Grampian CC v. Portcullis - Saturday, 11 July, 2015

Toss was won by Grampian CC, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 97 for 9.

Grampian CC : 98 for 4.

Grampian Grind Down City Centre Green Caps.

Saturday July 11th saw Portcullis drawn away to Grampian CC in the Semi Final of The Johnston Rose Bowl.

The winners of this match, finally played at Sheddocksley One, would play Turriff in the Final. For both sides a Cup Final against a tough but thoroughly sporting Turriff side would be a big enough incentive!

The match was originally down on the Grades Website as to be played on Sheddocksley Two. However after inspections conducted by Portcullis’s Dave Forbes and, skipper for the day, Ronnie Falconer as well as Grampian’s Skipper Noby Jacob all parties agreed that the match would be better completed on the drier and more suitable Sheddocksley One. The Shed Two’s wicket being one that resembled the Everglades. On stepping on its wicket, one’s foot was soon submerged in slow draining rainwater.

Skipper for the day, Ronnie Falconer and his Grampian counterpart, Noby Jacob went out for the toss. Falconer’s mantra of “Tails never fails” once again proved to be a load of old pony as once again the coin landed with heads showing. Jacob, with the memory of batting first in the pair’s previous meeting, invited Portcullis to bat first.

Valuable lessons had indeed been learned.

Bearing in mind it was a Cup Match, Falconer decided to lead from the front, opening with himself and Muhammad Bilal Farooq. For Grampian it would be the impressive pairing of Noby Jacob and Saju Mathew.

The Grampian pair opened up very tightly giving little away as Portcullis found the going tough. Little chances were given initially although scoring was hard to come by.

The score moved onto 12 before Grampian struck first. Saju Mathew moving the ball enough for Falconer to graze one. Jeby doing well to get under it to take a good low catch.

The demise of Falconer saw the welcome return of Gary Steward. It was a heartening sight for all Portcullis players and supporters alike to see Steward stride out to the middle underneath his familiar Portcullis not so baggy green cap. The last time he had done was back in 2012. With Mitchell missing from the line-up and his familiar no 3 spot, it was a welcome replacement.

12-1 soon became 15-2. Bilal Farooq showed marvellous patience as he moved onto 7. His often swashbuckling stroke play being replaced by patient and calculated shot making. He had saw off Noby Jacob from his opening salvo. The new bowler, Seby, pushed a full ball outside off-stump. Farooq drove at the ball but late movement of Seby’s ball saw it catch Farooq’s inside edge and go onto the stumps. Hard luck for the Portcullis opener.

This brought Andy Phillips to the crease. Andy had a useful habit of producing healthy partnerships of late – a valuable commodity for Portcullis this season. Alas he could not do so this time. He seemed somewhat nervous as he scratched around the crease. The score moved to 18 when he became Mathew’s second and Grampian’s third wicket – bowled by the impressive Mathew for one.

Dave Forbes, although looking solid at the crease, came and went. A mix-up with Gary Steward saw him run out with the score on 20.

Portcullis 20-4. Things were looking grim.

This brought Richard Collinson to the crease to join Steward. Collinson had enjoyed good form this season and it was hoped he would continue this today.

The pair enjoyed Portcullis’s best partnership of the match. Steward, having played himself in, began peppering the boundary. Collinson too joined in the fun with a boundary of his own, a glorious on-drive back past the bowler accounting for his entry into the boundary column.

It was Collinson to fall next though. A clip into deep square leg saw him well caught by Noby from the bowling of Davis.

Portcullis 49-5.

It was Paul Brown to bat next. An early hamstring twinge was to do for him. With Steward unaware of his partner’s handicap, a quick single saw a hobbling Brown comfortably run out.

Portcullis 58-6.

A partnership was needed and was brought in the form of Aaron Mundin. Along with Steward, the pair moved onto 83 before a tiring Steward was bowled by the returning Mathew for an impressive 42.

Portcullis 83-7. A fantastic returning knock of 42 by Steward bolstering the Portcullis innings.

Hopefully the first of many.

With Portcullis chasing runs Winstanley saw to give himself a reputation of a fellow Yorkshireman - Geoff Boycott. Alas the similarity was the involvement of run outs. He was involved in the run out of his two partners – Bob Adie and Aaron Mundin. In his defence he was chasing valuable runs for the team so perhaps the Boycott analogy was a bit harsh.

The innings finally finished with Portcullis 97-9 from their 40 overs. The outfield had been slow but praise has to go to Grampian who bowled tightly and fielded impressively.

Head of their bowling attack was Saju Mathew whose 10 overs had four maidens and returned figures of 3-18. The other wicket takers for Grampian being Seby (1-18) and Davis (1-21). Bizarrely four wickets fell as a result of run-outs.

For the bat Gary Steward made 42 whilst the rest of the team cobbled around him to bring the score up to 97.

After a pleasant tea it was the turn of Grampian to begin their innings. They opened the batting with Davis and Jeby. For Portcullis it was, with Mitchell absent, the pairing of Farooq and Mundin.

Mundin and Farooq produced some initial probing overs. Farooq, showing some of the fire that makes him the quickest bowler in Grade Four.

Grampian stood firm and took the score to 18 before the first wicket fell. Mundin got Davis to cut at one outside off stump. The ball shot towards Gary Steward at point who took a great catch.

Grampian 18-1.

Mindful of Winstanley’s bowling at Turriff earlier in the season, it was felt that Winstanley would bowl at Farooq’s end whilst Farooq would bowl at Mundin’s end. The plan did not quite come to fruition as Grampian began to cash in.

With that not working Farooq went to his original bowling end with the returning Steward bowling at the other end.

This passage of play saw Grampian’s second wicket fall. Farooq doing for Vaishak with a quick one that beat the bat and grazed Vaishak’s off-stump.

Grampian 61-2.

This brought Bijil to the crease. Bijil took a shine to the Portcullis bowling, in particular Steward’s and the pair raced to 92.

During this Steward took himself off with a side strain and Falconer brought himself on.

His bowling at that end in his previous appearance at Shed One saw him return respectable figures of 3-41. It was hoped he could do so again.

He soon got into his groove and produced alarming drift with his slow away swing.

This seemed to frustrate opener Jeby who was hell-bent on charging Falconer. A near miss stumping, in which he had just got back in, did not deter him. In fact it made him more aggressive as he went further down the pitch to Falconer’s next ball. The same drift left him and he was left stranded as Winstanley completed the most splendid of stumpings.

Grampian 92-3.

As the innings came to an end, Falconer struck again. His first ball drifted and brushed Johnson Varghese’s gloves. The ball followed onto first slip where Farooq took an excellent catch

Grampian 96-4.

A shaky cut over cover from incoming Batsman Saju Mathew won the match for Grampian.

It was a fair result and Grampian were deserving of their victory. They went off to hearty handshakes and well-wishes as they now face Turriff in the final on August 1st.

For Portcullis it will be back to the drawing board as they face the same opposition in seven days’ time.


It goes to re-debutant GARY STEWARD. His excellent 42 and fine catch at point winning him the award


A dead heat between Gary’s catch at point off Aaron’s bowling and Richard’s on drive for four over Davis’s head.


JEBY edges Saju Mathew for the honour. His well-timed knock of 42 made the victory comfortable for the League new boys. Saju Mathews probing 10 over spell produced 3 wickets for 18 and also deserves a mention.


Bijil pushed for a sharp single to Dave Forbes at point. Forbes picked up the ball and hurled it back to Winstanley. Winstanley swiftly swung round and smashed the stumps to smithereens with the Grampian batsman seemingly miles out.

The umpire dictates it’s not out.

As Winstanley prepares to let off a volley of expletives questioning the umpire’s honesty and possibly his parentage, everyone else points out – in true panto style – “It’s behind you!” In Winstanley’s haste he neglected to put the ball in his gloves before destroying the stumps!! Hilarity ensues as members of both teams laugh at what is probably the worst appeal ever in the history of cricket!!

At the end of the day if both teams come off the pitch smiling then collectively it is always worthwhile!

Monday, 13 July, 2015

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
5D.Forbes0Run Out
7P.Brown1Run Out
8A.Mundin61Run Out
9S.Winstanley61Not out
10B.Adie5Run Out
11D.ScuttDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0

Innings of Grampian CC

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
4Biji26Not out
6S.Matthew2Not out
7NobyDid not bat
8RishabDid not bat
9SebyDid not bat
10B.ConnollyDid not bat
11E.HemingwayDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0