Stonehaven Thistle 1st X1 100 Cults 1st X1 101 for 6
Thistle travelled to Allan Park, fresh from a strong showing against potential top three opposition last week.
Asked to bat on a sun bathed wicket, Alec Keith and Ali Milroy made serene progress with succession of well struck boundaries , and well judged singles. Keith finding the gaps in the field with some silky shots , making quick bowler Forbes toil.
The score continued to build until Cults made the breakthrough ,following the ball being dispatched into the burn behind the boundary, Keith caught for a fine 40. Milroy and J Van Der Ruit added 10 more runs before the latter was caught for 4. What followed is best forgotten. Mason got one that kept low, and a spectacular collapse ensued. Burman was even gifted a hat trick for some frankly ordinary bowling, Crozier emerging with some credit for his 5 not out. Milroy made 38, and must have been aghast at seeing his hard work wasted by the rest of the side. Thistle skittled for 100.
Thistle skipper J VDR knew he had strength and variety in his bowling arsenal. King opened with two Maidens, and Chris Van Der Ruit struck in the second over removing Barman. Hinchcliffe replaced King and removed former Thistle player Anderson with the score on 40. J VDR brought himself on replacing his younger brother, and put Cults on the rack with some quick, focused bowling . The hosts suddenly were wobbling on 51 for 5, and the game was still there for Thistle to take . Another wicket at 73, and Cults were 6 down.
Thistle just could not break down the defence of Munro and O’Brien, despite a run of 5 maidens, play and misses, and general doggedness. Cults edged home by 4 wickets, Thistle will be kicking themselves for not scoring enough runs, letting down the opener’s fine work. Oddly the turning point seemed to come when the ball went in the water, and started to swing after being dried, although there is no excuse for the middle order collapse that followed.
On the positive side Thistle know there is very little between the top sides in the Grades, and application on top of the fine team spirit being developed by Skipper J. Van der Ruit and Alec Keith will be key this season. The message to Thistle players is to get in the nets and practice getting your heads down and keeping the ball out!