Dunecht v. Portcullis - Saturday, 12 August, 2017

Toss was won by Dunecht, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 87 for 7 (7).

Dunecht : 88 for 3 (30).

Dunecht dump Portcullis in Grade Three Thriller.

Week fifteen of the Aberdeen Grades season saw Portcullis make the short but pleasant trip to Cowdray Park to take on their friendly rivals Dunecht.

In a bizarre random turn about of events, back to back home victories against Crathie and Aberdeen Super Kings saw the City Centre Green Caps come from worrying about potential relegation to worrying about potential promotion!

Dear reader, if it appears that Portcullis lack ambition by that last sentence you would be wrong. The club does not lack ambition. It is a realistic club and promotion would be both celebrated and wrong. The club over the period of the season is by no means one of the best two in the league and promotion would be unfair.

Brian Clough once said League tables don’t lie. I always believed that statement to be correct and still do when it applies to a 42 match English First Division league season, especially back in the seventies when he said it. When it comes to a Grades season I would not back that statement so passionately. Void and rained off fixtures, strengthened and weakened teams and sometimes individual performances of sheer brilliance can distort a Grades League, especially when there are only around a dozen or so games within said season.

Dunecht could also claim that league tables lie. They were currently bottom of the league but, in my own humble opinion, not the worst team in Grade Three. The previous fixture between the sides at Sheddocksley saw Portcullis eke out a narrow victory against a strong Dunecht team. Looking at the personnel they had at their disposal, today was going to be another tough match.

With Mitch running late again (surprise!) and having both Captain Shovon Mostofa and Secretary Ronnie Falconer in tow, it was left to Vice Captain Richard Collinson to make the call with Dunecht Captain Matt Witz. Collinson called wrong and Portcullis were asked to bat first.

With a Portcullis side without influential players such as Kannan Vijayakrishnan, Chris Owens, Gary Steward and Dave Forbes, Mostofa took the option of going left field with his opening batting pair, going with the combination of Andy Phillip and Simon Winstanley. For Dunecht the new cherry would be shared by the pairing of much respected Grades stalwart Steve Derrett and new face Ben Witz.

The going was tough for the Portcullis opening batsmen. The well-kent accurate right arm swing bowling was complimented by the accurate left arm pace bowling of Witz. With a slow outfield, runs were VERY hard to come by!

In the fifth over Winstanley was first to fall as he was lulled into a false shot and was caught from the bowling of Derrett. Portcullis 1-1.

In the 7th over the symmetry of runs and wickets continued when 1-1 became 2-2. Andy Phillip was lured into leaving his crease extremely briefly. This was enough for the sharp glove-work of Dunecht wicketkeeper Matt Witz as he completed a fine stumping to dismiss the Portcullis opener.

This turn of events brought about the pairing of Dave Mitchell and Richard Collinson to the crease.

Scoring remained tough; mainly thanks to the accurate bowling of the Dunecht opening pair and after 10 overs Portcullis had only scored three runs!

It was the thirteenth over when Dunecht and Steve Derrett captured their third victim. This time it was the gallant Collinson who fell, Degabriel on hand to take a fine catch. Portcullis 7-3.

This brought skipper Mostofa to the crease to join Mitchell.

The pair enjoyed a healthy 4th wicket partnership of 31 which saw off the pairing of Derrett and Witz (finally!). The pairing of Rahman and Syed came in to replace the excellent Dunecht openers and continued to make things tough for the Portcullis batsmen.

Sadly the partnership came to an end when Syed hoodwinked Mostofa into offering a return catch. The Dunecht off-spinner mad no mistake with the opportunity. Portcullis 38-4.

This brought Ronnie Falconer to the crease to join Mitch but sadly not for long. The Dunecht spinner getting the best of Falconer, bowling him with one that turned away/. Portcullis 43-5.

It was time for one ginger to replace another (greying) ginger. Ross McKenzie joining Mitchell at the crease. The pair put on a partnership of 33, Mitchell anchoring in for the Portcullis cause.

The score moved onto 76 when Dunecht managed to get rid of danger man Mitchell. The left-arm pace and seam of Ben Witz trapping Mitchell lbw for a splendid 29. Portcullis 76-6.

McKenzie faltered in the very next over, the bustling Burnett inducing McKenzie into playing a false shot, Derrett on hand to take a fine catch. Portcullis 76-7.

This brought about the pairing of Portcullis veterans Dave Elrick and Bob Adie. The pair finished the innings as Portcullis limped to 87-7 for their 45 overs.

There was one defiant act of glory when Elrick drove the impressive quick Witz back over mid-on for a corker of a four. A highly impressive shot – especially against a bowler of Witz’s pace and quality. Sir David will be dining out on that shot over the dark winter months!

