ELLON’s fine run of form, which brought them to the top of the Grade 1 table, ended abruptly with a home defeat by Mannofield.
The visitors recorded a narrow eight-run win, despite an indifferent start to the season which sees them languishing lower in the league than they would like to be. The result meant Ellon failed to consolidate their position at the top of the table.
In a tightly-contested game, Ellon bowled out the visitors for just 144. But Gavin Jamieson took five wickets for sixteen to steer Mannofield to victory.
After the sweltering temperature of the previous Saturday, Gordon Park was back to its chilly best. However, there was little or no prospect of rain.
Yet again, S White the Ellon captain won the toss and invited Mannofield to bat.
The wicket was similar to last week’s and Ellon were keen to make in-roads in the visitors batting line up.
The first wicket came in the first over when the unfortunate Reddy hit his own wicket off the third ball of S White’s first over. Lawson, who was the visitors other opener was then joined by Sruya.
This partnership was short lived as Sruya was dismissed by S White when the scoreboard read 10 runs. Findlay then joined Lawson, who had only contributed one run to his name at the crease and seven runs later, Findlay took the long walk back to the pavilion. The successful bowler being Ellon’s other opening bowler Wade.
The Ellon bowlers had bowled an excellent line and length and this put the batting team under pressure as the runs were very slow to come by.
White rested himself and Greenfield replaced him at the School end, whilst at the River end Barrett replaced Wade. Greenfield only managed three overs as torn calf muscle rendered him out of action.
Arora was given the ball and he, too, bowled a tidy spell sadly with no success.
Mannofield’s number 5 was Russell and he and Lawson preserved their wickets until the 15th over when Russell was bowled by Barrett.
A 35-run partnership had been broken. Lawson was then joined by Lomax and he and Lawson began to build a good partnership with Lomax being the main scorer.
Barrett continued at the River end, and was always threatening to take another wicket and he eventually had Lomax plumb LBW for 27.
Lawson waited patiently at the crease as Grafax came out to join him. By now, the score had increased to 107 and another partnership began to develop.
But as Barrett was on the verge of completing his 12th over, Lawson mistimed a drive and was caught by the bowler - he had contributed 33 runs to the team’s total.
Elliot and Jamieson came and went quickly, one falling to Wade who replaced Barrett and the other to S White.
Mitchell and Pradeep did not really trouble the scorers either, Mitchell being LBW to Wade. Lomax who had batted with aggression was last out caught off the bowling of White for 26. Mannofield had made 144 off 44.3 overs.
Yet again, everyone enjoyed tea provided by the Station Hotel and once the 20 minutes were up Mannofield took to the field.
The Ellon openers S White and Arora marched out with confidence, which was not surprising as they are both batting well this season.
Pradeep and Sruya opened the bowling and Arora and White gently settled in, but with the score on 22 Arora was caught off the bowling of Pradeep.
Barrett joined his captain and they slowly pushed the score along. Mannofield bowlers were also bowling a good line and lengthamaking runs hard to come by.
Ellon lost their second wicket when Barrett was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Jamieson, who had replace Sruya at the River end. With Ellon 46 for 2 C White joined his brother, however his stay was very short and he was caught in the slips off the bowling of Jamieson for 0.
A total of 46 for 3 was not what Ellon had planned. Wolrige Gordon joined his captain and they pushed the score up to 57 before the captain was given out LBW, again of the bowling of Jamieson.
T Procter joined Wolrige Gordon and they built a slow but steady partnership. Slow as Jamieson was bowling with great accuracy to both of them.
When the score read 80 Wolrige Gordon was bowled by Jamieson. Satge a new recruit for Ellon came in at sevenand he and Procter pushed the score along to 104 before Procter, who had batted so well holed out to mid off, he had scored 26 and the bowler again was Jamieson.
A Park joined Satge, but sadly Parks visit was brief, he was out when the score was 108. M White stayed in with Satge, but he too fell when the score was 115.
By now, a lot was resting on Satge and Wade, who batted sensibly with him and they pushed the score up to 135 when Wade was bowled by Pradeep.
Ellon needed 11 to win and last in was Greenfield who was not fit really to bat. One run was added before Satge, having contributed a fine 20 runs towards Ellon’s total, was out.
Without doubt, it was a game Ellon should have won, but credit to Mannofield who bowled so well. Jamieson was thepick of the bowlers with five wickets to his name for only 16 runs.
Ellon have next weekend off, and will be tackling the formidable Bon Accord on June 16.
Elsewhere, with Cults having a free day, Bon Accord made up ground with a nine-wicket win against Inverurie, despite a half century from Trevor Norval.
An unbroken opening partnership between Vai Bode and Rehan Haider took St Ronald to an emphatic victory against Grammar FPS.