All things are still to play for at the conclusion of the 2nd last full week of this Grades season, with the top three still in contention for the Grade 1 title going into the final week.
Knightriders maintained their position at the top of Grade 1 as they comfortably beat a strong Mannofield lineup, the duo of Vijapur and Nagulmeera obliterated the Mannofield top order with 7 wickets combined, including that of the the former self-proclaimed ‘one man army’ Rahul Chandu. For Knight Riders Muhammad 54* and Tenneti 24* were the chief run scorers in the chase.
Bon Accord welcomed the evergreen Tauqeer Malik back from his adventures in the Asian subcontinent as he helped clinch a vital win versus Gordonians. Fazal Awan didn’t make his customary ton against Gordos as he was run out backing up too far at the non striker’s end for 63. Despite this Bon Accord still won by a comfortable 67 runs. Elsewhere at the top, Crescent comfortably beat the now relegated AGSFPs at Links to stay level on wins and points with Bon Accord, the flamboyant Alexander Pereira with a stylish 65 leading the way for Crescent. Master Blasters continued their red hot form as they officially relegated Balamurali’s 2nd Knightriders into Grade 2, Rama Mantha leading the way with 87 as Master Blasters recorded a 99 run victory.
Inverurie at home notched up a tough 16 run victory over Ajazi’s Cults, Trevor Norval recording a fiery 88 to take his seasons league tally to an impressive 772 runs, this despite a strong effort from Cults who were led by Zubair Raje (52 runs), the dynamic and contrasting duo of Jessiman (1 wicket) and Thom (5 wickets), one with guile and patience and the other with fire and might, ensured that Inverurie crossed the line with the win!
With Grade 2 already concluded with Grampian and Siyapa on the way up, it’s all about personal accolades now as to who can muster up the most runs and who can take the most wickets! Ellon recorded a comfortable 9 wicket win at home over 2nd Grampian, with Ben Webb recording a fluent 65 runs and club stalwart Johnny Barrett recording 3 wickets.
Grampian took their season win tally to 11 wins as they all but secured the Grade 2 division title, as they beat Banchory by a mammoth 150 runs, Josino Aluvathingal (80) and Mynul Nadim(66) being the chief destructors.
Like Grade 2, the top three of Grade 3 have all secured their promotion.
Huntly at Sheddocksley beat Stoneywood Dyce by 5 wickets.
2nd Siyapa at Countesswells beat the young 2nd Gordonians by a comfortable 6 wickets. Crathie on Royal territory beat Dunecht by 123 runs, Lloyd Belton with a mighty 90 runs leading the way for the hosts.
Last but not least, 3rd Gordonians held onto a 2 wicket win vs Stonehaven despite a special spell of bowling from Graham Bonds who recorded figures of 5 wickets for 25 runs
One Grade 3 match was played on Sunday with 3rd Gordonians in action again and beating Huntly with Adi Mukhopadhya scoring 64 of the Gordos 153 for 9. Lewis Myron-Petrie was 29 not out for Huntly as they were all out for 106.
The SPCU North East Championship was concluded with Meigle taking the title, although Dundee High didn’t exactly put up much of a fight at Victory Park as they were skittled for a meagre 36 which included 25 extras, the top score being 4. Majid Rasheed took 5 for 4 in a 6 over spell. Meigle lost 1 wicket as they won in under 10 overs.
Aberdeenshire pipped Huntly to 2nd place as they comfortably beat 2nd Stoneywood Dyce by 7 wickets. 58 from Jan Stander got SDCC off to a great start, but 3 wickets apiece for Dian Forrester and Aayush Das helped bowl out SDCC for 178. Lewis Munro was elevated to the opening spot and he must have had a function to attend as he blasted 107 from only 51 balls as Shire coasted home in 18 overs. Huntly finished 3rd as they beat Gordonians at Castle Park by 53 runs. It was the Jack Mitchell show as he was the only batter in the game to make more than 17 as his 30 helped Huntly to what seemed a below par 121. Gordos slow bowler Adi Hegde took 4 for 35, but this was a sign of things to come as Mitchell was turning the ball square when Gordos batted, and he deserved better than his 4 for 17. Andrew Petrie took 3 for 10 as he also extracted movement from the pitch, albeit at a slightly faster pace than Mitchell.
Gordonians held on to 4th spot by a solitary point ahead of Freuchie who didn’t have to get their whites on as 2nd Arbroath, somewhat summing up the miserable season for the club, failed to get a team out.
Perth Doocot were surprisingly bowled out by 2nd Forfarshire for 68 who went on to win by 7 wickets. When the going got tough, the tough got going as Strathmore hammered Kinloch by 150 runs to preserve their place in the SPCU Championship for next season. Sami Ejaz took 3 wickets and got a half century for Strathmore, although Haseeb Kiyani did take the bowling honours with 4 for 7. Kinloch await the results of the EPL play off to see if they have a chance of staying up.
The Eastern Premier League teams went through the motions on their final round of games, although some teams will be happier than others with their day’s work. Stoneywood Dyce needed a half century from Du Preez Stander to take them to 154 all out at People’s Park against Carlton who ran out 6 wicket winners as Tom Simpsin led the way with 71. 127 from George West took RH Corstorphine to 303 for 6 against Arbroath who wilted to 94 all out in the 24th over. Falkland struggled to 166 for 9 against Heriot’s with Gavin Main taking 4 for 47. Hayes Van Der Berg continued his late season run of form with 69 as Heriot’s won by 7 wickets. Connor Shorten took 3 for 25 as Stewarts Melville dismissed Grange for 145, and he also top scored for Stew Mel with the bat, but his 36 wasn’t enough as wickets clattered and they slumped to 107 all out.
Another Craig Wallace century saw Forfarshire beat Watsonian by 140 runs, and they followed this up on the Sunday by beating Ayr by 90 runs to win the Scottish Cup, Michael Leask taking 3 for 33.