Heriots claimed the Scottish Cup for the fifth time on Sunday with a thumping 139-run victory over Edinburgh rivals Watsonians at New Cambusdoon in Ayr.
The rain which wiped out the Scottish league programme on Saturday persisted long enough for the final to be reduced to 40 overs a side, and Watsonians’ skipper Peter Maksimczyk soon came to regret his decision to give the opposition first use of the pitch.
Josh Stinson and Thomas Pratt started up steadily enough against Mathew Cross and Keith Morton and Pratt was rewarded for seaming the ball consistently away from the right-handers when Morton, after playing and missing a couple of times, got an edge through to keeper Parker Neame.
But Hayes van der Berg now joined Cross and they added 68 for the second wicket in just six and a half overs, forcing the introduction of spin in the person of Gregour Carr.
Carr broke through as the sun did likewise, getting one to lift sharply on Cross when he had made 44 and inducing the nick to Neame.
The partnership which followed, between Van der Berg and Mark Watt, produced by far the best batting of the match, as the Heriots pair put on 116 at better than a run a ball and punishing anything even slightly loose from the spinners Carr, Ollie Hairs and Michael Carson.
Van der Berg reached his half-century off exactly 50 deliveries, while Watt raced to his with a triplicity of boundaries off Maksimczyk to pass 50 from 47 balls, adding another from the final ball of the over for good measure.
The batters had now moved into top gear, taking 18 off one Hairs over as the final powerplay began; that signalled the return of Pratt, who immediately removed Watt, miscuing a pull to Stinson at deep square leg and departing for a 52-ball 59.
Zach Place, held back to partner Pratt at the death, proved the tactical wisdom of this move by dismissing Van der Berg, who stroked him uppishly to Andrew Chalmers in a rather tame end to a magnificent innings; his 88 had come from 80 deliveries and included nine fours and two sixes.
Michael Shean and Lloyd Brown piled on the agony in the closing over and although Stinson, returning to bowl the final over, had the former caught by Maksimczyk, Heriots closed on a very substantial 261 for five.
Two quick wickets for Joe Kinghorn-Gray reinforced the advantage, and although Hairs and Gregory Brown managed to get the total to 57 for two, once Hairs fell, bowled trying to hit Gavin Main over the top and departing for a 26-ball 28, 24 of them in boundaries, any realistic chance of a successful chase seemed to have disappeared.
Brown made 35 before he was run out looking for an unlikely second, but thereafter the last five wickets fell for just 15 runs and the innings ended on 122.
Apart from Kinghorn-Gray three other Heriots bowlers picked up a brace of wickets, Watt claiming his at the cost of 16 runs in seven overs and Shean taking two for 6 from 23 deliveries.
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