FPs completed what has been an extraordinary 2021 by claiming the 11 points they needed to secure the Grade 1 title to add to the Aberdeenshire trophy secured two weeks ago.
Heading to the home of Scottish cricket, FPs made four changes from their previous win against Gordonians, Morrison who was seeking some late summer sun was replaced by Nattrass, Skipper Swiergon returned for Agha and IPL hopeful Prash replaced Proud while Mapplebeck replaced semi-professional golfer and all round nice guy Wilkie.
Knowing only 11 points would secure the title and complete the double, skipper Swiergon won his first toss of the year and elected to bowl on what can only be described as a poorly maintained putting green at the beach. FPs opened with Mapplebeck and Prash who both struggled to find their line or bowl to the field. Credit goes to Crescent’s opening batsmen who seized the initiative and chanced their hand as they rattled along at 5.4 an over for the first 10. It wasn’t until the 14th over when Knudson senior struck, A.Pereira driving to mid-off, Leston taking a good catch. One brings three as Challa claimed U.Qureshi bowled next over and then A.Pewekar next ball Keith taking a catch diving forward at second slip, the hattrick ball did not go as planned. Three became four next over as Knudson bowled S.Tehseen for 10 and Cresent slipped to 84/4.
New batsmen Thangaraj and Toor planned the rebuild but Toor was caught well by Nattrass who tried his hardest to drop it, Challa the bowler and Crescent were 97/5. This was a bit of a do or die moment for Crescent and Nathan Thangaraj was not hanging around, he went on the assault playing some calculated shots along with some massive hits with all of the bowlers racking up some airmiles. With the score on 129 Crescent lost their sixth K.Paterson, C&B by McKinney off an absolute pie. K.Reddy joined Thangaraj at the crease and the onslaught continued, twice Leston collected balls from broad hill!. At this point FPs knew that they would be chasing a sizable total and getting the next four wickets would be key to them collecting the league trophy. Mappleback eventually had Thangaraj LBW, Reddy bowled and finally V.Mani caught well by McKinney, Cresent finished on 222.
The equation was simple for FPs, after claiming 10 bowling points they needed to score 40 runs to secure the title. Stalwart Keith and returning Nattrass opened the batting and played watchfully until Nattrass was plumb LWB to Thangaraj for 10, 35/1. Swiergon joined Keith and got off the mark first ball, leaving Keith to smash a cover drive to the boundary two balls later to be greeted with an eruption of cheers from the boundary and thanks from the Crescent players, if there was anybody that should have hit those runs it was AK. Alas Swiergon’s batting prowess failed him as he was bowed playing all round a straight one for 3 and Penman fell soon after for that one that keeps low at the links………
Leston and AK rebuilt until Keith was adjudged LBW to Thangaraj for 40, the batsmen feeling rather aggrieved as he was closer to the non-strikers stumps than his own. With the score 78/4 FPs had a mountain to climb and this mount was Everest as McKinney hit his first ball for 6 then was out two balls later, Mappleback joined Karan Anand who played watchfully until he miscued a drive and was caught. Challa came and went first ball and suddenly the game was done, Poosappadi joined Mappleback but was stumped practicing a shot after he had missed it, the keeper spotting he was out of his crease, village.
Mappleback and Knudson threw caution to the wind with both players playing aggressive shots and picking the gaps, both running well until Mapplebeck played on pulling the ball for a well made 32. FPs closed on 142 all out but the result was irrespective as they had secured the 11 points required.
Crescent must be thanked for playing the game in good spirit and for taking the challenge to FPs, thanks to Blair Thomson who officiated too. FPs close out what has been an incredible season and as Skipper I, Rob Swiergon want to thank everyone who’s been involved not only in the team but club this season.
Man of the Match and Champagne Moment is a combined award for the league triumph, a true team effort.Scorecard