Banchory 2nds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 16 June, 2018

Toss was won by Banchory 2nds, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 62 all out (4).

Banchory 2nds : 65 for 2 (30).

Green Caps Find The Going Tough at Banchory.

Week eight of the Aberdeen Grades season saw Portcullis on another tough away trip, this time to the pleasant surroundings of Burnett Park, home of League leaders Banchory CC.

Squad decimation for the weekend saw a Captain and two Vice-Captains unavailable for this fixture. A week that started with seven players finally saw Portcullis eventually muster an eleven. This was thanks to Andy Blackburn being sent home onshore early, Ross McKenzie’s dad Derek stepping into the breach to make his debut and Dunecht stalwarts Alan Burnett and Steve Derrett kindly making up the numbers (thanks guys!) to bring Portcullis to XI.

The Captain for the week was the tall slim figure of Dave Forbes. Since last season Big (well not so big) Dave has lost 111lbs in weight – 1lb short of eight stone!!! A remarkable achievement!

Once famously one half of partnership “42 stone of brute strength will see us through” (along with Ronnie Falconer who himself lost three stone), the pair have shrunk somewhat and now are 30 odd stone of questionable strength.

Unfortunately Skipper Forbes could not confine his losses to just weight as he lost the toss as well and Portcullis were put into bat.

As there was an air of experimentation, Dave decided to open the batting with his good self and the evergreen Brian Harper. An experienced pairing to take the battle to Banchory.

Banchory decided to plump with youth, opening the bowling with Chad and Dean Abbot. The trust in youth was well-founded. The pair had played against Portcullis previously, in the R&D fixture and had acquitted themselves well. I always take time to encourage youngsters in the game and did so last season. Not just because I’m a good egg (I am) but mainly it’s about self-preservation. They are on the way up getting stronger and quicker as the years roll by whereas I’m on the way down, getting weaker and slower!

The Abbotts showed they had upped their game. Chad took full advantage of a lively Banchory wicket to tickle the ribs of Forbes a couple of times, getting the ball to lift from short of a length. Harper looked solid at the other end. Well he did until a piece of bowling brilliance did for him.

It came in the shape of Dean Abbott’s first delivery in the second over. He chose to bowl right arm round the over. This was an odd choice as he was swinging the ball away from the right hander. As a result it was highly unlikely he would get an lbw decision. He did not need it though. In his previous over he had pitched the ball outside leg stump getting the ball to angle across Harper whilst it swung away forcing him to play when it caught the line of off-stump.

This ball was a bit special though.

This one again pitched outside leg stump however it held it’s line better in this occasion, holding it’s movement so it would straighten enough to clip the top of leg stump instead of continuing it’s natural track of passing outside off stump. An absolute beauty of a delivery and the best I have witnessed this season to date. Portcullis 1-1 after four overs.

This brought the Dunecht loanee Alan Burnett to the crease. Although scoring was tough the pair dug in, standing strong against the Abbot double act. Dean came off after 3 overs and was replaced with a left field bowling change in the shape of the wily spin bowling of Tom Wilkinson. The pitch offered Wilkinson’s spin the added bonus of bounce which made him a tricky customer to deal with. Chad Abbott continued to be lively at the other end, bringing swing, bounce and lift during his initial five over spell. When rested he could consider himself unlucky not to get a wicket.

This brought about the turn of D. Brown. He bowled three overs but when he was proved fruitless Banchory turned to Graeme Nixon. This proved to be the bowling change that brought further success to Banchory.

First up was Alan Burnett. He had enjoyed a partnership of 15 for the second wicket before Nixon lured him into edging one into the safe gloves of wicketkeeper CarlCounsell.

This sparked a mini-collapse of the Portcullis innings. 15-2 became 23 -3 when a Nixon lifter feathered the bat of Andy Philip again into the awaiting gloves of Counsell. Philip too his credit took stock of what happened and then duly walked without waiting for the umpire to make a decision.

In the meantime Josh Crawley replaced the intriguing spin of Wilkinson with some cunning spin bowling of his own. This change was enough to dislodge the Portcullis Skipper of the day Forbes. In his second over Forbes was hoodwinked into playing a false shot, the ball going to Nixon who gleefully hung onto the catch. Portcullis 25-4. Forbes back to the pavilion with a creditable 13 to his name.

Ross McKenzie was next man in. Alas McKenzie the younger could not revisit the innings of Dunecht from week’s previously. Graeme Nixon capturing his third wicket of the day trapping the young Portcullis starlet. Portcullis 26-5.

The sudden collapse of wickets saw a bit of a panic with Falconer urged to be relieved of his umpiring duties. Along with Steve Derrett and Andy Blackburn, the three of them rushed back to get their pads on.

