THUNDERBOLTS AND LIGHTNING, very, very…hair raising

Spells of torrential rain on Saturday affected the fixture calendar for the day. The Council stepped in and made life easy for those due to play at Harlaw, Rubislaw and Groats Road, deciding that the volume of rain would make the outfields unsafe for play. Despite having covers and bone dry pitches, other parts of the squares at Countesswells and Mannofield stubbornly refused to dry up, and both SPCU games at the venues were eventually abandoned. Aberdeenshire and 2nd Forfarshire did get a game of football going at the Cranford Road side of the ground, but this didn’t seem to maintain much interest from the spectating public. Umpire Kim Neill literally had a hair-raising encounter with a flash of lightning that struck the Mannofield ground, fusing the big electronic scoreboard. Thankfully Kim will be back on umpiring duty next weekend.

The only Grade 1 match to survive was at Kellands Park between Inverurie and Crescent. Inverurie batted first and another half century from George Hadden sustained an otherwise flat batting performance as they finished their 40 overs on 150 for 8. An opening partnership of 52 between Ankush Sharma and Shubham Sharma got Crescent off to a good start, but 4 wickets each for Hadden and Chris Watson set up a tense end to a 2 wicket win for Crescent.

In Grade 2 an understrength AGSFPs had a difficult day at Huntly as Munish Tandon took 4 for 25 to run through their experienced top order, although the run out of the in form Agha Haider was crucial as they were slowly bowled out for 88, the late order contribution of 17 from Pete Macklin turning out to be vital. A wicket 2nd ball for Rob Swiergon set a pattern for the regular fall of Huntly wickets, with the removal of Liam Ferguson without scoring by George Gill setting the batting nerves jangling in front of the vocal locals. Gill finished his spell with 4 for 11 and Swiergon mopped up the tail with 4 for 27 to secure a hard earned 5 run victory.

Portcullis anticipated the torrential rain and laid out a tarpaulin to cover the Duthie Park pitch. Alan Blackburn took 5 for 42 as they bowled out Fraserburgh for 173, Stuart Flowerdew top scoring with 38. 71 from Aman Sood was a deserved return for his groundskeeping work, and Portcullis won by 5 wickets.

Sam Rotheram continued his purple patch with the bat as Banchory made an impressive 209 for 7 off 35 overs against 2nd AberGreen. Rotheram top scored with 87 and Ben Wiles added his first half century for the club with 52. AberGreen were reduced to 46 for 3, but Salman Bedaar with 64 and Hassan Masood with 51 settled in to manage the innings and take them to a 4 wicket win with 8 balls to spare.

2nd Grampian and Ellon cut to a 30 overs a side match and Grampian posted a challenging 167 for 8 batting first. Unbeaten knocks of 80 from Jonathan Barrett and 42 from Ross Fraser took Ellon to a surprisingly comfortable 8 wicket victory.

It was a relatively quick game in Grade 3 at Inverdee as the 2nd Gordonians youngsters ran through the 2nd Mannofield batting line up. Rudra Chouksey took 5 for 10 and Pranav Gollakota 3 for 7 to bowl them out for 39, a score that Gordos went past in the 9th over.

5 for 31 from Andrew Rayner helped Stoneywood Dyce bowl out 2nd Master Blasters at People’s Park, Jay Gajjar top scoring with 31. The Stoneywood Dyce reply went from 50 for 2 to 90 all out as Gajjar had fun with the ball as well taking 4 for 11. Master Blasters extend their lead at the top of the table.

Shahmir Naseer had the best bowling of the day with 7 for 29 to bowl out Stonehaven for 72. The Crathie reply was only 13 overs old when a 9 wicket win was secured, Fergus MacLeod unbeaten on 40.

Arbroath were in cruise control as they demolished Freuchie in the SPCU North East Championship. 77 from Jack Plomer and 54 from Jared Meiring helped Arbroath post 261 for 7, way too much for Freuchie who were skittled for 37.

A season’s best 4 for 33 from Rory Pennycook did the damage as Kinloch were bowled out for 124 by Perth Doocot who lost 7 wickets in the successful chase.

Strathmore lost both openers for ducks away to 2nd Falkland but Lance Trueman stepped up with a century as they were bowled out for 219. A cautious opening to their innings by Falkland came back to bite them as the middle order acceleration was left with a bit too much to do and they lost by 20 runs with 2 wickets still in hand.

In the Eastern Premier League Stoneywood Dyce were in a lot of trouble at 72 for 9 against Heriot’s, but a last wicket stand of 77 between Hywel Nicholls and David Kidd gave them something to bowl at. 54 from Peter Ross set things up for Heriot’s but the South African pair of Stander and Wolmarans took 7 wickets to put the Stoneywood Dyce defeat in the missed opportunity category.

103 from Shujaa Khan was the highlight of the 225 for 8 that Carlton totalled at Meigle. Meigle were well in control of the run chase with Tiann Brits making 65 and Raju Gayashan 75, but when the latter was out with the score at 179 for 4, the Meigle scoring completely dried up and they limped to a disappointing 191 for 9.

Leaders Grange lost their first league game of the season although they did execute the first half of the game quite well to restrict Stewart’s Melville to 225 for 9. Finlay McCreath took them to the brink of victory with 96 but the lower order couldn’t score quickly enough in the last few overs and they lost by 1 run.

Falkland put an extra degree of separation between themselves and the bottom 2 of Stoneywood Dyce and Meigle as their 222 outplayed the 162 of RH Corstorphine.

A golden duck for Craig Wallace was a very temporary setback for Forfarshire as Rory Johnston and Jack O’Neill put on 203 for the next wicket. 334 for 9 was an impressive total, but 137 from Oli Hairs kicked off the Watsonian reply in rapid style before the limitations of normal batters slowed matters down and Watsonian were all out for 298.

Bon Accord came within a whisker of making the Challenge Cup semi final as they lost to Edinburgh Accies by 1 wicket. 55 from Nawaz Mirza propelled Bons to 226, but that didn’t seem quite enough as Behzad Shah paced the Accies reply with an undefeated 101, although he had little control over the tumble of wickets at the other end that exposed their number 11 to more strike than is desirable. For those watching on the live feed, it went down with Accies on course for the win, so we missed the Bons bowling comeback and the Accies number 11 hitting a boundary to win the match.

102 from Rajeevan Sujaya gave Crescent something to bowl at as they finished their innings on 184 for 9 against Edinburgh South. The Edinburgh South reply followed a similar pattern to their match in the earlier round against Gordonians as they had a bad case of frantic batting nerves when Abhinav Mittal was out for 110. They did beat Crescent by 3 wickets with 7 balls to spare, but the live feed on this match did suggest that it could easily have reached a different conclusion.

AGSFPs are through to the Bon Accord Cup final as they beat Ellon by 7 wickets. Jonathan Barrett continued his batting form from Saturday with an unbeaten 69 out of the Ellon total of 118 for 8, but AGSFPs were too solid and won with 3 overs in hand.

The ECB Vitality Under 15 finals day was marred by heavy rain in Glasgow. Gordonians were far too strong for Glasgow Accies in their semi final, but not as impressive as Carlton who trounced Perth Doocot in the other semi final. Carlton bowled impressively against Gordonians and restricted them to 69 for 9 in the final, and their reply just made it to the 5 over mark where DLS came into play and gave Carlton a deserved and comfortable win.