A youthful FPs side with an average age of under 25 slipped to an unfortunate defeat to St Ronald off the final ball in their opening match of the 7s. FPs lined up with Budd, Morrison, Whyte, Sam Knudson , Muthu, Phillips and Russell and after Skipper Morrison lost the toss FPs were invited to bat.
Whyte opened with Budd and they added a quick 23 before Whyte was bowled for 2. Morrison joined Budd and despite both struggling for boundaries they ran well adding 57 before Budd was run out off the penultimate ball for 32, hitting 2 fours and 1 six. The innings closed on 81 for 2 with Morrison unbeaten on 38 and Sam Knudson not facing a ball.
In reply FPs got off to the best possible start as Muthu ran out Aman attempting an impossible single. Moments later it was 3 for 2 Vai falling as Muthu claimed a top edge off Knudsonrunning forward from behind the stumps. Knudson continued his excellent over to claim 1 for 4. Russell bowled the 2nd over and promptly bowled Etheron for 1 and kept a good line to only concede 3 in his over. Whyte kept up the good work conceding just 6 before FPs game plan was undone by the left handed Rehan who was able to hit over the short boundary that FPs had managed to protect when bowling the less capable bowlers at the previous right handers. Morrison went for 24 but Phillips kept FPs in the contest going for 14.
The game which had been played in a great spirit then took an unfortunate twist as St Ronald correctly but perhaps unsportingly refused to let Muthu bowl insisting Budd had to bowl – while busily quoting the rule book. This was despite 2 years earlier FPs allowing St Ronald to bowl their keeper.
However, undaunted Budd took up the final over with 25 needed and struck second ball, Knudson claiming a fine catch on the boundary. The game was to hinge however on an incorrect no ball call as Budd was incorrectly called for height, as the umpire misinterpreted Budd’s spin as pace bowling and called a no ball, this allowed St Ronald to scramble home from the final ball.
FPs certainly deserved to claim the win and with a little luck and some better bowling from the non bowlers victory could have been secured. FPs played it in the right spirit and ironically seemed to have enjoyed the game more than their winning Grade 1 opponents. FPs will be looking to approach the Kintore game on Thursday in the same upbeat way and will hope to spring a surprise.