On a rare sunny Saturday afternoon, Thistle 2nd XI welcomed Stoneywood Dyce to a dry but green looking track at Mineralwell Park, looking to put an end to their recent losing streak.
At the opening, Stoneywood won the coin toss and elected to field which brought Thistle openers S. Crozier and T. Swallow to the batting crease. Both batsmen started tentatively against the accurate bowling until S. Crozier was bowled by A Rayner trying to force the pace. Things soon got worse as T. Swallow also fell victim to the consistently accurate Stoneywood bowling, the score 2 for 2 off 4 overs. J. Crozier and Thistle skipper D. Long Snr were the next men in and after acclimatising to the pace of the wicket; J.Crozier set about punishing any loose deliveries and started scoring freely, boundaries finally gracing the scorebook. This was a lift Thistle badly needed and with D. Long Snr supporting well, Thistle soon started to build some momentum, the score 27 for 2 off 11. Unfortunately just as the balance was swinging Thistle’s way, D. Long Snr was bowled out by S. Almamum.
With the score now 37 for 3, J. Crozier was joined by S. Kerr and the pair were batting patiently, seeing off the opening bowlers but with the blazing conditions and the new bowling change an unknown quantity, J. Crozier was unfortunately bowled trying to get the run rate going again.
E.McElarney was next in and looked confident at the crease until an unfortunate miss saw him bowled by Renu. With the first extra of the game not arriving till the 14th over, runs were hard to come by in the hot conditions and Thistle’s middle-to-lower order struggled to get any momentum as Stoneywood mixed up their bowlers to good effect. Thistle then unfortunately started to unravel and wickets started to fall every few overs, the last 5 wickets fell for only 20 runs.
Thistle finished on a slim total of 84 all out from 31 hard-fought overs, the top scorers J. Crozier 33, S Kerr 8, Stoneywood’s best bowlers were J Tindal 3-14 and C. Moir 2-8.
After some much needed tea and refreshments, Thistle took to the field with a tough task of defending a low batting score. Thistle opened with A. Long and J. Gouws, who started well on the dry surface and kept the Stoneywood openers C. Moir and N. Ahmed honest for the opening spell but with Stoneywood playing the waiting game, no wickets came Thistle’s way, the score 20 off 11.
As the Thistle first change bowlers got to work, Stoneywood looked to increase their total and started to pick their shots, the score going up to 42 off 16.
Thistle continued to plug away and look for the breakthrough but with plenty of overs left, Stoneywood continued to play it safe and defend the good bowling.
The Thistle skipper was mixing up the bowling well, brining on spinner E. McElarney and the bamboozling pace of S. Crozier but to no avail as C. Moir literally edged his way to a well played 50, the score 76 off 24 overs.
With nothing to lose and the hope of getting at least a bowling point, the Thistle skipper brought back the opening bowlers and finally the breakthrough came, A. Long bowling C. Moir in his 10th over.
So with the opening wicket falling, skipper D. Long Snr chanced his arm with Stoneywood only requiring 1 to win and succeeded, M. MacPhearson caught out with a bizarre shot selection and walked off the field to the sarcastic cheers of his teammates on the sidelines.
Thistle changed around for the next over and amazingly got another wicket, opening batsmen N. Ahmed caught out for a patiently played 9 but it was a case of too little, too late for Thistle and Stoneywood finished on 85 for 3 off 28. Top batsmen were C. Moir 59 and N. Ahmed 9. Thistle’s best bowlers, A. Long 2-16, D Long Snr 1-2.
Next week Thistle face a tough task at home to league leaders AGSFPs. The Match Sponsor was the Station Hotel.