Jun 8 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
LOCAL LIFE AYR fell to a narrow defeat at home at Dumfries on Saturday.
The visitors chased down the Ayr total of 234-5 to win with just one over to spare.
The Ayr innings got off to a solid start and after the loss of Andi McElnea, new South African professional Craig Thyssen, in his first league game for the club, and Neil Smith put on 109 for the second wicket before Thyssen fell for 61.
Smith duly went on to complete his maiden century for the club finishing on 105 not out.
He got valuable support at the end of the innings from Douglas Johnstone (26).
The Ayr opening bowlers Elliot Speirs and Scott McElnea both struck early in the Dumfries innings as the visitors were reduced to 9-2 before U19 Internationalist Tom McBride (51) and Australian amateur Josh Geary (130 n.o.) put on 150 for the third wicket.
With Geary still at the crease Dumfries were always in control and reached there target with 11 balls remaining.
Last Wednesday night, Local Life Ayr got their first sighting of new pro Thyssen as they took on Irvine in the West League Cup.
Ayr batted first and scored 125-4 with Thyssen top scoring with 67.
Once Ayr removed Irvine professional Shoaib Khan for 37 they were always in control as their hosts ended on 80-9 with Andi McElnea finishing with figures of 4-16.
A youthful Cambusdoon XI lost away to Nunholm on Saturday.
Batting first they were bowled out for 93 with Calvin Hay top scoring with 34. The hosts then reached their target in quick time to record a 10 wicket victory.
On Sunday the Development XI also travelled to Nunholm and put up a good performance as they fell to defeat in their first match of the season.
Ayr batted first and posted a respectable 181-9 in their 40 overs.
Elliot Speirs top scoring with 82 and well supported by Ross McKelvie (31) and Calvin Hay (21).
The youthful Ayr attack managed to keep the home teams run rate in check for most of the innings but a century from Richardson saw them home with two overs to spare.
In the juniors the U11s had a comfortable victory away to Poloc.
The U13s had a busy week, losing at home to Clydesdale in the league.
The B team then lost at home to Kilmarnock and on Sunday beat Galloway in the Scottish Cup – the highlight of the match being a hat trick for Matthew Davidson.
On Friday night, the U15s had a comfortable victory against a joint Ferguslie/Kelburne team, bowling the visitors out for 43 and then Ivan Craig and Robbie Henderson knocking off the runs in four overs.
This weekend sees the Cambusdoon XI host Williamfield while Local Life Ayr are away to Stirling County, where players and officials from both sides will pay their respects to former Freeman of the City of Stirling Irvin Iffla.
Jamaican-born Irvin, who died in March aged 88, starred for both clubs as well as Stenhousemuir, St Modans and Gargunnock in a career in Scotland lasting from 1951 to 1993.
His family have donated a memorial bench to the Stirling club and on Saturday at New Williamfield, the clubs will play for a trophy to be named in his honour and played annually between Stirling County and Ayr.
In 1961 during a spell at Ayr, he helped the club become the first in Western District cricket to take the coveted triple crown of the Union championship, the West League Cup and the Rowan Charity Cup.
There will be a ceremony on Saturday at 11.45am before County’s match with Ayr to which all former players and associates are invited.
MGM Prestwick endured a similarly close call on Saturday, but managed to scrape past Stenhousemuir in the final over of their Western Union First Division contest.
Star man once again was pro Sikandar Raza, who steered the Oval men to victory with just a few balls to spare.
Stenhousemuir had posted a total of 252 with top bowling from Gav Pitt (2-33).
Prestwick looked to be on a shaky peg when they needed 17 from 13 and Raza was dropped on 96.
He went on to smash the next two deliveries out of the ground, leaving Prestwick on the edge of a stunning win.
Raza finished unbeaten on 112 while Kev Lawler also chipped in with 49.
Prestwick travel to Renfrew this Saturday.