Roland Knudson delivered a stunning individual performance to dump Crathie out of the cup, bagging 4 for 27 and then making a magnificient 87 not out. He was well supported by the unlikely bowling of Geoff Morrison who grabbed two rare wickets for 39 and also contributed 32 in an unbroken stand of 83.
FPs lined up without many regulars with Stuart, Budd, both Lords, Jerry Moir, Eagles, Miller and Whyte all unavailable. In came Dallas Moir for a rare start, alongside Johnston, Muthu and youngster Doug Russell. Sam Knudson, Roland Knudson, Clelland, Frizzell, MacDonald and Morrison completed a ten man line up.
Having won ths toss and deciding to bowl, FPs opened with Sam and Roland Knudson and the inspired choice to bowl his own spin soon reaped the benefits as Knudson quickly reduced Crathie to 9 for 3 in the 8th over. First he bowled opener Elder for 7 before repeating the feat to bowl Bell for a duck. After Frizell dropped Summers at mid off, Johnston spared his blushes hanging onto a tough chance at mid on.
Things looked to be even better for FPs when Shore attempted an impossible second to Morrison who gathered well and threw to Johnston, after fumbling it, he eventually managed to break the wicket with batsman seemingly happy to depart. On reaching the boundary rope, he was then incredibly ruled not out by the umpire, much to the obvious disatisfation to Morrison. FPs had a chance to claim Shore soon after, but again Frizzell could not hang on.
After 10 tidy overs with the score on 18 for 3 a double change was made with MacDonald and Russell joining the attack. However during his second over MacDonald fell victim to a bizarre injury, catching his hand on the non strikers stumps and badly damaging his finger. With no other recognised bowlers, it was Morrison who was drafted into the attack to complete the over.
It soon became clear that MacDonald could not resume immediately so Morrison was forced to continue with McEwan looking increasinly dangerous against the now 9 man FPS. However, having hit him for six, Morrison outfoxed McEwan bowling him off an edge for 34, for a very rare wicket.
This left Crathie on 62 for 4. After bowling 6 overs for 26, Russell made way for MacDonald who’s injury had improved somewhat, however the chances continued to go down as Shore was dropped twice more, firstly by Russell and then by Frizell as he moved into the 30s. Morrison was still in the attack and he deservedly bowled Flaws for 6 having been unfortunate with numerous chips evading fielders and a very close LBW moments earlier. This left Crathie on 85 for 5.
After 9 overs Roland Knudson replaced Morrison and was unlucky to see MacDonald drop a catch. However, FPs finally did get it right in the field when from Sam Knudson’s bowling, Russell ran out Holmes for 15 after an enterprising innings. McAra followed next ball guiding Sam Knudson straight to MacDonald.
Shore was finally dismissed attempting two to Morrison, who’s accurate throw was well gathered by Knudson to run him out for 50. Knudson then picked up his 4th scalp bowling Culling for a duck off the final ball of the innings to leave Crathie on 138 for 9.
Although FPs would have settled for this before the start of play, it could have been much better if 5 chances had not been put down. The bowlers stuck to their task well with Roland Knudson and Geoff Morrison the pick. Clelland was also brilliant behind the stumps standing up throughout and only conceeding one bye. Bowling figures were Sam Knudson 7-2-24-1, Roland Knudson 10-0-27-4, Russell 6-0-26-0, MacDonald 8.1-0-22-0 and Morrison 8.5-0-39-2.
With no Budd or Lord, Roland Knudson and Clelland opened the batting and after a positive start from Knudson, Clelland was brilliantly caught by Bell for a duck which brought Dallas Moir to the crease. However his stay was even shorter superbly caught one handed by McAra at slip for a 4th ball duck off Elder. The amazing catching continued as FPs slumped to 36 for 3 as Frizzell also went for a duck to Bell. Eventually a batsman other than Knudson managed to score a run as MacDonald moved to 6 before he was also superbly caught also off Bell to leave FPs rocking at 56 for 4.
Morrison joined Knudson who was playing superbly, having moved flawlessly to 40, hitting some fine blows over the legside. Morrison joined in clubbing a full toss over square leg for 4 as Knudson launched into the bowling moving to 50 from 65 balls as he continued to hold things together.
Both batsman continued to move the field back hitting straight fours before Knudson added two more sixes over midwicket as the stand reached 50. Knudson continued his dominance taking Poole for 17 in an over as he sensed a possible century, however his hopes of this ended as Morrison found the boundary again and added 3 quick singles. With only 4 needed Knudson and Morrison appeared to have elected to do it in singless defending all but the best balls, slowly edging towards victory. However when Poole served up another full toss Morrison hammered him high over mid wicket for 6 to claim victory.
Knudson’s batting was faultless in an unbeaten 87 crafted from 102 balls in a stay of 111 minutes. His knock included 10 fours and 3 sixes. Morrison also scored his runs at a good rate making an unbeaten 32 from 46 balls with 3 fours and a six. As well as being an excellent 83 run partnership, it also demonstrated the strength of the batting available as this was both batsman’s first innings of the season.
Next week promises to be a tough test against Caledonian, but with key players returning and others coming into form, there is a good chance for FPs to give Caledonian a tough challenge.