The FP’s batting helmets should have been light blue this week as it was a United Nations of a 3rd XI chosen to play Stonehaven 2nd XI at Harlaw, with seven nations represented, namely Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and a Malteser. The line up was Ian Johnston, Gary Stuart, Aly Macdonald, Matt Carson, Roland Knudson, Faraj Monnapillai, Vineet Khandari, Vinod Karmilla, Agha Haider, Rafeek Risan and Jerry Moir.
The toss was won by Stonehaven skipper Dave Long Snr who invited FP’s to bat first. The weather was sunny but windy and the overnight and morning rain had long since dried up. There was a change in the outfield, a sinkhole/escape tunnel from Rubislaw had recently appeared inside the boundary but had been fenced off so securely that even Donald Trump would have approved.
The first reunion match between Grammar Former Pupils and Grammar Former Players was due to take place at Harlaw but was changed to Sheddocksley Lower due to pitch unavailability.
The 2016 Aberdeen summer had been and gone during the week but at least it meant that the sometime minefield of a pitch would be dried out, hence the non appearance of the local sniffer pit bulls and their fearless handlers. Unfortunately this also meant the outfield would be faster than the ‘experienced’ team of Former Pupils would have preferred while fielding. Continue reading
The new season saw several new faces and several old faces persuaded to turn out for AGSFP’s 3rd XI for the first Grade 4 match of the season.
Norwood held the innings together
The departure of a number (tbc) of players to a newly formed team and a perfect storm of holidays, exams, injuries etc meant the 3rd XI team of 10 included Canadian Gilles Gardner playing his first ever cricket match, schoolboy debutant Faraj Monnapillai, two players who have not played since school in Nathan Jones and Bejoy Joseph, experienced schoolboy Matthew McCaughtrie playing his 2nd match for FP’s, very experienced Gary Stuart and Paul Norwood and the very, very experienced bearded duo Mike Hart and Iain Hopkin who were both around when the current fashion for beards was started by their former teammate W.G.
Despite the lack of victories it had been an exciting if shorter than hoped for season for FP’s 3rd XI, with two Grade 4 teams unfortunately pulling out of the league during the season. The last game and last chance for FP’s to register their first win over a still competing team was against the Grade 4 newcomers Grampian, who, in their first season in Grades cricket, had already won the Johnston Rose Bowl cup competition and were chasing promotion.
The high point of the season batting wise had been the emergence of 6 ft 7 inch Matt Garratt who had batted head and shoulders above his team mates and who had, despite two scores of over fifty in his previous two innings’s, kept his head out of the clouds. Unfortunately Garratt was unavailable and although his batting would be missed, his extra long reach round the tea table would not.
The team selected from the XXXIII available at the final selection committee meeting punch up of the season was Johnston, Kingshuk Ghosh (wkt, trainee 4G games consultant), Paul Norwood, Aly McDonald, Akil Thanga, Jeston D’Costa, Rajaa Monnapillai, Michael Blues, Agha Haider, debutant schoolboy Matthew McCaughtrie, Shashank Kulluru.
So far this season FP’s 3rd XI matches have given full entertainment value to the loyal home and away support (Rajaa’s Dad), with 4 matches which could have been won with the last ball bowled. The Johnston Rose Bowl match lost by one wicket, Portcullis lost by 6 runs, Siyapa match tied, and the latest match against Turriff drawn with FP’s only 3 runs short.
Would the Grade 4 match against top of the table Portcullis be the perfect match to break this run of luck and claim that elusive first win of the season? The team selected was Norwood, Lord Ja. McDonald A. Garratt, D’Costa J. Blues, Lee (wkt) D’Costa L. Thanga, Monnapillai, Johnston.