With the end of the season closing fast, Stonehaven Thistle 2nd XI welcomed Aberdeen Grammar School FP to Mineralwell Park, a game that needed to be played due to previous washed out fixtures between both sides. It was a fine Sunday afternoon and with Thistle’s confidence high after the previous day’s nail-biting win, Thistle openers J. Gibson and D.Crozier started well with 3 off the first over.
Unfortunately Gibson (2) was caught in the next over chasing a wider delivery from Booth. D long Jnr was in next and stuck around as D. Crozier set about the Grammar ringers.
With the score on 23 off 6, the batsmen were looking good until D Long Jnr (2) was bowled, again Booth the wicket-taker. Next in was Thistle’s promising new-comer R. Atkinson who, together with Skipper D. Crozier steadily started building Thistle a total, 63 for 2 off 20.
As the Grammar first change bowlers started to find their accuracy, Thistle’s skipper was caught out on 24, Thistle were now 67 for 3 off 23. S. Kerr was in next and stuck around supporting well as Atkinson started to score freely but was then out for 2, caught and bowled in the 28th over by Davey. T. Swallow was now at the crease and stuck in well until R. Atkinson was trapped LBW for a well played 26, Thistle 80 for 5 off 28 overs.
Vice Captain D. Long Snr scored 8 before unluckily being out caught and bowled, the score 100 for 6 off 35. With only 10 overs remaining, Thistle still had plenty of batting left and started to push on, P. Hay going for the big shots, scoring an entertaining 18 until being caught and bowled, another for Davey, the score 120 for 7 off 38.
A. Long was in next and together with T. Swallow started to push the Grammar opening bowlers around the field, frustrating the fielders in the closing stages. Swallow hit the shot of the match, spanking a beamer for six over deep mid-wicket. Together Swallow (18 no) and A. Long (16 no) pushed the score up to a respectable 164 for 7 off 45. Top batsmen were R. Atkinson 26 and D. Crozier 24. Top bowlers were Davey 3-31 and Booth 2-46.
After the lavish half time teas, Thistle opened with the Long brothers who kept Grammar honest until D. Long Jnr bowled Rama (2) with a fantastic swinging Yorker, 30 for 1 off 9. Grammar then set about going for the runs and managed to find the gaps with a mix of skill and luck, the score 54 for 1 off 14 until D. Long Jnr struck again Booth caught out for 40.
Next in was Pelhaj who together with Davey found it hard to score against the change bowlers B. Snelling and D. Crozier, the score 63 for 2 off 18. With J. Gouws unfortunately carrying an injury from the previous days match, Skipper Crozier brought R. Atkinson and P. Hay into the attack but by now both batsmen had started to find their feet and were steadily scoring the quick singles and finding the gaps to the boundary, the score 117 for 2 off 26.
The Long brothers came back in the attack as the resilient Thistle looked to find the breakthrough and as the heavens opened, Davey was eventually undone by the slower ball from A. Long. P. Hay kept his composure in the sudden downpour to take the catch.
As the teams went off as the heavy rain shower slowly passed over, the teams took the chance to regroup and recover, both sides showing the wear and tear of playing two full games in two days in unusually hot August conditions.
With the score on 149 for 3 off 31, play resumed with both teams giving their all, Thistle looking for at least another point and Grammar going for the win. Unfortunately Grammar stalwart Pelhaj was swinging for the fences and earned his 50 in style and also gave Grammar the win, the final score 166 for 3 off 35. Thistle’s top bowlers were D. Long Jnr 2-38 off 12 and A. Long 1-61 off 10. Top batsmen were Pelhaj 59 no and Booth 40.
Next week Thistle 2nd XI play Gordonians at Counteswells. Thistle are looking to close out their strong finish to the season, an impressive 5 wins out of their last 6 games. Thistle’s match sponsor was the Station Hotel.