Battling FPs slide to Ellon defeat

FPs slipped to a 16 run defeat despite a spirited middle order fightback, but were not able to chase down 157 for victory.  Having restricted Ellon to 156 for 9 thanks to 4 for 34 from Mahesh Challa and 3 for 34 from Sajid Hameed, FPs slip to 7 for 3, but recovered well and John Davey made 35, Paul McDonald 21, Sam Knudson 19 and Vijay Vijapur 21 not out as 6 for 19 from Scott White secured Ellon an exciting win.

FPs made 3 changes with Mahesh Challa, Sam Knudson and Vijay Vijapur replacing Mapplebeck, Desai and Roland Knudson.  Morrison won the toss again and Ellon were invited to bat.  FPs were somewhat handicapped at the start as neither opening bowler arrived on time, far from ideal in such a fixture.  It meant Sam Knudson and Mahesh Challa opened the bowling at Scott Whyte was dropped 1st ball, a tough chance at square leg.

Ellon batted cautiously at 1st and had reach 25 in the 14th over when Veldsman drove at a swinging Challa delivery and Morrison collected the catch behind the stumps for 10.  Webb struck a four and six, but was superbly caught at slip by Keith as Vijapur claimed a wicket.  It was soon 3 down for 52 as White aimed an aggressive shot at Hameed and was bowled off stump for 25.

Morris and C Whyte then combined to add 39, mixing defence with attack, but Hameed ended the stand bowling Morris for 18.  White was lucky to survive a close LBW and Watson was even more fortunate to remain after feathering an easy catch to Morrison, which was rather surprisingly turned down.  It was to prove pivotal, as Watson went on to make 39.

Challa returned and in his 2nd spell he took 3 for 5 as he bowled Proctor for a duck, removed Greenfield’s off stump for a duck and bowled C White for 23.  Ellon now 133 for 7.  Watson eventually went for a vital 39, caught off the bowling of Sam Knudson and Parks fell for 1 as Hameed claimed a 3rd wicket, McDonald snapping up a simple chance.  It meant Ellon finished on a competitive 156 for 9.

The bowling figures were Knudson 10-2-22-1, Challa 12-2-34-4, Hameed 12-2-34-3, Vijapur 7-1-29-1, Stuart 4-0-25-0.

Needing a good start with the bat, FPs made a dreadful one. 1st Morrison failed to get forward and was bowled by White for a duck, then Challa edged to Veldsman for 2, before Swiergon played back and was bowled for 0 as White claimed his 3rd wicket and FPs slumped to 7 for 3.

Keith and Senthil stemmed the tide as they dug in for 11 overs to lift FPs to 35, but just when they seemed to be getting a foothold, Keith was beaten by a Greenfield slower ball and was bowled for 11.  Senthil soon followed for a solid 20 caught in the deep off Greenfield as FPs look defeated on 42 for 5 in 22 overs.

However, John Davey and Paul McDonald came together and struck up an enterprising partnership, adding 49 in 10 overs, one Wade over going for 17 as FPs finally broke the shackles.  McDonald made a composed 21 but edged Webb to the keeper as things swung back to Ellon.  When Davey was well caught on the boundary by Scott Whyte off M Whyte, it seemed FPs chase finally was over  Davey had made 35 with 4 boundaries.

Sam Knudson and Vijapur came together and carefully edged the score on, adding 39 with a mix of good running and clever placement and with Ellon getting desperate, Sam Knudson was bowled by the returning Scott Whyte as Ellon all but secured the win.  The win was theirs soon after as Hameed and Stuart were clean bowled by successive balls as Ellon claimed an exciting win.

Overall, it was a very good game, played in an excellent spirit with both teams just getting on with it, while other clubs required 2 umpires to keep them in check.  Ellon are likely to be challengers and if FPs can apply themselves throughout with the bat like they did from 7 for 3, they should manage to push up the league.  Next up FPs face Fraserburgh away.

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