Mannofield 2nds v. Portcullis - Sunday, 13 August, 2017

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Mannofield 2nds : 216 all out.

Portcullis : 109 for 8.

Portcullis enjoy a match at Mannofield.

Mannofield. Aberdeen’s “Field of Dreams”. The heavy expectation of legends hung over the Portcullis Development team as they arrived. The weather, fine overhead. The pitch - lush, rolling and green. The wicket, brown, firm and hugely inviting.

Regretted late call offs by McKenzie and Collinson Jnr were made good by the eagerness of B.Harper and the generous team spirit of the hosts, who happily loaned two players to make Portcullis’ ten men true into the full XI. Little did Collinson Jnr realise what a family day of destiny he was about to miss…

Team captain for the day, Andrew Blackwell, rallied the troops with two simple aims – bowlers taking two wickets would match the achievement of Jimmy Anderson on this very ground, while batsman were to strive for 17, the mark made by Joe Root when he trod Mannofield soil.

The toss was won by Mannofield and they elected to bat. Captain Blackwell opened the attack with Brown from the Pavilion End. Philip would attempt to breach defences from the South.

They faced a tough task. Openers Munro and Tonge were chalk and cheese – Tonge solidly defended everything, while from the other end Munro attacked loose balls ruthlessly. The score quickly rose to 39 until Brown struck with what was to have been the very last ball of his spell. A full length peach tore Tonge’s stumps off and rewarded a diligent performance. Philip’s time would have to wait….

Blackwell afforded Brown one more over in case lightning struck twice, but he was resolutely defended by incoming Ken. Time for a change, Collinson and Harper came to the mark.

Harpers stuttering yet accurate style has oft paid dividends this season but today was not to be his with the ball. Instead, it was Collinson who embarked on a remarkable four over spell. Let’s take time to break the magic down:

OVER ONE – three dots and a poor concession of three to Munro are followed by a plum full length that Ken swipes and misses. The bails crash.

OVER TWO – Charis knocks him for two, before Collinson replies with a hanging high ball. Wicket! Charis out for just four. A dot follows, the double denied. But not for long – the very next ball Elliott (who many had feared when he strode to the crease) swipes at an accurate looper and misses. Gone. Collinson has three wickets.

OVER THREE – Smacked for four by a continuingly impressive Munro, two singles follow. Munro is now on 65 off just 57 balls. But not for long. Collinson serves up a tempter which Munro pounds forward to smash but his timing is for once is off. The young brute edges the ball high up in the air, looping over point. Fortunately, Blackwell is alert to it and despite setting off on wrong foot, twists and runs to catch. A captain’s relief, a bowlers four timer. And a formidable foe dismissed.

OVER FOUR – Sometime during the last over Collinson seems to have burst a blood vessel in his finger. Swelling and painful, he succumbs to a wide, before following it with a thoroughly ugly high no ball to Sajan. The youngster, clearly insulted, waits to punish the next. But an annoyed-with-himself Collinson has other ideas and follows the pie with a peach. Out! Collinson has five wickets in four overs and a place in the Portcullis record books.

Regrettably, Captain Blackwell’s offer to retire through injury was accepted. Poolman and Williams took the following overs but found themselves up against the strongest partnership of the match as N.Elliott and S.Elliott put together a long stand. Poolman eventually tempted Elliott S into a drive which directly found a foot planted Harper at mid-off. No mistake, Elliot down after a fine half century.

Bowling continued with highly impressive loanee Tiger taking three fine overs amid a return for Brown, Philip and Poolman. Philip was eventually rewarded for his enthusiasm through two spells with a juggling catch by Dawson at ‘keeper. This was closely followed by another for Dawson - this time off Poolman with the very last ball of the innings as rain pelted the final over. His at-the-death-rapid-fire double capped a very fine performance which saw barely a ball slip by him all day. A score of 216 and not one single bye. Let this man have the gloves more often.


Captain Blackwell’s preferred opener, Forbes, magnanimously stood aside in order to let others climb the order and guarantee a shot at batting on Aberdeen’s best track. Dawson and Harper volunteered to face the openers and strode to the centre.

There was a certainly a “fast” end and a slower end for the first twenty overs, as both N and then M Elliott bowled towards the pavilion. Accurate, fast balls (of better quality than anything else faced in the R&D league this season) zipped off the hard surface, rendering defence the only option. Harper was manfully up to the job, using all his years of experience. Any scoring would need to be done at the other end, where Ken and then Shivakumar also bowled tightly but offered more opportunity. Dawson began scoring with a four, then climbed to 12 before being bowled with a seamer which came in from off stump. A Dawson’s dozen, a fine day’s work when combined with his keeping.

Next in, Blackwell concentrated on defending against the Elliotts and hitting the others. 13 runs followed, others might have been for some fine fielding before a fingered ball span up and found a grateful keeper.

Harper remained at the fast end. Harper remained at zero.

Loanee Tiger was next in, 7 runs before he too found the keeper off Sajan. He was followed by Collinson who stuck around long enough for his runs to exceed his wickets. Again, Sajan the bowler, but this was an unlucky, freak wicket – Collinson stumped by a ball which rebounded from a keeper who seemed to know little about it.

Harper remained at the fast end. Harper remained at zero.

Older readers will remember a children’s programme called “The Magic Roundabout” which featured a character called Brian the Snail. Brian was a chipper mollusc, who have course had his own rigid defence, a shell. Increasingly enthralled viewers in the pavilion were by now wondering if their very own “Brian the Snail” would ever score a run…

With Philip now into bat, something cracked in Harper’s mind. Perhaps seeing his partner move immediately into flow, frustration took the better of him and he cracked off a single to roars of delight from the Pavillion and laughter among the opposition. Around 18 overs of obdurate and wise defence, rewarded at last. He would stay a while longer, before being caught in the slips in the 25th over.

We may mock a little but oh that Portcullis had more stayers like this man. One run barely told the tale of his bravery and skill under intense pressure, where he happily took at least 80% of the fastest balls Mannofield had. Umpire Forbes will vouch for that.

Poolman came in next to defend his end, making three before being whittled by a fine accurate ball, closely followed by White who was trapped lbw by the canny Chandu. Very trapped. And very lbw…

Time for Philip to achieve the captain’s other challenge. A strong two towards the longest boundary brought up the magical 17 figure and cries of “Rooooooooooooot!” from his delighted team-mates. He’d matched the great man’s Mannofield mark, and not a moment too soon – caught thereafter by a juggling youngster at mid-off.

Brown and Williams now held the fort. Williams defensive while Brown cracked on with business, some superb shots and not a single amongst them to close on 14 unbeaten. Williams held his wicket til the end too, no runs but resolute and eager to gain his not out bonus.

Forbes’ generosity meant he did not bat. A round of applause that man.


Poolman retrieving a smacked four from beneath a parked car then re-entering the field by falling flat on his face in attempting to hurdle a low chain mail fence. Fortunately, nobody saw it; apart from all of the Portcullis team, all of the Mannofield team, several members of ground staff and half the Aberdeen FC squad and their wives who were attending a kids birthday party in the Bradman Suite.


Dawson proved he is a hugely capably keeper. Munro batted exceptionally well, as did both Elliotts. But there is no competition for MOTM on this day.

Collinson 5 for 19 in just 4 overs. A performance fitting of the hallowed turf.



Friday, 18 August, 2017

Innings of Mannofield 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
7N.Elliot44Not out
11R.Chandu0Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls4

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9T.Williams0Not out
10P.Brown141Not out
11D.ForbesDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls6