FPs defeated Grampian by 5 wickets on a very tricky pitch at Sheddocksley. Chasing 180 for victory, the innings was marshaled by a fine rear guard effort from Geoff Morrison who carried his bat for 49 not out. He and Alex Keith put on 89 for the 1st wicket as Keith struck 55, before Morrison dug in to see FPs home. FPs were fairly unfortunate with the ball after a good start, Prash claiming 3 for 17, but the wickets were shared around.
With Swiergon’s stag weekend in full swing, FPs were forced to make changes and the side captained by Karan Anand included debutant Mark Forbes. FPs lined up Morrison, Keith, Senthil, Anand, Wilkie, Sam Knudson, Mapplebeck, Forbes, Prash, Thomson and Roland Knudson. Anand won the toss and FPs chose to bowl on a very rough looking surface.
The decision look well advised as Forbes took just 2 balls to have Jacob easily caught by Keith at 2nd slip off a ball that climbed. The batsmen falling for 1. It was soon 6 for 2 as Mapplebeck bowled Babu for a duck. Grampian then added 71 before Roland Knudson struck in his 1st over, Somy (37) smashing it high to midwicket when Sam Knudson judged the catch well.
FPs continued to be frustarted though as even though they rang the changes they felt aggrieved on numerous occasions they could not break through. It needed the return of Mapplebeck to get a wicket, Senthil diving in the gully to claim a great catch, George out for 19. Knudson finally got a 2nd wicket when Joseph who played well for 45 was bowled through the gate.
Vishag then sportingly walked for 1, edging Anand to Morrison, the only piece of good sportsmanship seen in the game sadly. Thomson was agrieved about a couple of LBWs, Morrison was irritated by a catch down the legside and was incandescent when he seemed to have the charging Naji stumped by yards and yards, but the umpire ruled otherwise.
A fed up FPs battled on regardless and Prash bowled 3 batsmen in the next over, Gibson for 32, P Joseph for 2 and Charlie for a duck. Grampian battled up to 179 and lost their last wicket off the 3rd last ball to a run out, Keith doing well to affect it.
The bowling figures were Mapplebeck 9.3-2-29-2, Forbes 6-0-33-1, Anand 8-1-35-1, Prah 8-2-17-3, Thomson 5-0-22-0 and Knudson 8-1-29-2.
FPs knew with no Steinson or Swiergon that some solid batting was needed and Morrison was back at the top of the order to join Keith. They had to be very diligent early on as the pitch was something of a minefield and they crept up to 27 for 0 wicket in 11 overs, but vitally kept wickets intact. Finally in the 15th over over Keith broke the shackles hitting a 6 and a couple of fours.
As time went on, Keith started to be more fluent, while Morrison was obdurate. Keith had a couple of escapes, but finally went for 55 for 63 balls, hitting 6 fours and 2 sixes, the partnership worth 89. Arul Senthil was in at 3 and he soon hit 2 fours but fell for just 11, hitting across Joseph to be bowled. Skipper Anand arrived at 109 for 2 and he and Morrison added 33, Anand blasting 3 fours in his 17, before being caught for just 17, FPs now 142 for 3 still needing 38.
Morrison was still hanging in, running well and defending the majority of the balls he faced and his new partner Wilkie cracked 2 boundaries before holing out for 10. Sam Knudson came and went for just 2, LBW to Joseph as FPs fell to 172 for 5. New man Forbes joined opener Morrison and they saw FPs home with 12 overs to spare, Morrison finishing on 49 not out and Forbes on 3.
It was a good batting effort from FPs with the value of sticking in when chasing a lowish score shown by the result. The game was in general played in a good spirit, but a few decisions in the 1st innings were really not ideal. It was also pleasing that Morrison finally got a few.
Next week, FPs have a tough double header away to Academy followed by Mannofield in the cup.
Man of the Match
Morrison probably just shades Keith for his rear guard action
Arul Senthil’s brilliant gully catch.