SDCC PRE-SEASON STARTS WITH A TRIP TO FORRES
SDCC began their season with a trip away to the current Nosca Senior League champions, Forres St Lawrence Cricket Club on Saturday with a mixed team of juniors and seniors. The weather Gods were in our favour, as despite rain all around the Forres area, the teams were able to complete 80 overs in the day.
Forres generously allowed SDCC to choose whether to bowl or bat first and confident with the batting line up, SDCC elected to bat.
This confidence resulted in a good opening partnership between Mark and Jordan who put on 52 for the opening partnership and saw off the new ball pairing of F Merricks (0-20) and G Farr (0-13), who in particularly bowled with good swing and troubled both batsmen without success. A change of bowling brought L Reeves and S Barron. Reeves who threw in a couple of full toss no balls managed to dupe Jordan into attempting a pull that caught the top of the bat and was caught for a solid 20.
This brought in Jack L to join his father and the two put on 20 for the 2nd wicket. J Benn (4-7) had now been introduced and soon picked up four very quick wickets to rip through the middle order by dismissing Jack (2), Ahklaq (4), Matt (0) and Mark for a well made 40.
SDCC had gone from 72-1 to 88-6 in the space of six overs. With a need to rebuild the innings and try and bat through to 40 overs, Connor (15) and Rufus (8) slowly began to move the scoreboard along, helped by Forres’ extras (20 and third top scorer). The pair moved the score to 115 before another collapse, led by the bowling of A Awar (2-9), D Durance (1-14) and a runout as SDCC lost their remaining wickets without adding to the score to finish 115 all out inside the allocated 40 overs.
This was a disappointing finish after the good platform set by the opening pair but credit must go to the Forres bowlers who maintained tight lines and gave little opportunities for the batsman to score. The friendly nature of the game was personified when after the innings was complete, Forres asked one of our juniors to come out and bat the remaining overs (and it also helped Mrs Farr finish the tea in good time!).
As the innings finally closed, SDCC were treated to one of the teas that could well be up there for the tea of the 2016 season as we were spoilt with numerous varieties of quiches, home bakes, hot food and topped with a cup of Cullen Skink which definitely made the trip to Forres worthwhile (as it was the author’s first time of having such a dish). If there is one thing SDCC can learn from this trip, it is to try and recruit a player who is also a chef, as we were told the chef made the soup himself.
During the innings break, the rain descended and Forres was good enough to show concern for our players by offering not to bat in order to prevent any injuries. However, having made the trip, both teams were happy to carry on and Forres sent out A Farr to open up with N Jerrard. Farr, who had probably the best day out by either set of players (he was intermittently watching the game from the side during the innings and so avoided fielding any of the 40 overs!) came out with one intention – to simply hit the ball as far as he could regardless of where the bowlers pitched the ball. His rapid 38 off just five overs took Forres to 49 before he succumbed to the bowling of Jordan, as pace was taken off the ball from both ends. His innings meant Forres only need another 66 runs with 35 overs to spare.
Farr’s dismissal did slow the run rate down considerably as Jordan picked up another wicket with a well held caught and bowled off Durrance (1) and Edward was able to secure a generous LBW to dismiss Jerrard (9) to leave Forres on 53-3 after 11 overs. This brought the two people already identified as the main players we would need to dismiss prior to the game, in G Farr (32*) and Pal Dhami (24*). Between them, Gus and Pal have been the Nosca player of the year 3 times in the past 4 years with Pal also the batsman of the year the past three years. The pair batted patiently and took very little risks as they proceeded to see of each of the SDCC bowlers to build a nice partnership together. The pair saw Forres home with an unbroken partnership of 66. Both promptly retired to allow members from both sides continue to play out the remaining overs so that each team were able to give their players a chance with the bat and ball.
Forres MoM: A mention to A Farr for his rapid 38 that almost stole the award from J Benn who wins it for his excellent figures of 6 overs, 2 maidens, 4-7.
SDCC MoM: Mark for his 40 at the top of the innings and the highest score for either side.
Highlight of the Game: Another award that has several options. An honourable mention for a comment made on the field. It is one thing when a member of your family only addresses you by your nickname but it takes a whole new level when the opposition umpire shouts out “Hey Soggy, do you want your jumper back?”
However, the highlight of the game has to go to the excellent hospitality we received from Forres, both with the food they served and the way they played the game in good spirits and allowed both sides to have a good run out to start the pre-season campaign.