Thankfully Derrett got ready the quickest so took the no 7 position in the batting order. He probably wished he did not as, when he joined Kannan Vijayakrishnan at the crease, he was next man to go. He became Crawley’s second victim, playing onto his stumps with a mistimed sweep. Portcullis 28-6.

Ronnie Falconer was next man in as he joined Kannan Vijayakrishnan at the crease. There was hope even at this late stage that Portcullis could rally. The explosive Vijayakrishnan joined by the dependable Falconer. Alas disaster struck when Nixon grabbed his fourth wicket. Vijayakrishnan a tad unfortunate when an inside edge went onto clip leg stump. Portcullis 30-7.

Andy Blackburn was next man in as he joined Falconer at the crease. The pair took the score to 40 before Blackburn fell caught at mid-off by Wilkinson from the bowling of Herbert. Portcullis 40-8 and at least one bloody batting point!

Jake Dawson was the next man in. He hung around to take the score to 48 before the returning Chad Abbott got him to defend one but not strongly enough as the ball rolled back onto the stumps bowling the luckless Dawson. Portcullis 48-9.

This brought the last man to the crease – Ross’s dad Derek McKenzie to bat for the first time since school. Along with Falconer, the pair put on a last wicket partnership of 14 before McKenzie Snr fell for a creditable 8, caught and bowled by Crawley. Portcullis 62 all out.

For Portcullis Dave Forbes top scored with 13 whilst Ronnie Falconer finished on 12 not out. Derek McKenzie dug in for a fine debutant score of 8 including one of only two fours of the Portcullis innings.

The bowling honours for Banchory went to Graeme Nixon with fine figures of 8 overs 1 maiden 11 runs for 4 wickets. He was backed up by Josh Crawley who took 3-15 from 6 overs. The other wickets went to Chad Abbott, Dean Abbot and M. Herbert.

With clouds looming and some rain in the air, it was agreed that tea was delayed until the match was over.

Banchory would open their batting with Josh Crawley and Dean Abbott whilst Portcullis would open their bowling with Ross McKenzie and Brian Harper.

Portcullis got off to a good start when McKenzie got Abbott to waft at one, the ball edged into the midriff of Falconer at first slip who held onto a good catch. Banchory 4-1.

Next man in was bowling hero Graeme Nixon. He looked keen to up the run-rate pushing along singles and twos as he sought to finish the innings in quick time. Alas the only innings he finished in quick time was his own as he was sadly run out for 5. Banchory 9-2.

This turn of events gave Portcullis a glimpse of hope of pushing Banchory all the way. McKenzie continued to bowl well whilst Harper continued to fox the Banchory batsmen. Vijayakrishnan ,as rare as hens teeth spilled a tough chance, whilst their were a few aerial shots that landed in spaces out of harms way for the batting pair of Zach Crawley and W. Redpath.

And that was just about it for Portcullis.

Banchory soon settled in and the runs came pretty quickly after that as they knocked off the total in 14.5 overs.

Crawley raced onto 38 not out whilst Redpath finished unbeaten on 15 not out to cap a fine and comfortable victory for Banchory.

For Portcullis Ross McKenzie was the only wicket taker with figures of 1-19 from six overs.

Both teams are on the road next week. Portcullis making a welcome return to Turriff after a few years away whilst Banchory take a trip for an intriguing tie away to Methlick 2nds.


DAVE FORBES just edges it for his gutsy 13 at the top of the order, pipping Ronnie Falconer with his 12 not out and slip catch.


It was tight between the two but ZAC CRAWLEY takes it for his fine knock of 38 not out and bowling figures of 3-15 to cap an outstanding all-round display. Graeme Nixon pushed him close with a lively spell of bowling that saw him finish with figures if 4-11.


RONNIE FALCONER takes it for his sharp catch at slip and the fact he ws the only fielder for Portcullis to take a catch…


DAVE FORBES after facing an accidental but dangerous beamer from Nixon I think. Banchory to a man were full of apologies for the delivery murmering their sorries all at once.

Dave Forbes:” Nah! Don’t worry! Not a problem! You haven’t seen our bowling pish yet!!!”

Amen to that!

Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3A.Burnett (LOAN)3CaughtG.NixonC.Counsell
7S.Derrett (LOAN)2BowledJ.Crawley
8R.Falconer12Not out
Leg Byes0
No Balls1

Innings of Banchory 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1J.Crawley384Not out
3G.Nixon5Run Out
4W.Redpath151Not out
5C.AbbottDid not bat
6N.AbbottDid not bat
7C.CounsellDid not bat
8M.HerbertDid not bat
9D.BrownDid not bat
10G.BrownDid not bat
11T.WilkinsonDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0