Northern Counties win T20 Cup
Northern Counties lifted the Twenty/20 Cup after overcoming both city rivals Highland and Buckie on finals day.
Buckie were the defending champions on the day after taking last year’s title on run rate.
But no such calculations were needed this time as Counties took two wins from two to earn their first piece of silverware since 2017.
The final showcase at Nairn opened with an Inverness derby as Counties took on Highland, who still have a perfect record in the league.
David Dugdale hit 52 not out and stand-in captain William Ford scored 24 not out as Counties set a first innings total of 120-4 from their overs.
Giridar Singh put up the most resistance in the Highland response, scoring 27.
But three wickets apiece from Matthew Latimer and Jamie Rodger sealed a 28-run victory for Counties.
That meant Highland went straight into the next match against Buckie, and the league leaders would have more luck here.
This time batting first, Highland passed their collective century to put 112 on the board for Buckie to chase.
Singh this time turned difference maker with the ball though, as he took 3-13 as Highland contained Buckie to 85-8 from their 20 overs.
The last match saw Counties face Buckie, knowing that a win would be enough to take home the trophy, while Buckie needed a result to force a repeat of last year’s run rate calculations.
Latimer was this time helped along by Nuwan Eshwara as both men took two wickets to restrict Buckie to 80-7.
That proved no issue for Counties to chase, with Ian Ferrier scoring 33 and David Dugdale again not out, this time on 29, to steer the city side home with nine wickets to spare.
It was not Buckie’s weekend, as they were forced to scratch their league match against Highland the previous day, leaving just one fixture to be completed.
The action was at Forres, who piled on 281 runs in their 45 overs against Ross County, with Pal Dhami the pick of the bunch with 135.
County could not cope with the scoreboard pressure and were bowled out for just 72.
They will hope for better when they host Buckie in league action this weekend, as Highland go to Elgin, Northern Counties host Fort William and Nairn host Forres.