FPs literally slipped to defeat to Ellon by 3 wickets at a wet Gordon Park. The 11 FP, 9 Ellon and 2 Crescent players involved in the match deserve credit for managing to get the game played in challenging conditions. FPs lined up with Keith, Morrison, Ahmed, Tenneti, Senthil Swiergon, McDonald, Mapplebeck, Sam Knudson, Roland Knudson and Stuart. Ellon lined up with 9 regulars plus 2 trialists which was rather ironic given their protestations about trialists at last year’s AGM. FPs as always lost the toss and were asked to bat on a muddy looking surface.
FPs lost their 1st wicket in the 2nd over as Morrison was out LBW for 0, one of 3 decisions made in favour of Ellon by the FP umpires. White and Greemfield bowled extremely well at the start and soon reduced FP to 28 for 4. Ahmed adjudged caught at the wicket for 9, Tenneti superbly caught in the gully for 5 off White and Keith managing to run himself out for 12.
Swiergon and Senthil managed to steady the ship as the rain poured down, luckily amateur weather forecasted Scott Whyte was correct to advise to play on as the drier weather would appear soon enough. They had added 29 when Senthil was out LBW to M White for 10. Swiergon was batting well, hitting the bad balls for 4 and defending the many good balls on offer. McDonald stuck in with him as they added 38, when Swiergon was bowled by George for 45. He had hit 7 fours and at least allowed FPs to assemble some sort of total. McDonald went for 8 bowled by George for 8, Mapplebeck soon followed, superbly caught at square leg by George to hand A.Trialist a wicket for 1 and FPs were 101 for 8.
Ever the men for a crisis, Sam Knudson was joined by Roland Knudson and they compiled a usual stand of 39, regularly finding the boundary to boost FPs to 140 before Sam Knudson was caught and bowled by Veldsman. Stuart quickly made 10 before also being caught and bowled by Vedsman as FPs were bowled out for 152 in 42 overs. Roland Knudson left 11 not out.
Overall it was below par but represented a decent score given the dreadful start but FPs needed to bowl well.
With neither Hameed or Vijapur, FPs opted to open with youthful duo of Mo Ahmed and Sam Knudson and the youngsters soon had Ellon in trouble. 1st Tenneti superbly caught J Veldsman for 8 at mid on to give Ahmed a wicket and then Sam Knudson removed Brian Veldsman, Morrison claiming a good low catch behind the stumps. Webb made 19 but was superbly bowled by Knudson as Ellon slid to 36 for 3.
It was to be FPs last success for quite some time as the White brothers combined in a very impressive stand of 77, defending resolutely and attacking the bad ball when it came along. Morrison shuffled his bowlers with Ahmed, Sam Knudson, Mapplebeck, Stuart, Roland Knudson and Alex Keith all trying their luck. There was a few close calls, but nothing would go to hand and Roland Knudson was unlucky with one confident LBW appeal. It took something inspired to get the breakthrough and a brilliant direct hit from Swiergon looked like it may have done the trick, but C White was just home, as they attempted an overthrow off the stumps, Ahmed collected and bulleted in a direct hit at the far end 40 yards away to brilliantly run out the somewhat unfortunate Scoot White for 35.
A. Trialist II came in and was given plenty of advise on what was needed to secure a contract for his new club, but he did not last long after luckily surviving an arrow straight LBW shout from Keith, he was bowled comprehensively by Mapplebeck for just 6, 127 for 5 in 36 overs. Ellon need just 26 in 11 overs, but were struggling to get Roland Knudson away and he landed a key breakthrough as Gary Stuart took a good running catch at mid wicket to remove C White for an excellent 46. A.Triallist was quickly dispatched for 5 well bowled by Roland Knudson for 5 and FPs sensed an improbably win with Ellon still needing 16 from 30 balls. However, some sensible batting from Davies and Greenfield saw Ellon to victory with 9 balls to spare despite FPs best efforts.
It was a game that FPs could have won, but they were light on runs and a great all round effort from Scott Whyte made the difference. The bowling figures were Ahmed 12-2-32-1, Sam Knudson 10-2-32-2, Mapplebeck 6.5-0-24-1, Stuart 5-1-23-0, Roland Knudson 10.3-2-34-3 and Alex Keith 2.1-0-5-0. Next week FPs face Mannofield if they can find anyone available to play in that game, due to a remarkable level of absence but 1st FPs were to face a side they never defeat in a 20/20 game, Bon Accord.