For Portcullis Dave Mitchell top scored with 29 (1 x 6, 1 x 4) whilst skipper Mostofa weighed in with a fine knock of 24 (1 x 6, 2 x 4). Ross McKenzie the only other Portcullisian to get into double figures with a knock of 12 (1x4).

Dunecht’s impressive bowling and field was lead by the splendid bowling of Steve Derrett who retuned bowling figures of 12 overs 7 maidens, 3 runs for 3 wickets! He was backed up by M. Said with 2-17. The impressive left arm pace of Ben Witz deserving more than the 1-15 he ended up with. Dunecht legend Alan Burnett taking the other wicket with 1-9.

After a fine tea it was the turn of Dunecht to make their reply. Opening the batting would be the experienced pairing of Keith Milne and Jim Donald. For Portcullis it would be the pairing of Ross McKenzie and Dave Mitchell.

Conditions were tricky for the Dunecht pair early doors as runs once again were hard to come by – Mitchell and McKenzie giving very little away. The pitch was lively and difficult to score on. McKenzie struck early when he got Donald to play on. Dunecht 4-1 after 5 overs.

This brought Steve Derrett into bat to join Milne. Milne was in good stoic form though. He showed courage to get forward to each delivery, negating their potency as a result. He showed the way to play this pitch and got runs as a result. Derrett, no fool with the bat himself, struggled though and got out to a close in catch from Falconer from the bowling of Mitchell. Dunecht 15-2.

That was about it for Portcullis. Matt Witz came in next for Dunecht and, along with Milne played carefully and watchfully as the ball softened. Milne continued to set a good example, giving nothing away. Mitchell and McKenzie eventually had to give way to Shovon Mostofa and Brian Harper.

Both bowled well but had little luck throughout. Some catches were spilt which may have made the match tighter but not changed the result.

Unfortunately blood was spilt too as Keith Milne was struck on the top of a head from a Mostofa lifter that he could not get away from. One of those railway sleepers under the wicket on this occasion adding extra bounce that should have passed belly button high. He retired on a noble 25 runs thankfully unfazed and on a precautionary note.

His replacement, Tony Degabriele, was in no mood to hang around and looked in good touch. He batted well, taking the score onto 78 before Mostofa took his wicket. Degabriele clipping one towards fine leg where Toby Williams was on hand to take a fine catch. Dunecht 78-3.

The match finished soon after when new batsman Mansoor Syed joined Matt Witz to finish the innings into a well deserved victory for Dunecht.

For Dunecht Keith Milne lead the way with a match winning 25 (1x6,1x4) . He was backed up by Matt Witz 22 not out (1x61x4) and Tim Degabriele 21 ((1x6,2x4). For Portcullis there was a wicket apiece for Dave Mitchell (1-20), Shovon Mostofa (1-20) and Ross McKenzie (1-31).

The victory was no more than Dunecht deserved, and on this showing it was hard to believe they finished bottom of Grade Three. In both matches against Portcullis they played very well.

For Portcullis the worry throughout about possible relegation had been replaced by worry about possible promotion. Today’s result put paid to worrying about either outcome. It may seem foolish and unambitious dear reader about not wanting promotion but hear us out.

Grade Three had been a cracking league this season and will be so again next season. With Banchory and possibly Fraserburgh coming down and the likes of Methlick and Turriff merging up, we believe Grade Three will once again be the league to play in.


DAVE MITCHELL takes the honours for his diligent knock of 29 and his 1-20 from his 11 overs. Shovon Mostofa deserves a mention for his flamboyant 24.


KEITH MILNE receives the honour on behalf of the Dunecht side. His battling knock of 25 set the tone for the Dunecht side. When the ball was hard, the pitch lively and the bowlers fresh, Milne played on the front foot with exemplary technique. He showed us all how to play the Dunecht wicket. How many of us will remember though? Other performances of merit was Matt Witz with 22 not out, Tim Degabriele ( 21) and Steve Derret with bowling figures of 3-7 from 12 overs.


TOBY WILLIAMS takes the honours for a fine catch at fine leg to dismiss Tim Degabriele.

Monday, 04 September, 2017

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
8D.Elrick61Not out
9B.Adie2Not out
10T.WilliamsDid not bat
11B.HarperDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0

Innings of Dunecht

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1K.Milne2511Retired Hurt
4M.Witz2211Not out
6M.Syed0Not out
7B.WitzDid not bat
8P.McMorrisDid not bat
9L.RahmanDid not bat
10A.MoatDid not bat
11A.BurnettDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls4