FPs and Mannofield played out a draw in a game that fluctuated throughout. Having being reduced to 21 for 3, John Davey (57)
and Arul Senthil (46) shared a stand of 110 to tilt the game in FPs favour. However, 3 quick wickets from Phil Wood got the visitors back on top as FPs slid to 153 for 7. Chris Clelland (24*) and an aggressive Harry Mapplebeck (39*)
raised FPs to 220 for 7 in 46 overs. After a solid start, Vijapur produced a good spell to claim the 1st 3 wickets for 21 in his 12 overs and when Mapplebeck took 3 in 4 balls FPs sensed victory but some good defence allowed Mannofield to cling on for a draw with only 1 wicket standing.
FPs made a number of changes to the team that defeated Ellon with Morrison, Mapplebeck, Davey and Clelland returning. FPs lined up Morrison, Keith, Tenneti, Davey, Senthil, Clelland, Vijapur, Mapplebeck, Hameed, Sam Knudson and Roland Knudson. As is standard Morrison lost the toss, the 8th time (every game) this season and FPs were asked to bat.
Keith and Morrison opened and FPs were soon in trouble, Keith bowled by Jmieson for 5 and then after hitting successive balls for four, Morrison played on to the same bowler to depart for 11. Tenneti was then LBW to Johnston for 3 and FPs were in big trouble at 21 for 3. This brought Davey and Senthil together and they batted superbly in adding 110 in 24 overs, both surviving chances but striking the ball cleanly and running some quick singles to get FPs back in the game. Even an attempted Mankading by Subramania was survived by Davey, perhaps a bit too much TV being watched this week. Davey hit 6 fours and a straight six in his 57 before being bowled by Wood. His partner in the stand Senthil had batted with great patience and missed a deserved half century by 4 runs when he skied a catch and handed Wood his 2nd wicket.
Vijapur was promoted to 6 to try to up the run rate but was Wood’s 3rd victim, LBW for a duck. Hameed also got a promotion and blasted 10 quickly but was castled by Van Oorschot as FPs slipped 153 in 7 in 38 overs, as Mannofield eyed having FPs all out for under 175. However, they had not reckoned on Clelland and Mapplebeck combining in an unbroken stand of 67 in the final 6 overs. Some good striking Mapplebeck and some brilliant running ran Mannofield ragged as all the runs were recorded by running apart from one four each and a huge six from Mapplebeck. There were some outrageous shots, including a ramp shot by Mapplebeck and 1s were turned into 2s as FPs effectively batted Mannofield out of the game closing on 220 for 7 in 46 overs.
It was a great recovery from FPs and once again demonstrated the overall strength of their batting. For Mannofield Wood with 3 for 24 was the most succesful bowler, but Mannofield were made to regret 7 dropped chances.
Mannofield started their chase solidly against opening bowlers Vijapur and Hameed moving to 30 for no wicket, the only alarm being Senthil spilling a fairly regulation chance at midwicket to reprieve Oliver. However, last season’s centurion Elliot was not to be so lucky as Mapplebeck made good ground at mid off to hold a firm chance off Vijapur as the batsman fell for 21. Hameed, Mapplebeck and Sam Knudson all had a go at the pavilion end but the 2nd wicket came from Vijapur as Oliver walked having edged to the keeper for 21. Andy Russell followed soon after being comprehensively bowled for 3 by Vijapur, Mannofield 48 for 3 in 18 overs.
Youngster Grayson and Wood then combined in an 8 over stand to lift the score to 74, but having blasted Roland Knudson for a huge 6, he fell 2 balls later, slogging to Sam Knudson at deep mid wicket who took a very confident catch. Morrison continued to rotate his bowlers at the pavilion end but could not find a way through, until Mapplebeck produced one of the overs of this season and perhaps any season with a triple wicket maiden, ripping through 3 batsmen in a pacey over. First Grayson was unlucky to play on, before next ball Grayson snr was LBW for a duck, the hat trick ball was off line, but next ball, the off stump was back beside the wicket keeper as Van Oorschot was bowled all over the place for a duck. Mannofield now suddenly 90 for 7.
With Bala unable to bat, FPs needed 2 wickets in 13 overs, but Johnston and Jamieson ensured that it would not be easy defending stoutly despite FPs ultra attacking fields with everyone round the bat. Mannofield looked to be safe, when Hammed produced a stunning delivery to trim the bails and bowl Johnston for a determined 11. FPs tried all they could to claim the last wicket, trying all of their bowlers but Clayton held firm to end on 4 and Jamieson solid at the other end on 18.
Overall, it was a good contest played in good spirit and well umpired by the 2 umpires appointed. FPs may regret not declaring earlier, but if Bala had been able to bat that would have given Mannofield another dimension. Young Grayson batted very well and for FPs Vijapur’s opening spell was very good and Mapplebeck’s 3 wicket spell opened the door for a potential FPs win. Full bowling figures were Vijapur 12-6-21-3, Hameed 10-1-26-1, Mapplebeck 9-1-23-3, Sam Knudson 7-0-13-0, Roland Knudson 5-0-23-1 and Alex Keith, one over for 6. Batting wise, it was a good recovery from FPs and Davey’s good form continues.
On Sunday, FPs face Tranent in the Small Clubs Cup and will make 4 changes, Waldron makes his long-awaited return at the top of the order, replacing Keith, while Stuart steps in for Mapplebeck, Booth replaces Clelland behind the stumps and Challa fills in for the rested Roland Knudson who is 12th man. In league duty next week FPs travel to Methlick, hoping they may one day win a toss.