By Stewart McConnell

IRREPRESSIBLE Prestwick underlined their Western Premier Division title credentials by producing a scintillating display in a comprehensive win at Ayr.

They racked up their first victory at Cambusdoon in almost 20 years to strengthen their advantage at the top and all but end the home side's hopes of winning the Western Premier Division.

However Shazad Rafiq's men, who lost the corresponding game at the Henry Thow Oval, had to dig deep after making a disappointing start.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat.

However they made a dismal start and were 3-2 after Rafiq and fellow opener Fassail Jawad were dismissed for two and a duck respectively by Scott McElnea. There was more drama when South African overseas amateur Luke Smith went for eight, with McElnea also taking him out, making it 21-3.

However Ross Patterson and Sachin Chaudhary put on a stand of 107 for the fourth wicket before the former was bowled by skipper Andi McElnea for 38.

Chaudhary completed his century and was out for 108 off the bowling of Kiwi professional Michael Papps.

Tom Fleet then made an important 39 before being bowled by Scott McElnea, who took four for 47.

Home bowler Shujja Khan then took three wickets as Prestwick ended their innings on 227 for nine from 50 overs.

Like the visitors the hosts made a poor start to their innings. Openers Neil Smith and Papps were bowled for four and a duck by the outstanding Chaudhary and Willie Rowan respectively, leaving them reeling on 7-2.

However Andi McElnea and Khan put on 103 for the third wicket, before the latter was bowled for 45 by Chaudhary. Matt Crawshaw was bowled by Mitchell Rao for 13 and Andi McElnea was run out by Mitchell Rao for 69.

When Mike Miller was bowled by Rowan it looked like game over with Ayr on 160-6.

The rest of the wickets tumbled with great regularity as Ayr were all out for 184, giving Prestwick a 43-run win.

Rowan took three for 30, Chaudhary two for 21, Rao two for 45 and Patterson and Sayed Rizvi a wicket apiece.

However, there was some good news for the Cambusdoon club as they qualified for the McCulloch Cup final on Thursday.

They took on Ferguslie at the fourth time of asking, following three abandonments.

Ferguslie batted first and were restricted to 123-4 thanks to some tight, accurate bowling and good ground fielding. After the early loss of Neil Smith, Ayr timed their run chase perfectly, with Michael Papps (68 not out) and Andi McElnea (36 not out) rotating the strike well and punishing any poor balls as they won with more than two overs to spare.

The Cambusdoon XI lost their first match in seven, away to local rivals St. Ninians. The home team batted first and were bowled out for 184, with Callum Henderson taking four for 34 and father-and-son combination of Kevin and Harry Boyd each claiming two wickets, but in reply Cambusdoon were always struggling losing wickets at regular intervals, only Matthew Cooper (28) troubling the St. Ninians bowlers as they were all out for 96.

This week sees Ayr travel to Glasgow to take on last years champions Clydesdale in League action and hopefully they will play in the McCulloch Cup final on Wednesday if the other semi-final between Poloc and Greenock can be completed in time. The Cambusdoon XI are at home to league leaders Titwood.