Helensburgh’s hopes of reaching the final of Cricket Scotland’s Gray Nicolls Challenge Cup were dashed on Sunday – but by the weather rather than the opposition.

Under leaden skies, the much-anticipated semi final did at least get going at Ardencaple; in fact Helensburgh were well placed when the rains came.

Putting Strathmore in to let them enjoy the nuances of the Helensburgh pitch, Helensburgh had contained the visitors to 169 for eight off 38 overs, with Rajitha having taken four for 32.

But with just two overs of the Strathmore innings to go, the expected inclement weather finally took the players off the field – and despite hoping amongst hope for a break, that was that for the day.

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That means Helensburgh will travel to Forfar this Sunday in a second attempt to reach the final, as the venue is reversed and the game restarted.

Captain Gregor Chambers said: “I was pleased with how we performed today, and having got ourselves in such a good position, it was frustrating to have the game abandoned.

“But there’s not much we can do about the weather other than moan, so we go again this Sunday through at Strathmore.”

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Meanwhile, Helensburgh were left to rue missed chances in the field again on Saturday when they hosted league leaders Dumfries.

Chambers won the toss and opted to bowl first; returning to lead the attack after injury alongside Aidan Keogh, the Burgh pair restricted the visitors to 25 for one from the first power play in a really tight opening spell.

Dumfries made steady progress until the drinks break, and with Keogh taking the second wicket and the veteran’s veteran, Jerry Smith, the third, the score was 83 for three after 25 overs.

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Despite Dumfries trying to push on, Helensburgh continued to do a good containing job and but for some poor fielding and dropping the Dumfries pro on 22 (he went on to make 65 not out), the close of innings score of 203 for nine could have been a lot lower.

The target was not beyond Helensburgh’s reach; even after vice-captain Calum Thornton went for a duck second ball, Chambers and Syed Ishtiaq put on 48 for the second wicket.

But from 48 for two, Helensburgh’s batting frailties were cruelly exposed by a razor-sharp Dumfries attack, with only Chambers (33) showing any real desire and purpose at the crease as a procession of wickets fell and Helensburgh were dismissed for 78.

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Chambers said: “Dumfries are a good side and showed why they are top of the league.

“Having said that I’m really disappointed at some of our fielding today. We definitely didn’t back up some decent bowling.

“We have seven games left. To stay in this league we need to show application and commitment from here on in. I firmly believe we can do it, though, as we have enough good players at the club – we just need to show it in the middle.”