Banchory came into the fixture needing a win with their last victory against Stonehaven coming five games ago. Their opponents were the talented Stoneywood Dyce/Queens Cross team who finished second in Grade 3 and had beaten Banchory by nine wickets earlier in the season. The game was played out in glorious sunshine making the afternoon even more enjoyable.
The home side lost the toss and were put in to bat. The opening partnership would be the key to setting a challenging total. S Redpath and Hicks lived up to the test and put away the opening bowlers A Rayner and H Ritchie with little hassle in a partnership of 59. S Redpath (40) in particular looked in great form, hitting eight boundaries before miscuing a lofted drive to extra cover. Hicks (19) soon followed, top edging a pull into the grateful wicket keeper’s gloves.
Banchory had to consolidate and T Wilkinson’s grafting innings helped give them a decent total. W Redpath (3) added a few before being bowled, D Redpath (0) then departed fairly quickly before P Morris (6), who hadn’t played in decades, supported Wilkinson for an important 31 run partnership. Wilkinson (48) was dropped twice, before finally being caught; two short of what would have been a well deserved fifty. Banchory’s tail ground out more important runs with M Critchley (5), and S McPhail (4) adding to the total. Thanks to Wilkinson, S Redpath and a healthy number of extras Banchory had set a defendable total. For the visitors A Rayner took 4-45, H Ritchie 3-36 and R Taylor 2-14, in a very economic spell.
Banchory began their defence in a perfect way, with some very tight bowling. D Redpath’s first four overs were maidens, but it was Hicks who took the opening wicket, with a leg stump full toss which Ahmed (2) completely missed. SD/QC are a strong batting outfit, but Banchory were up to the task of subduing them, restricting C Moir and S Milne to 38-1 off 16 overs. Three wickets in five overs then moved Banchory into a strong position; first the dangerous Moir (20) skied another full toss from Hicks which D Redpath clung on to despite colliding with S McPhail. J Milne (0) soon followed, running himself out and MacPherson (0) was brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving S Redpath low down at Mid-off. S Redpath then got his first wicket finding the edge of Ritchie’s (4) bat to be caught behind the stumps. SD/QC were now on 61-5. A Rayner joined S Milne and the pair put on 27 before yet another wicket-taking-full toss did for S Milne (42), caught and bowled by S Redpath. Rayner and I Leaske then steered SD/QC closer to the total as Banchory struggled to find the wicket they needed. It came from S Redpath with the perfect Yorker doing for Rayner (19). Young E Davidson (7) proved a thorn in Banchory’s side before being trapped LBW by D Redpath. Banchory needed two more wickets. R Taylor (0) was caught in the deep attempting a massive hook off D Redpath, who bowled well at the end under pressure. Then with just two overs left, Wilkinson had two massive LBW appeals against A Barron (0) turned down, before he finally trapped him at the third attempt to win the game. Banchory’s bowling figures were; S Hicks 3-39, D Redpath 2-25, S Redpath 3-32 and T Wilkinson 1-30.
A much improved bowling and fielding display had seen Banchory to victory against one of the leagues top sides. The match ball was sponsored by the Derbar restaurant.