Eight-man Thistle are beaten

Stonehaven Thistle 2nd X1 52 all out

Methlick 2nd X1 54 for 5

Owing to availability problems and late call offs, an eight man Thistle side travelled upstate to Methlick facing the prospect of gloomy weather.

Thistle were invited to bat on the artificial strip, surrounded by some very soggy ground.

Openers Law and Wathern made a solid start, playing some powerful strokes, often to little avail, as the ball slowed in the soaking grass, or simply stopped in the muddy surface.

Wathern soon started to find some gaps as he probed the loose bowling and the score crept up with good defensive play from Law. Thistle on 35 for no wicket and nothing much in the bowling to be of any threat.

Wathern then lost his wicket for a strong 27 runs, and gave way to King who prodded a couple of singles before being adjudged caught behind to Jones.

Skipper Dave Long followed shortly after, LBW with the home bowlers improving line and length.

Gouws also joined the trail back to the dressing room.

With Pete Law dismissed, bowled, Brendan Hall and Abid added to the score, and Josh Law played intelligently to push the score along with some free hitting at the death from Fraser Mearns.

Thistle closed their innings on 52 all out.

Drizzle continued to fall, as the home side commenced their innings, and Thistle’s opening bowlers both slipped on the sodden ground.

However, after finding some good deliveries, Gouws and King started to trouble the batsmen, who found it hard to score.

Gouws’ run-up was more problematical, and was replaced by Wathern while King tied up the other end. King then struck, catching the opener off his own bowling, and Wathern comprehensively bowled his partner shortly after.

Thistle sensed they could make a game of it as Methlick’s batsmen looked more uncomfortable.

King switched his angle of attack, and removed the home side’s number three, Brendan Hall taking a very smart catch at head height.

Wathern then clean again bowled the next man. With the score on 39 for four, things were tight.

Dave Long then took over from King and trapped the next batsman LBW with the score on 42.

The score crept up, but Thistle fielded efficiently, in particular Josh Law and Fraser Mearns behind the stumps. The danger was that the mid-order big hitters might get hold of one or two, or perish trying to do so.

Unfortunately, the former was the case, with Gordon hitting a boundary to take his score to 14 not out and Methlick to safety.

King finished with two for 11 and Wathern with two for 14. Methlick five down for 54

The frustrating thing was the distinct feeling that a full squad of 11 players may well have beaten the home team, but starting essentially three wickets down, and with larger gaps in the field, meant it was a mountain too big to climb.