FPs completed a memorable Grade 2 championship win with a game to spare but were unable to claim victory in an unlikely draw with Methlick. Having been set just 135 for victory, FPs appeared to be crusing needing just 33 from 12 overs with 9 wickets standing, but some good bowling and some ponderous batting meant FPs fell 5 short as the game was drawn.
FPs handed a rare start to Gordon Inkson who stood in as a late replacement for Glen Miller. Jerry Moir and Geoff Morrison returned, with the side lining up Roland Knudson, John Lord, Clelland, Eagles, Moir, MacDonald, Morrison, Sam Knudson, Stuart and Inkson.
FPs won the toss and elected to bowl. Sam Knudson and Moir opened the bowling and Methlick made sedate progress to 14 for no wicket from 12 overs. The introduction of MacDonald though, brought instant dividends as his first ball, a real loosener was hit to Budd who dived forward to brilliantly catch Cox for 5 and then 2 balls later he had Anderson plumb LBW for a duck.
Methlick moved cautiously to 63 in the 28th over before Eagles had Woodhouse brilliantly stumped by Clellend who collected an underedge and quickly broke the wicket. Addison joined Murphy and Murphy played some bold shots on the legside as he moved to 50. However on 51 and the score on 111 he fell bowled by the returning Moir.
Batsman Sunny, who had ridiculously decided neither gloves or a box were required against the opening bowlers was felled by Moir with a blow to the midrift and was graciously granted a runner, was twice dropped once by Eagles and then by MacDonald, before Sam Knudson eventually bowled him for 14.
John Lord then easily ran out S Buchan before Morrison and Inkson were both denied run outs which appeared to be extremely close. Sam Knudson bowled J Buchan for a duck only after he had been denied a wicket in a similar manner for overstepping.
This left Methlick on 134 for 8 from 46 overs, which was worth more than it might have appeared due to the extremely long outfield. All bowlers did well with Sam Knudson 12-0-31-3, Moir 12-5-20-1, MacDonald 5-0-14-2, Stuart 6-1-27-0, Eagles 6-0-23-1 and Roland Knudson 4-1-18-0.
The FPs run chase started slowly before FPs lost their first wicket on 26 after 14 overs, Lord diverting a full toss for a simple catch off Sunny for 12. Budd and Clelland then combined in a fine stand of 80 with some excellent running, before Budd fell for an excellent 45 from 85 balls to a catch off Murphy. This seemed to have set FPs up for a certain win, but somehow they failed to get over the line as Clellend fell for 35 LBW to Buchan with 11 still needed from 13 balls. Moir replaced him but went first ball clean bowled.
MacDonald fell in the next over for a duck as FPs now needed 8 from the final over. Skipper Knudson got a single from the first ball, but Eagles fell next ball bowled for 8. Morrison scrambled a single from his first ball, but Knudson could only get one more run as the game finished in a draw.
However, the 18 points were enough to hand FPs a well deserved title which represents a great season for a good squad of players who have enjoyed playing together and built a great team spirit. The final game of the season next week will be played at Crathie and FPs will be keen to go out on a high and keep the unbeaten league record intact.