Ellon set pace at top of the table

ELLON Gordon 1st XI maintained their lead at the top of Aberdeenshire Grade 1 with a comfortable win over Crathie on the Balmoral estate on Saturday.

Sunshine greeted the visitors when they arrived on Deeside, which was welcome after the wash-outs of recent weekends.

The home side won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first.

While Ellon were getting padded up the rain came on. Fortunately it was a short shower and the remainder of the match was played in sunny intervals.

Scott White and Aman Arora got off to a steady start before Scott was caught in the slips off the bowling of McLeod.

Jonathan Barrett started slowly but gradually forced the score along and he and Stewart Davies had a partnership of 83 before Stewart was trapped lbw off the bowling of McLeod.

Jonathan pushed his score up to 51 before being caught off Bell’s bowling.

Craig White hit a speedy eight runs before Greenfield and Souter hit the boundary several times allowing Scott to declare the Ellon innings on 163.

After tea, Ellon went out to field having immediate success. Ross Wade took three quick wickets while Scott White clean bowled Cunningham, who didn’t register a run.

Crathie were struggling having lost four wickets for only seven runs. McDonald showed some resistance, scoring 16, before being clean bowled by Aman Arora. There was little hope after that and the home side capitulated with the score on 43.

An excellent win for the Grade 1 leaders showing they have great strength in their bowling line up.

Scoring - Ellon 163 for 5 - J Barrett 51; S Davies 37; R Greenfield 14 not out; C Souter 13 not out; C McLoud 3 for 59.

Crathie 43 all out - McDonald 16; R Wade 3 for 9; R Gfreenfield 2 for 11.

On Sunday, Ellon set about defending their SCU Small Clubs cup title against the mighty Bon Accord in the semi-final at Gordon Park.

But there was to be disppointment for the home side who missed a golden opportunity to reach the final.

With their opponents all out for 97, Ellon lost their final three wickets wiht just five runs needed for victory.

It was a dull and overcast day. Ellon won the toss and aksed the visitors to bat first.

Again Ross Wade had immediate success, trapping Awan lbw and having Shafrma caught by Stewart Davies leaving Bon Accord eighte for two.

Mirza and Winn established a recovery until they misjudged the arm of Mark White who had Winn run out with a direct hit of the wickets from the boundary, leaving the batsman stranded.

This quickly followed a second run out with Craig White getting the ball to wicketkeeper Davies leaving Hussain short.

Osama came in and was caught by Hucheson off Jonathan Barrett’s bowling, then Mirza was caught behind off Arora’s bowling.

Malik knocked a brief 19 including a six before being caught off Arora. Shakeel Ahmed also found the boundary towards the end scoring 21, including two sixes.

Bon Accord were bowled out for 97 giving Ellon a reasonable chance of securing another trip to the final.

It didn’t seem to be a huge task but in a mixture of drizzle and overcast conditions they had only scored 10 runs when Stewart Davies was caught off the bowling of Mirza.

Jonathan Barrett began cautiously and hit the boundary twice before being given out lbw when the ball appeared to be going down the leg-side.

Ellon were two down with the score on 30. Disaster followed when Gault was caught (at the fourth attempt) on his first ball and Scott White was bowled, both off the bowling of Balani.

Greenfield, Craig White and Chris Watson tried to push the score along and reached 93 - leaving just five runs needed with three wickets in hand.

It looked good for Ellon but Saafir and Malik had other ideas and the home side lost those three wickets without a further run being added. Bon Accord progressed to the final on July 15 by four runs. Ellon must reflect on a great chance missed.

Scoring - Bon Accord 97 all out. N Mirza 27; S Ahmed 21; T Malik 19; R Wade 4 for 14; A Arora 2 for 22.

On Saturday Ellon make the trip to Inverurie to try and maintain their lead in Grade 1.