Dalnacraig 161 for 6 (7 points)
Coupar Angus 163 for 5 (25 points)
LARGHAN Park has been returned to a cricket field befitting the game, thanks to the efforts of Andy Neave and his motor mower, and with its beautiful setting the stage was set for a special game of cricket on Saturday against Dalnacraig, who thumped Coupar in Dundee at the end of May.
Bobby Edington had to make do with 10 men, as a result of miscommunication, although he had enough faith in those who turned up and didn’t hesitate in asking the Dalnacraig skipper to bat first.
With Mike Ancell sunning himself in Greece, Alan Neave paired up with Roland Thorn to give the openers a hard time. Bobby Edington used his five bowlers well, splitting the openers spells, but enforced in Alan’s case as being so young he can only bowl a maximum of seven in any spell.
The bowlers were well backed up by some improved fielding, although there were a few notable drops. David Miller held a fine catch to reward Gordon Croll with a well earned wicket and newcomer Andy Douglas demonstrated that he can field. John McIntyre returned to the fold following knee surgery and again proved to be a lucky mascot.
Man of many clubs Jim Braid again proved impossible to dislodge, using bat and all parts of his anatomy to remain at the crease, however Dalnacraig ended up over a hundred runs short of their mammoth total amassed in the game at Dundee.
Mike Nelson’s torrid time with the bat continued after the tea interval when he misjudged a Saeed delivery which appeared to slowly drift under his bat. The opener is a technically correct batsman and his form is sure to improve for the important final games of the season.
All the while Alan Neave continues his apprenticeship as an opener and with bags of patience and concentration, he certainly knows how to hang around and back up the more aggressive middle order.
With the festival at Scone in mind, Gordon Croll turned back the clock for his own Rewind and after a surprisingly cautious start he wound himself and the Dalnacraig fielders up by producing some monstrous shots from the old Mohammed Ajmal bat which has rather a good middle, said the experienced all rounder.
Young Alan was on the receiving end of some silly sledging and the best response to that is to reply with the bat which Gordon did effectively in despatching six enormous sixes. Alan on the other hand was caught in attempting to play down a lob which ought to have been punished but as so often happens it is the bad ball which results in the fall of a wicket.
Bobby Edington looked more like his old self when he joined Gordon in the middle and both ruthlessly sorted out what was fairly ordinary bowling. They put on 76 runs and put Coupar in the way to victory. Both were out to similar deliveries which rose rapidly, Gordon gloving behind and Bobby popping the ball in the air.
There was adequate back up in the shape of Roland Thorn, Scott McKay, and Mark Grogan. Roland is looking more like a good batsman and his two lofty blows for six helped steer his side towards victory. Scott Mckay, prior to being caught, hit a massive six over backward square leg.
Mark Grogan bowled a full spell and played his part in containing the visitors, while his usual agricultural batting was put on hold, having been accordingly advised by his skipper. Mark and Roland saw Coupar past the Dalnacraig total and with four wickets and four overs to spare, this was an excellent way to avenge that disaster at Dalnacraig in May.
Dalnacraig 161 for six (J. Braid 80 not out, S. Johnny 25 not out; Alan Neave two for 9, Mark Grogan two for 61, Gordon Croll one for 18, Roland Thorn one for 27), Coupar Angus 163 for five 5 (Gordon Croll 68, Bobby Edington 29, Roland Thorn 25 not out ; F. Saeed two for 25, S. Johnny two for 39, D. Kilminster one for 24).
Saturday’s victory will provide some much needed confidence and with all three victories this season coming at Larghan, Bobby Edington’s side will hopefully give Rossie Priory a better game at home on Saturday than they did at the Priory last month.
Mike Nelson will miss this and the next game against Breadalbane, however Mike Ancell should be refreshed and Warren Sutherland would be a significant asset as well. A decent performance against Rossie and a victory against Breadalbane would help ease fears of relegation.