COLIN MITCHELL, the Clydesdale manager, had a more eventful day out in Dumfries on Saturday than he bargained for.

At Nunholm to motivate his Western Union league leaders and perform those behind-the-scenes functions that are the lot of many an unsung hero, Mitchell suddenly found himself thrust onto the park and into the limelight.

Injuries to Akram Shakoor and Mo Afzaal meant that Clydesdale were short of fielders and Mitchell, who retired nine years ago, was called to fill the breach. "I thought it was a joke when the guys shouted from the middle for me to get the whites on but the penny dropped that there was no-one else," reflected Mitchell yesterday as he soothed some aching limbs.

"I was in the field for thirty overs while the injured guys were off at hospital being treated for split webbing injuries.

"Mercifully I got through it without any real cock-ups - though the body is feeling it today."

The pain was ultimately worth it for Mitchell as his side produced a fairly clinical performance to win by three wickets. After picking up four early wickets they would have wanted to be chasing a smaller target than 239 runs but, given the absence of those two injured bowlers, it was an acceptable effort in the field.

Josh Edwards led the way for Dumfries with 95 but Clydesdale came out fighting with a rapid 36 from Mo Awais before Majid Haq and Richie Berrington produced a match-winning partnership of 123.

Berrington led the way with a pugnacious 83 while Haq played a captain's knock to finish unbeaten on 86.

"The pace of Richie's innings took the pressure off and Maj played with assurance. It was a very important win for us," added Mitchell.

Elsewhere Kelburne again showed their title credentials with victory over defending champions Ayr. It looked like being a tough day for the Paisley side when Ayr openers Neil Smith and Andi McElnea provided a solid base for the hosts. Smith hit seven boundaries in his 39 while McElnea provided 45 runs to an opening stand of 89 before Kelburne fought back to devastating effect.

Stevie McLister joined the attack to remove both openers and the visitors had an even bigger boost when Bradley Williams clean-bowled danger-man Lenert van Wyk. The South African, boasting more than 1,000 runs in all competitions, would have been fancied to build on the platform provided by Smith and McElnea. Instead, he was dismissed for just five and Ayr, at 96-3, were in danger of losing their way.

Youngster Shujaa Khan steadied them with a composed 52no but Zeeshan Bashir, making his league debut for Kelburne, claimed three late wickets that restricted Ayr to a modest 217-8.

Bashir then displayed his all-round skills by anchoring Kelburne's reply with a solid 46, allowing Williams to seize the initiative with a hard-hitting 72.

Qasim Sheikh weighed in with 39 and, despite a late Ayr fightback during which Callum Leck claimed three wickets, the Paisley side reached their target with 10 balls and four wickets to spare.

East Kilbride remain firmly in the hunt, the Torrance House side comfortably disposing of Drumpellier. Craig Smith (64) Muhammad Ramzan (52) and Ross Lyons (48) were the main contributors in a total of 244 before Moneeb Iqbal's four wickets restricted Drumps to 193 despite a fine 87 from Asad Mohammed.

Ferguslie, too, still harbour hopes of title glory after they proved too strong for West of Scotland at Meikleriggs, Jamey Carruthers producing the bowling performance of the day with 7-42 in a 124-run success. In a low-scoring affair at King George V Playing Fields, Uddingston prevailed by just three wickets after dismissing Renfrew for 97.