The form guide went well and truly out of the window this weekend as 4 of the 5 games in Grade 1 were won by the underdogs. Crescent triumphed over Grammar but Grammar picked up the necessary bonus points so their league win was never in doubt despite a below par batting performance. 56 from Nathan Thangaraj helped Crescent post a fairly daunting 223 all out on a ‘delightful’ Links wicket. Mahesh Challa took 4 for 32 for Grammar. In reply Grammar knew they only needed 1 batting bonus point to add to their 10 bowling points to ensure whatever happened at Kellands Park between Inverurie and Bon Accord wouldn’t spoil their party. Alec Keith brought up the bonus point to spark celebrations but for once the reliable batting line up fired not that it will worry Rob Swiergon one bit as Crescent won by 81 runs. It was a quick game at Countesswells as Master Blasters lived up to their name and ripped through a weakened Gordonians batting line up dismissing them for 36 then knocked off the total inside 9 overs. Niranjan Augustine and Vishal Desai were the bowling heroes with 4 for 22 and 3 for 1. In Inverurie Fazal Awan 58 and Nawaz Mirza 59 (their scores not their ages) looked to be taking the game away from Inverurie but John Moore picked up the crucial wicket of Awan and the Bons were bowled out for 186 when 220+ was looking very likely. Despite taking a couple of early wickets a partnership of 138 between George Hadden 51 and Trev Norval 86 (those are their totals not how old they are feeling today) took Inverurie to the brink of victory but the Inverurie way is to make things interesting, and it took Jordan Thom and Ritesh Kola to see Inverurie over the line with 1 over and 5 wickets to spare. Knight Riders racked up 220 for 9 in their innings against Siyapa with Abinav Kache top scoring with 68. Khurram Haseeb took the game to the Knights with 67 but nobody else could follow this up as Siyapa were bowled out for 163 to give the Knights a 57 run victory. Grampian sealed their return to Grade 2 with a 5 wicket victory over Cults at Allan Park, Cults batted first and made 142 for 9 from their 40 overs with John Varghese doing the damage with the ball picking up 4 for 17. Not out 40’s from Josino Aluvathingal and Libin Thomas helped see Grampian home by 5 wickets.
In Grade 2 Methlick were condemned to life in Grade 3 in 2022. 2nd Knights were reduced to 148 for 9 despite 60 from Prasanna Venkatesan but a last wicket partnership of 62 broke the hearts of Methlick as the Knights were all out for 210. Methlick gave the chase a good go with Mark Woodhouse and Muhammad Rehman putting on 99 for the 2nd wicket but unfortunately for the teuchters they were 18 runs short of victory as they ran out of overs.
Dunecht would have been partying again on Saturday night after an 8 wicket victory over 2nd Methlick. 63 from Jamie Boughey helped Methlick post 107 but 48 not out from Jim Donald helped Dunecht to their target with minimal ease. Earlier the miserly combo of Steve Derrett 4 for 1 and Alan Burnett 3 for 7 ran riot with the ball for Dunecht. 2nd Grampian edged past Crathie by 2 wickets to secure promotion to Grade 2. Crathie made 131 for 8 from their 40 and Grampian chased it down with 3 balls and 2 wickets to spare thanks for 49 from captain Vai Sasidharan. 2nd Gordonians have finished the season strongly and put Huntly to the sword at Castle Park with a convincing 8 wicket win. Huntly were bowled out for 74 with Sivaram Gollakota taking 4 for 2. Umesh Basavaraju with 32 helped Gordos home. Banchory recorded the most convincing victory of the day against Stonehaven. Batting first former Stonehaven captain Ross Devlin contributed 75 runs of their 220 total then Daniel Brown ripped through the Stoney innings with 5 for 9 as they were bowled out for 44 giving Banchory a 176 run win
It should have been a busy day behind the bar at Falkland as they looked to celebrate winning the SPCU North East Championship, but a Covid outbreak in the Dundee High camp meant no cricket for anyone who fancied toasting their success. The on field day belonged to Kenny Reid of Aberdeenshire who led from the front and had the Kinloch fielders chasing leather at Mannofield. He dominated an opening stand of 229 with Aayush Das who made 71, Reid eventually the 3rd wicket down on 306, out for 185. The Aberdeenshire total of 388 for 4 was way beyond the Kinloch batsmen and Lewis Munro hoovered up 5 for 39 to bundle out Kinloch for 132. Gordonians trip to play Strathmore was rained off so they finished 3rd in the table, Shire finishing in 5th spot. Freuchie were runners up as they totalled 251 for 4 against Arbroath, runs coming from Alan Wallace with an unbeaten 70, and Robbie Wright with 69. The Arbroath response was respectable, Megan McColl scoring 72 to follow on from her recent record breaking bowling for Scotland as they were all out for 218. Stoneywood Dyce finished 11th in the league, Mark Lambley their top scorer with 49 as they were all out for 157 against visitors Huntly. Former SDCC captain Jack Mitchell hasn’t had the best of seasons with the bat, but he was undefeated on 76 as Huntly won by 5 wickets. Forfarshire 2nds had a comfortable 61 run win over Perth Doocot.
With the Eastern Premier League already decided, all eyes were on the Meigle v Stewarts Melville encounter as they battled it out to avoid relegation. A delayed start reduced the game to 44 overs a side and Stew Mel were bowled out for 195 in 43 overs. 47 from Alan Neave and 44 from Peter Drummond set up a thrilling climax, and with the winning line in sight for Meigle, Stew Mel held their nerve to run out Charles Clark with 8 balls still available and Meigle 8 runs short. Meigle drop straight back into the SPCU, who will now be desperately hoping that Falkland progress to the EPL to avoid them sitting with 13 teams in their top division. Try figuring that one out! Victory for Stew Mel hoisted them above Stoneywood Dyce who finished their campaign narrowly above Meigle in 9th. 7 Stoneywood Dyce batsmen made it into double figures against Carlton, but none could go past 31 as they were bowled out for 155. Carlton took 28 overs and lost 5 wickets as they cemented the runners up spot in the EPL. The big Edinburgh derby between Grange and Heriots went the way of champions Heriots. Matthew Cross top scored with 84 as Heriots chased down the 253 for 3 of Grange. Forfarshire beat Watsonians by 4 wickets, Craig Wallace unbeaten on 74, and the Arbroath v RH Corstorphine match was rained off.