THE Bell Cup final was played at a damp Glenpark on Sunday between the only teams remaining from the clubs who used to compete for the trophy in the 1960s and 70s.

Hillend, now part of Greenock Cricket Club, won the trophy in a keenly contested match where the bigger club’s experience and resources were to prove crucial to the outcome.

In the absence of both team captain Dave Cooke and vice captain David Bruce, Inverclyde’s president Douglas Pilkington acted as captain for the game, and on winning the toss, decided to bowl first in the 20 over a side match, which had no bowling restrictions.

Hillend opening pair Neil Flack and Mountford gave a confident start to the innings, until Paul Singh achieved the breakthrough when Flack mistimed his pull shot and was well caught at backward square leg for 13 by Robert Ahlfeld. In his next over Singh had Sangera caught behind by Steve Gregory, and then bowled Mountford for 26 to leave Hillend at 55 for three after 10 overs. Singh collected his fourth victim when he trapped Stewart leg before. Hillend skipper Kevin Flack then played a match-winning innings for the home side, with an impressive collection of attacking shots. Craig Watson bowled Gemmell and then he captured Jonathan Hempsey’s wicket for 16 runs, when Pilkington held a good catch at deep mid-wicket. Flack saw Hillend through to 111 for six at the end of 20 overs, finishing on 47 not out, with Singh taking four for 51 and Watson two for 59.

With good running between the wickets, Inverclyde’s opening batsmen put on 27 in reply before McDade was caught by Mountford at deep point in the seventh over. Inverclyde kept close to the required run rate until Pilkington was bowled by Sangera for 31 in the 11th over with the total on 50 for two. Hillend’s bowlers then bowled accurately in the closing overs to restrict Inverclyde to only a further 23 runs, with Gregory finishing 20 not out. Hillend captain Flack finished a good all-round display with two for 12 in four overs.

Although this proved a comfortable victory for Hillend, Inverclyde competed well for three quarters of the match, making it an interesting cup final.

After the game WDCU committee member Jim Murphy presented the Bell Cup to winning captain Kevin Flack, and expressed the hope that this will again become an annual fixture in the local cricket calendar.