Crathie v. Portcullis - Saturday, 29 April, 2017

Toss was won by Crathie, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 84 for 8.

Crathie : 120 for 7.

Portcullis culled by Crathie.

Portcullis culled by Crathie.

Portcullis’s second of two glamour friendlies once again saw them on their travels once more as they visited the splendid location of Crathie Cricket Club to take on the local side.

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Royal Deeside and with Balmoral Castle in the backdrop, this venue is one of the must play cricket locations in Scotland.

The Crathie cricket side, in sync with their surroundings, are a talented and pleasant bunch of fellows to play against. Sharing the same sporting attitudes of the City Centre Green Caps, this was a friendly fixture that was there to be very much enjoyed.

The skippers, Shovon Mostofa of Portcullis and Chris Bell of Crathie went out to the wicket to toss the coin. That very same wicket had a fair layer of snow upon it some 72 hours earlier, so it was to Crathie’s credit that they got such a fine wicket prepared in such varied conditions of late.

Mostofa called wrong and was invited by ‘Dinger’ to bat first. Portcullis would be the side to post a total.

Mostofa had saw enough the previous week to open the batting once again with the experience and youth combination of David Forbes and Jake Dawson. For Crathie it would be the potent pairing of Mick Bestwick and Mike Baldry who would charge in with the cherry for the home side.

And it was Crathie who would strike first. Forbes has opened his scoring in this match with a fine clip off his legs. Alas that was it for him. It was the accuracy of Baldry who would do for him, trapping him lbw with a fine delivery, carrying on the good work of all of the indoor practices over the winter. Portcullis 1-1.

It was the turn of the Portcullis skipper Shovon Mostofa to join Dawson at the crease. It was not for long though as Dawson too succumbed to the talents of Baldry as he too was dismissed by the Crathie hit-man – bowled by a fine delivery from the home bowler.

This brought Owen Thorpe to the crease to join skipper Mostofa. The pair played pretty solidly and managed to see off the initial pairing of Bestwick and Baldry without any further damage being caused to the away side. This brought the pairing of Justin Thomas and Liam Johnston to the crease. This was an interesting combination of right and left arm over experienced and accurate bowling. Although Thomas bowled a line that was as impressive as his initial fielding forays, he was unfortunate to go wicketless. This was not the case for Johnson. His consistent accurate spell would reward him with the prize wicket of Mostofa, Boden hanging onto a fine catch to dismiss the Portcullis skipper for 21. Portcullis 29-3.

This brought the jovial Andy Phillip to join Thorpe at the crease. The pair timed the ball well as they enjoyed a fine 33 run 4th wicket partnership. The bowling had changed once more as Russell and Geddes took up the attack. Geddes, thankfully for Portcullis, leaked runs. Phillip, in particular,enjoying this particular challenge as he crashed the ball to the boundary twice from this particular bowler. At the other end Thorpe’s technique was looking ominously solid and, as he grew in confidence, took to sending the ball to the boundary from both the bowling of Geddes and Russell.

With the score on 62 it was Thorpe who would be next to go. The persistent bowling of Russell doing for him as he was trapped lbw for a Portcullis best score of 21.

Portcullis stalwart Richard Collinson was next at the crease to join Phillip. The pair only made a partnership of six when Phillip was bowled by new bowler and skipper Chris Bell. Portcullis 70-5.

Andrew Blackwell was next man in and sadly next man out. At this point Crathie brought on the young bowling talents of Atkinson. Blackwell mistimed a sweep towards square leg, the ball careering off the pads and crashing agonisingly onto the stumps. Portcullis 72-6.

This brought Ronnie Falconer to the crease. With Atkinson’s next ball Falconer crashed it through the covers only to see Mike Baldry, with a splendid burst of athleticism, stick dive to his right to take a super one-handed catch. Portcullis 72-7.

As it was a friendly and the fact that Falconer is a jammy get, the fact he was out first ball allowed him the opportunity to stay in. With this second chance he was a bit more circumspect taking his time to get off the mark with his unexpected second chance.

At the other end Collinson was not so lucky as he was trapped lbw by the returning Bestwick.

The innings soon finished on a flourish. Falconer crashing one to the boundary and then getting out (for a second time) to the bowling of Baldry and it was left to the pairing of Dave Elrick and Andrew Blackburn to see out the innings with no further wickets lost to Crathie. Portcullis after their 36 overs innings finishing their innings on 85-9.

For Portcullis Shovon Mostofa and Owen Thorpe joint top scored for Portcullis with scores of 21, the latter making his highest score for the club since joining last season. The other player to join them in making double figures – Andy Philip making his personal best of 16 as well.

For Crathie Mile Baldry took the main plaudits finishing with 3-11 from his allotted 6 overs whilst young David Atkinson covered himself in glory finishing with 2-5 from his 3 overs.

There were also a wicket apiece for Mick Bestwick, Liam Johnson, David Russell and Chris Bell in what was a fine bowling and fielding performance by the home side.

It was time for the famous tea and apart from the usual melee of security being called to pin down Ronnie Falconer and restrain him from eating extra pies, tea was as pleasant as usual.

With that done it was the turn of Crathie to post their innings, chasing Portculis’s meagre total of 85.

Crathie chose to open with the potent pairing of Paul Cunningham and Mike Baldry. For Portcullis it was to be the pairing of Paul Brown and Andy Philip who would have first dibs with the ball for Portcullis.

