, facing his first delivery, leaving the ball.
Then Dixon debated a second run with his partner and was run out by Maskrey and West Lothian were in strife at 71 for 6.
That Dumfries momentum looked to be continuing when Chris McCutcheon came on to take two more wickets to make it eight down with the score in the nineties.
West Lothian were, however, marshalling their resources well and attempted to repeat their successful late order recovery from the previous day.
Thomson (23) and Raven (20no) pushed the score towards a competitive total but the former was superbly bowled by McCutcheon. However, a couple of sixes still landed on the pavilion roof before Beveridge got Bennie lbw in the last over for a final total of 148.
Dumfries seemed to have negotiated their opening overs until Dawson was given lbw to Thomson and shortly afterwards Tom McBride, after a glorious cover drive, 'snicked-off'’ to make it 28 for two.
It required a crucial partnership between Benfield man of the match Scott Beveridge and Chad Breetzke to settle any concerns.
They played steadily, but not without difficulties, until a loose over from Smith was launched over the boundary by Beveridge for 18 runs, smashing a window in the process.
As a result the scoreboard, and the course of the innings, was immediately healthier at 81 for two in the 20th over.
Although Beveridge survived a couple of chances, he went on to hit an excellent 50 to continue his impressive form with the bat as the side's top run scorer. He seemed set to be not out when he managed to get bowled behind his legs, straight after an interruption to the game.
That left 26 more to get. Skipper Corbett-Byers contributed boundaries and then Breetzke hit the winning four straight down the ground with 20 plus overs still left.
He was the team's 'finisher' on the day with a 38 not out punctuated with some punishing attacking shots to register his third important not out in three consecutive matches.
That sparked celebrations in the Dumfries changing room and more after the Championship Trophy was presented to Stuart Corbett-Byers for the biggest achievement in the club's 158 years.
It also marked two league trophies in two years for the side and a 2011 league and cup double with the SCU Trophy win the previous weekend.
Captain Stuart Corbett-Byers was delighted with the result: “The players have worked hard to recover from a disappointing narrow loss in the first league game and it is great that they have now been rewarded with the title in the final match.
“The club has been growing into a premier outfit and the team are looking forward to the challenge of the Premiership next year and facing international players at Nunholm on a regular basis.”
There is one more competition still to be decided but Dumfries have an uphill task when they play Premiership winners Carlton in the Murgitroyd Scottish Twenty20 semi-final this Sunday at Shawholm.
Scottish Championship, match sponsored by Benfield Ltd:
APD Dumfries beat West Lothian by seven wickets at Nunholm.
West Lothian 148 all out (49.3 overs) J Cookson 39, C McCutcheon 3 for 29, J Patterson 2 for 20, S Beveridge 2 for 26, A Maskrey 2 for 28.
APD Dumfries 150 for 3 (29 overs) S Beveridge 53, C Breetzke 38no.
Benfield Man of the Match: S Beveridge.