FPs move one step closer to promotion with routine win over AberGreen

Rob Swiergon made an unbeaten 86

FPs turned in a near faultless home performance as they beat AberGreen by 157 runs, in a win that puts the Rubislaw side on the brink of promotion. A quick-fire 55 from Alex Keith set the tone for the innings before Rob Swiergon hit a swashbuckling 86 not out, Grammar finishing on 303/8. Aware that they were unlikely to chase down the huge target set, AberGreen went in search of batting points and played a sensible game, finishing on 146 all out, with the 10th wicket falling in the final over.

For the second week in a row, the great british summer threatened to disrupt cricketing proceedings as both teams arrived at a gloomy and slightly damp Rubislaw. Fortunately the drizzle didn’t stick around for long and FPs, having lost the toss, were asked to bat. Ever-present Keith was joined by opener-for-the-day Penman and the pair wasted no time in getting stuck into the bowling, aided by more than a few extras. Repeated no balls were interspersed by fours and easy singles, as FPs raced to 50 within six overs, Keith bringing up his half century shortly after. He was looking in fine touch, but after remarking that he was “a quarter of the way to 200”, he uncharacteristically chipped one back to Sibtain, departing for 55.
Penman was joined by Gill and the pair set about punishing some lacklustre fielding with singles and twos, before the former’s lungs deserted him. Once again FPs were the masters of their own downfall as Gill called for a telepathic single, leaving the unawares Penman high and dry, run out for 29 on the stroke of drinks.
Mr Reliable, Mr Worldwide, Mr 305, Agha Haider quickly followed, undone by a venomous bouncer and caught well by Ali Shah behind the stumps for five. Karma then delivered swift retribution as Gill was run out for a classy 38. Garwood and Javaid fell in quick succession for eight and zero respectively, and from a strong position things started to look a tad shaky for FPs. Any concerns were quickly dispelled though as Rob Swiergon anchored in, punishing anything short and finding the boundary regularly and with ease. He was well supported first by Tom Murray, and then Jim Lee, who played his part perfectly. Having brought up his first 50 of the season, Swiergon set about pushing the FPs score up towards 300, achieving the milestone with a huge six from the final ball of the innings. He finished up with a superb 86 not out, excellently backed by a classy 16 not out from Lee, as FPs posted a target of 303, extras second top scoring with 59.
Needing a run rate of over seven from the get go, it was always likely to be a chase too far for relegation-threatened AberGreen, and they set about trying to secure valuable batting points. Prash trapped Qaiser LBW for four and Garwood held down an end well, before some kamikaze running did for Ali Shah and Akhtar.
With the result all but settled – and the day getting rather long in the tooth – FPs went in search of quick wickets. Haider removed Qadir, well caught by Prash, before Javaid took a sharp caught and bowled chance from Jafri, putting one hand firmly on the fielding trophy in the process. AberGreen then steadied the ship, Sibtain and Khan batting with care and frustrating the FPs bowlers. It took Javaid to get the breakthrough, Sibtain chipping to Gill for a simple catch, before Swiergon claimed the wicket of Khan, who was caught and bowled for a solid 44. After that FPs made dents at regular intervals, Gill picking up two wickets, including a nice catch from Macklin at second slip. It was left to Swiergon to finish things up, Hashmi hitting one straight to Gill, AberGreen bowled out for 146 with just a few balls left in the innings.
It was a comprehensive win for FPs who will be hoping to secure promotion and possibly the league title away at Methlick next week. The game as a whole was a good-natured affair played in the right spirit, a much needed tonic after last week’s unpleasant outing. It was also the last appearance of the season for Ben Garwood, FP’s newest recruit who has added wily bowling, destructive batting, and some much needed fielding prowess – everyone wishes him the best in Gabon.
Man of the match – Rob Swiergon for his 86 not out and two wickets.
Champagne moment – Swiergon’s six from the final ball of the innings to bring up FPs 300
Thanks to Gilles Gardner for the photos.

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