Last Saturday’s League Fixture at Rubislaw saw over 400 runs scored which is rarely the amount scored in a few fixtures, let alone one. The artificial wicket was a batsman’s paradise, and a fast outfield meant boundaries were a regular feat. Unfortunately for Ellon, they were on the losing side.
On losing the toss, Ellon’s openers K Montgomery and B Fuller were soon parted with the total on 8, with Montgomery bowled by a ball which kept low. Incoming batsman H Owen was soon in his stride, and with Fuller going along nicely, the score was mounting at over 4 an over before a great catch by Davey saw Owen dismissed with the total on 35. I Duncan, Ellon’s senior statesman on the day, showed his commitment by hitting the first ball for 4 and at the same time the ball landed out of the field and was lost, High drama already!
These two players kept things moving along, before with the team total on 84, Fuller was well caught when another boundary looked to be on the cards . Nevertheless, Brian made a very useful 25 in only his second match of the season and just 1 run short of a 50 partnership with Duncan. This brought in Ellon’s skipper, K Hutcheson and, after a few nervous moments when he could have been out-caught on a few occasions, settled down. Confidence returned as he and Duncan shared a 64 run partnershi, with the total now on a respectable 150. Duncan reached 58 in his what is his second appearance, with hopefully more to come - his experience will be required before the season ends. As Ellon’s junior Level 2 coach, he’l be pleased that he can still show his “pupils” how to contribute to the teams’ performance!
With the score as it was, S Middleton’s entry couldn’t have been better prepared, and he was soon finding the boundary with fours and sixes before he was out, having scored 24 - every one a boundary! ‘No point in using energy when you can score boundaries’ is Scott’s motto! It was just what the team required, with declaration in sight and Hutcheson (39) also playing his part in making sure it was to be Ellon’s highest total of the season so far. When he was out again - caught in the outfield - Ellon had 6 wickets down, and the score on 184. Normally on grass this would be a declaration total, but not on artificial with a fast outfield. The remaining batsman who followed including Fiona Campbell who has returned to Ellon after working away from the area making her re-appearance, saw the total pass the 200 mark before the last batsman Laurent Lot was bowled after scoring 8 on his debut with the club.
So after 44 overs, Ellon were pretty pleased at tea thinking they had a good total to defend and that Grammar School FP would have to bat exceptionally well to pass this total with a draw more likely if the top batsman failed to make a significant contribution. Alas this never materialised, as the Grammar openers were scoring freely at over 6 an over as the Ellon bowlers failed to get the ball to land in the right area. Bowling on artificial is completely different to bowling on grass, where a shorter length is required. There was some relief when Ellon took the first of only 3 wickets which Grammar lost on the day with the score on 18 and a catch taken by Greg Hyde off the bowling of Scott Middleton. This brought in N Blyth and he was soon putting Ellon’s bowlers to the sword, never giving one chance before H Owen bowled him - but only after he scored 84 excellent runs. His captain, R Fryer, who was opening the innings was also in top form before he was out caught by I Duncan off the bowling of H Owen, after scoring a very useful 71 runs and the game almost won. These two didn’t play a bad shot, and certainly made runs scoring look easy and as so often happens, they were both out in the space of a few balls in the same over. Ellon were thinking ‘if only this had happened some 160 runs previously’, as the other batsman seen at the crease didn’t look so assured.
A remarkable run feast of over 400 runs scored at an amazing run rate came to an end just as light rain started to fall. Ellon’s fielding on the whole was good, but short of 11 members didn’t help their cause in trying to contain free scoring batsman in top form.
This coming Saturday see Ellon return to Aberdeen and play at the Duthie Park in another Grade fixture and a win would be a confidence boost. Unavailabilities so far this season have meant they have not managed to field a settled team, and results will improve once the “missing” players are free to return again .
Ellon Gordon 2nd X1 203
I Duncan 58: K Hutcheson 39 : B Fuller 25: S Middleton 24
D Russell 4--26 ; N Blyth 2--24
N Blyth 83 : R Fryer 71 : Karthik 14 n/o
H Owen 2---52
Grammar FPS 2ndX1 207 for 3