ELLON remain top of Aberdeenshire Grade 1 following victory over Stonehaven at Gordon Park on Saturday. The highlight of the win was an undefeated 89 by Aman Arora.
Ellon skipper S White won the toss and invited the visitors to bat on a wicket that was very green and an outfield that resembled a hay field. Stonehaven openers were Donald and Keith. It was a pleasure for everyone to see Keith back in his whites, as he had been out of action for more than 18 months with a back injury.
S White opened the bowling from the Academy end and in his first over Donald dispatched two loose balls to the boundary. Greenfield took the River end and opened his account with a maiden over.
The first wicket fell at the beginning of the third over with White taking the wicket of Donald with his first ball. In came Milroy, the Stonehaven captain, a batsman who in the past had put the Ellon bowlers to the sword.
Milroy and Keith started to build a partnership dispatching any loose balls to the boundary, but in general the Ellon bowling was good, with the loose balls a rarity.
Greenfield was rested after a five over spell and Aman took over at the River end, sadly the bowling change did not produce a wicket. S White bowled an 8 over stint, with no additional success and the wily Barrett replaced him at the Academy end.
By now, Milroy and Keith were looking comfortable and their partnership was progressing. The scoreboard showing that they had pushed the score up to 78.
Joy came to Ellon in the 24th over when Delagarno who replaced Aman at the river end, he claimed the wicket of the dangerous Milroy with his fourth ball in his first over.
In came Ritchie, and he did not trouble the scorers as Delagarno bowled him in his second over. Stonehaven were now 88 for 3. The prized wicket of Keith came in the 28th over when Barrett had him LBW.
Lambson and Mason tried to rebuild the Stonehaven innings and they pushed the score along to 121 before Lambson was bowled by Barrett. Wilson, who came in at number 7, smashed Greenfield for a huge six, but was then promptly bowled by Greenfield.
Greenfield claimed his second wicket when Delagarno caught Mason at long off. Stonehaven’s tail was wagging and the Ellon captain mopped up the tail quickly. The last wicket falling with the total on 148.
Ellon opened with Davies and Aman and Davies was out for a duck. Hinchcliffe claiming his first wicket with his 4th ball. Ellon 0 for 1.
Ellon lost their second wicket with the score board on 12 Satya been given out LBW again of the bowling of Hinchcliff. Next in was Barratt and he joined Aman, who was looking very comfortable although he had a little luck as he was dropped twice.
This partnership pushed the score along to 46 when Barrett was cleaned bowled for 14 runs. The wicket taker was Mason, who had replaced Hinchcliffe at the River end.
Number 5 for Ellon was S White, and he was next out, bowled by Wilson who had taken over the bowling from Finlay at the Academy end. Ellon were still 75 runs short of the target and next in was Delagarno, but his time at the crease was also short as he was Wilson next wicket, given out LBW for two.
At the other end watching the wickets tumble was Aman and he was building his innings, with Ellon at 76 for 4 he had contributed 44 runs to the total. He punished any bad ball to the boundary and his defence now looked very solid. It was Aman and Greenfield who replaced Delgarno who put Ellon into a winning position as they had a partnership of 47 runs before Greenfield was bowled by Finlay for 19.
C Wolrige Gordon joined Aman with 26 runs needed for victory and four overs later Ellon were celebrating another 30 points as Aman hit another four give Ellon the win. Aman remained unbeaten on 89.
Ellon continue to top the league, but host the dangerous Bon Accord next week at Gordon Park. Another victory could stamp their authority in Grade 1.
Meanwhile, eight-man Ellon 2nds travelled to Banchory more in hope than in expectation on Saturday after a number of call-offs.
On winning the toss, Banchory captain Ken Campbell clearly fancied his team’s chances and took the unusual option of batting first. The home innings closed on 136 from 35.5 overs.
Ellon knew they were in with a chance if they got off to a good start but openers Bryan Fuller and Steve Herridge were back in the pavilion with only 15 runs on the scoreboard.
However, the partnership of Chris Watson and Alastair Stallard put on 83 and Watson hit a six to pass the Banchory total. Watson finished on 35 not out, while Stallard made 62.
Ellon chased down the total in 29.1 overs and the result keeps up the pressure on Portcullis at the top of Grade 4, with both teams looking a strong bet to in Grade 3 next season.
Special thanks go to young Harry Stuart, who kept wicket well, and Lewis Clutchfield, whose bowling impressed.
The 2nds travel to Kemnay to play their 2nds on Saturday, hoping to get 11 players on the park.