After a solid first over from Brown the sparks began to fly! Phillip’s second ball was swept majestically for 6, a beautifully timed sweep shot from the impressive Baldry that easily cleared the square leg boundary.

Many a bowler would have been rattled having been dispatched so nonchalantly for a maximum with only his second ball.

Not our man Andy.

He simply shrugged his shoulders and continued to plug away. Revenge was instant as with his fourth ball managed to breach the defences of Baldry taking out his off stump. The Crathie all-rounder heading back to the hut with a quick-fire and entertaining eight runs.

The next man in was Boden and, along with opener Cunningham, the pair saw off the cavalier pairing of Brown and Philip with no further wickets to fall.

This brought about the first bowling change of the day. Debutant Andrew Blackburn called into the fray, replacing an outgoing Andy Philip who sadly had to rush to work back in Aberdeen.

Blackburn had shown fine promise with the ball at both indoor and outdoor practices and this fixture was the ideal opportunity to get some match overs under his belt. He was soon joined by young leggie Chris Poolman as they took the attack to the Crathie batsmen.

Poolman during the winter nets showed remarkable potential with the ball (and bat). He struck early in his spell as well, bewildering Boden into edging one, the ever alert Collinson on hand with some mighty fine glove-work to take a spiffing catch! Crathie 27-2.

This brought David Russell to the crease, a recent acquisition to the Balmoral side. As with ball, Russell showed fine skills with the willow as he and Cunningham made a fine partnership of 32 for the 3rd wicket, neither of the pair looking in trouble. Cunningham showed he was solid in defence throughout and it took a deftly flighted delivery from Poolman to finally entice the dogged opener to strike out. He drove at this flight of fancy, skying it high into the deep mid-off area where skipper Mostofa was on hand to take a juggler’s catch, taking at the fourth (or was it the fifth?) attempt. Crathie 59-3.

It was the turn of another recent acquisition, Liam Johnson to join fellow newbie(ish) Russell at the crease. Poolman and Blackburn were replaced by Owen Thorpe and cabaret man Ronnie Falconer.

Johnson looked in fine fettle. Of stocky build, he looked to possess powerful forearms, a fact franked when he pulled a couple of deliveries from Falconer for fours over deep mid on. Falconer rose to the challenge though, his final ball of his second over nearly piercing the defences of the Crathie batsman, an inside edge saving the batsman’s blushes.

Falconer was to get his man though next over. An ill-judged motion by Johnson towards the bowler saw the Crathie player yorked with a fine ball. Crathie 82-4.

This brought the introduction of youth into the attack. With that Falconer tried his hand at off-spin. He was duly rewarded when his variety of spin (one variety – the straight one!) amazingly saw success.

It appears that the young batsman could not believe what dross was being bowled at him by the ginger maestro. Young Atkinson eyes lit up, and he had an almighty yahoo at his third ball. He missed sadly, and ball just managed to have enough strength to dislodge a bail and send the unfortunate young fellow back to the hut. Crathie 82-5.

The portly Secretary was to strike once more when, producing more unbelievable filth, bewildered young Thompson into popping one into the air, Owen Thorpe diving forward to take a fine catch. Crathie 86-6.

The more observant of you will have noticed that by this point Crathie had won the match. It was a friendly though and both teams felt it wise to carry on.

Russell retired on 26 to give the other young Atkinspon a go and the young fellow did. He scored a whirlwind 14 runs before Thorpe bowled him with a doosra. Geddes joined in the fun for Crathie, smashing a fine six into the field from the bowling of the returning Brown. Skipper Shovon had an impressive bowling spell although returning wicketless, Russell facing 15 balls from the Portcullis skipper before he scored off of him and that was about that. Crathie ‘declared’ on 120-7 to win this friendly by 3wickets/35 runs.

An enjoyable day was had by all and Mostofa learned more about the players he had at his disposal. Chris Bell was heartened by his side’s display too as Crathie played pretty damn well.

It’s league duties next week as Crathie are away to Dunecht whilst Portcullis are on their travels once more albeit a considerably shorter journey this time to Sheddocksley 2 where they will be entertained by Grade Three new boys Grampian 2nds.


OWEN THORPE takes the plaudits with 21 runs, a catch and a wicket to his name. He batted with excellent technique, a technique which should bode well for the Portcullis all-rounder. Skipper Mostofa also scored 21, leading by example and Andy Philip made a fine sixteen as well capturing the scalp of Mike BALDRY.


DAVE RUSSELL narrowly pips Phil Cunningham to the award. A wicket to go along with his unbeaten 26 not out.


SHOVON MOSTOFA with his one the juggler effort takes the plaudits. He stayed calm and resorted to soft hands to complete the catch. A lesson to us all.


RONNIE FALCONER wins this one hands down. With security forcing the Ginger dude from stuffing his face with a second pie, a sympathetic second chance with the bat having been caught first ball through a fine tumbling catch by Baldry at extra cover from the bowling of Atkinson. He then had the audacity to take two youngster’s wickets so he could finish with 3-18 and take the lead in the Portcullis MVP race. If he is still at the top of said MVP table at the end of the season Portcullis will surely be relegated!

Friday, 05 May, 2017

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9D.Elrick0Not out
10A.Blackburn0Not out
11P.BrownDid not bat
11C.PoolmanDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls0

Innings of Crathie

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3B.Geddes91Not out
5D.Russell262Retired Out
6M.Bestwick0Not out
11C.BellDid not bat
11J.ThomasDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls0