20 year old Connor McKinney saved FPs with a determined 79 not out as they recovered from 40 for 5 to post 209 for 9. John Thomson (3/3) then ripped through the Crescent top order to reduce them to 20 for 4, with Karan Anand bagging 5 for 23 as FPs won by 110 runs. The win also meant that FPs claimed 2nd place in the league ahead of the Aberdeenshire Cup Final. McKinney got good support from Harry Mapplebeck (33), Chris Clelland (21) and Prash (14) as the lower order really dug in after the top order had failed.
FPs made one change as Arul Senthil was sent to play for 2nds to get some batting practise, with Roland Knudson returning from injury. FPs lined up Keith, Morrison, Steinson, Swiergon, Anand, McKinney, Mapplebeck, Clelland, Prash, Knudson and Thomson. Swiergon as usual won the toss and decided to bat. FPs were soon in strife, Keith brilliant caught at point in the 1st over for a duck, Quereshi assisting Toor. Steinson wnt for 2 chipping to Sharma at mid off, 1 of 5 wickets for Suri. Morrison and Swiergon rebuilt, but the skpper turned Suri straight to Ahmed at square leg for 17 and Morrison was bowled trying to smash Suri for 15.
Star man Anand then went 1st ball in rather controversial circumstances, it appeared to everyone that Thangaraj was only making on he had caught him at short cover and there was limited appeals but up went the finger, Anand reluctantly departing as FPs sumped to 40 for 5. Connor McKinney had hoped to get some much needed shut eye after a 430am night out finish, but he hung in for 33 overs to turn the game on its head.
He and Mapplebeck ran superbly, taking on fielders at every turn in an entertaining stand of 71, when they risked things a bit too much and Mapplebeck was run out for 33. Clelland and McKinney kept up the breathtaking running, both hitting the odd boundary but in the main running their runs hard. They carried the score to 155 when Clelland was bang in front for 21 to Toor. Prash took up the mantle with some meaty blows in a quick 15 before being caught and bowled by Suri. Roland Knudson was run ragged by McKinney eventually run out for 4 failing to recover for a simply ridiculous 3 the ball before, McKinney somehow knocking it to mid wicket but gathering 3. McKinney finished the innings in style with a 6 as FPs closed on an imposing 209 for 9.
Crescent were soon up against it as Thomson took the new ball and landed a triple blow, having Sharma caught by Mapplebeck at mid off for 3, bowling Tasheen for a duck and Thangaraj briliantly caught by Clelland, the Crescent skipper walking for a fine nick. Mapplebeck also weighed in with a fine caught and bowled. At 20 for 4, Crescent never recovered and despite Knudson being warned out of the attack, wickets fell regularly, Karan Anand bagging 5, 4 LBW and the other bowled as FPs completely dominated. Mapplebeckk claimed a 2nd bowled as FPs ran out convincing winners.
It brought the curtain down on the league season, where FPs finished 2nd, a credible effort after last years stunning title triumph. FPs long batting line up was again proved by McKinney’s heroics and excellent support from the lower order. It was Eddie Steinson’s last game for FPs in the league and he has delivered 2 excellent seasons and will be badly missed. Karan Anand, despite his duck, will claim the Grade 1 batting prize which is richly deserved. On Sunday FPs face a very tough cup final at Mannofield against Inverurie although the weather forecast is far from encouraging.
Man of the Match
Connor McKinney for his excellent effort with the bat tops Anand’s 5 for.
Harry Mapplebeck’s brilliant caught and bowled.