The semi-final of the Bon Accord Cup took place at a sunny but windy Burnett Park on Sunday, and even though the home side lost they can hold their heads up high for giving their table-topping rivals a good run for their money.
From the off Banchory were focussed and competitive with Zac and Josh Crawley bowling superbly in tandem.
The home side struck in the third over when the dangerous Indy (0) was brilliantly run out with a direct hit from the excellent Kushal Ghuwalewala and then Akhlaq (5) was the victim of an excellent running catch by Rahul Maheshwari off Zac’s opening spell.
The heart of St Ronald’s fightback came from Adnan (26), Mughal (40) and in particular Imran (104 not out).
However Imran was clearly caught behind early on in in his innings from a Josh Crawley delivery but, as usual with this team, there was no response from their umpire.
The score only began to move beyond Banchory’s reach because of short but expensive spells from Tim Wilkinson and Guru Sharma, their 10 overs going for 89 runs.
Fielding was magnificent throughout with young John Ambrose showing tremendous commitment, he also took a fine catch in the deep along with Saad Khan and Sam Rotheram.
Banchory’s quick bowlers were very impressive as a unit with Josh Crawley taking 2 for 43, Zac 3 for 38 and Ghuwalewala 2 for 47.
Banchory openers Rotheram and Chikkana looked in good form and were going along nicely with the former scoring 25 of the first 31 runs, but he then mistimed two drives to the same fielder, Sunny, in the covers who spilled the first effort but then clung on to the second.
There then followed cultured knocks from Saad Khan (16) and Kushal Ghuwalewala (29).
Sunil Chikkana, who never really got going was bowled for 18.
As the run rate approached 10 an over towards the end there were hugely promising cameo knocks from two young teenagers John Ambrose (12) and Sandy Richards (19), both players richly deserving the plaudits of the opposition.
And at the very end, Rahul Maheshwari, who has had a very unlucky season so far, scored 19 which included a six and two fours in consecutive balls.
At the end Banchory fell 50 runs short. But they can take great heart from the fact that in a very short space of time they are once again approaching Grade 1 standard, and the spirit in the club is the best it’s been for a long time.