Cults Stay Top Despite Bruising Defeat to Bons

The surprise of the day was the inclusion of Grade stalwart Chris Forbes on the team list for Stoneywood Dyce in their SPCU match against Kinloch, but more of that later.

In Grade 1, Cults retain the top spot despite a defeat to Bon Accord at Allan Park. The loss of Awan to an early lbw didn’t prevent Bons posting a daunting 211 thanks to 52 from Javed Aziz and 41 from Shakeel Ahmed, although they were bowled out with Abid Ali and Atif Shehman both taking 3 wickets. Cults started their reply exceptionally well but once Ravi Mahajan was lbw for 60 and Irfan Basheer bowled for 28 it was a steady stream of batsmen to the sidelines as they were dismissed for 164. 5 for 16 from Javed Aziz did the damage but the game was delayed for a period whilst the teams took stock of an alleged physical altercation.Knight Riders edge into 2nd place after a close 10 run win over Gordonians at Countesswells. 42 from Sivaganesan Palaniappan led the way as Jamil Shaikh took 3 for 8 to scuttle Knight Riders for 92. A cameo flurry of 24 from Chamila Perera kept things alive, but 5 for 13 from Vijay Amirtharaj ultimately sealed the fate of the Gordonians’ response. AGSFPs moved into 3rd place without having to get the whites on as injuries and work commitments forced Inverurie to scratch. Inverurie drop into the bottom 3 just ahead of Gordonians and Crescent who lost to Siyapa at Duthie Park. 3 wickets each for Gibson and Thangaraj restricted Siyapa to 187 for 8 but a 3 wicket burst from Asif Yousuf halted the Crescent momentum and they fell 40 runs adrift. Another half century from Josino Aluvathingal took Grampian to 192 for 5 against Master Blasters and despite the all round efforts of Chetan Aggarwal, Grampian cruised to a 92 run victory. 

In Grade 2, 2nd AGSFPs were the beneficiaries of another Stoneywood Dyce scratch, their fourth, so they will be required to update the trustees on their potential ability to play their future fixtures. Mannofield lead the division with another impressive performance, this time it was 2nd Knight Riders who were put to the sword as Mannofield racked up 228 for 4 with Andy Hastie making 54 and Clark Cameron an unbeaten 48. 4 for 28 from Michael Elliott eased Mannofield to a 121 run success. Extras were the equal top scorer in both innings as the bowlers totally dominated at Kessock Park. Nobody would have predicted Portcullis bowling out Fraserburgh for 45, and with Chris Gospel taking 3 for 4 in his 9 overs, Portcullis struggled to a 3 wicket win thanks to a late order resurgence. Wickets for Greenfield and Barrett restricted Methlick to 85 for 8 in their 40 overs and Barrett was unbeaten on 36 as Ellon won comfortably.

It was T20 time for the Grade 3 clubs as they played out the Reid Cup quarter finals. All 4 semi finals followed form, but the closest match was at Banchory where 56 from Alex Hounsome helped 2nd Gordonians to a respectable 114 for 8. Sam Rotheram gave Banchory a steady start, his 46 breaking the back of the run chase as they won with 2 overs and plenty of wickets to spare. 83 from Ray Van Gijssel took Stonehaven to 172 for 4 at Huntly who promptly crashed to 42 all out. Anuj Dawar made 33 but only 2 other batsmen shared 4 runs as the wheels came off for Huntly. 2nd Grampian loved the short boundaries at Lairds as they plundered 211 for 5 against 2nd Methlick with Nadim and Rathnayake both making it past 80. The home side were 66 all out.Short handed Dunecht did well to post 92 for 4 at Crathie who cruised through to the next round with about 5 overs and lots of wickets in hand.

In the SPCU NE Championship, local eyes were on Mannofield where a runfest was expected. What wasn’t expected was pace, bounce and movement for the bowlers and Gordonians struggled to 136 for 9 thanks to a late flurry of runs from Srinivasan. The Shire bowling attack was well marshalled by Lewis Munro as they all delivered miserly figures. Runs were equally hard to come by when Shire batted but credit has to go to Nathan Elliott who opened and batted straight through as Shire won in the 41st over. Whilst the Gordos bowlers beat the edge very regularly, Elliott showed immense concentration and produced some delicious shots in his unbeaten 68. Kinloch batted first at Stoneywood and didn’t bat the overs thanks to a fantastic comeback performance from Chris Forbes who took 4 for 35 turning back the clock to when he was a key component of the treble winning Gordonians side of 2016. Mike Louw picked up 3 for 39 as Kinloch were bowled out for 152. SDCC lost 5 wickets chasing victory but an unbeaten 57 from Ewan Davidson steered them home. Arbroath will have been delighted to have scored 156 at Falkland but an unbeaten 56 from Harsha Cooray saw the home side win comfortably in the 30th over. Cooray will probably be the only Pro on show in the SPCU so Falkland may well be favourites to win the SPCU title. They will however need someone to take points off Freuchie, and that almost happened at Perth as they lost 9 wickets overhauling a Perth Doocot score of 96. Nails would also have been bitten at Forthill as Dundee High totalled 170 against 2nd Forfarshire who won’t be feeling so good today as they were bowled out for 169 with 15 balls still available. Huntly would have expected to score more than 115 at Strathmore, this in large part thanks to an unbeaten 32 from Dan Lentz. Strathmore only lost 3 wickets chasing down the required runs in the 15th over. 

In the Eastern Premier League, Stoneywood Dyce travelled to Goldenacre more in hope than expectation, and any hope soon vanished as Scotland opener Matthew Cross came in at first wicket down and batted through to the end of the Heriots innings amassing an unbeaten 171 out of 307 for 5. Scotland spinner Mark Watt had weighed in with 41 for Heriots but didn’t bowl as the wickets were shared around, SDCC all out for 156. For SDCC David Kidd stuck in to make 48 runs as he eyes all rounder status. 

Bon Accord were the only remaining local team in the Scottish Cup or Challenge Cup, although this was due to a bye in the previous round that saw the demise of Gordonians, AGSFPs and Huntly, the conquerors of the latter, Leith FAB being the visitors to Inverurie on Sunday to play Bons. Unfortunately rain intervened when Bons had made a very useful start on 122 for 2. The sides will have to try again in Edinburgh on 4th July.

At Stirling, Grange batted first against Gordonians in the semi final of the ECB Vitality Under 15 Cup. Things didn’t go to plan for Gordonians as the Edinburgh side rattled up 157 for 3 in their 20 overs and then restricted Gordos to 68 for 8 in reply. In the 3rd place match, Gordonians were too good for Perth Doocot scoring an unassailable 182 with Adi Hegde retiring on 50 and Sourav Singh making 49. Grange won the final beating Clydesdale by 6 runs.