Banchory’s 2nd XI scraped a hard fought draw against neighbours Dunecht last weekend although it was probably undeserved.
Traditionally Dunecht’s wicket has produced some low scores in the past but Saturday’s wicket was in excellent condition, reflecting the hard work that has gone into improving the square.
Put in to bat, the home side never seemed to be in much trouble against a fairly innocuous bowling attack which was hampered by an embarrassing amount of dropped catches.
J.Donald survived two chances and went on to make a hard hitting 55 - at the end of his innings he was hampered by a pulled calf muscle but it was a commanding knock.
He was well supported by D.Merryweather (33) and M.Witz (25) and with the score on 116 for 1 the home side were clearly in the box seat, making hay with the frequent loose deliveries.
It was only with the introduction of the under-used Steve Redpath (4 for 42) and Tim Wilkinson (2 for 49) that Banchory were able to exert some control and the run rate slowed.
Ex-Banchory player Neil Scott (68 not out) dominated the end of the Dunecht innings as they headed towards a 42 over declaration.
There were few demons in the wicket, and the Banchory players were not dispirited in any way.
The visitors opened the batting with their in-form skipper Sean Hicks and Dave Abbott, who had not played for a year.
However, the duo got off to a crisp start, reaching 29 before Abbott (11) was trapped lbw to Clark.
Steve Redpath (22) supported his skipper in rapid time and when he was bowled by Somu to make the score 69 for 2 the situation was still hopeful for Banchory. Somu was the difference between the two sides, however, bowling with a degree of control.
He got veteran Tim Wilkinson bogged down who then lost patience and was out for 18. Meanwhile Hicks, whose cricket has been transformed since becoming 2nd XI captain, had reached his 50 and was looking in command.
When he was out, caught for a very mature 60 with the score on 146 for 5 ,it left Omar Masud stranded with a very long tail.
Masud, who hadn’t played since the end of last season, began nervously but began to exert some authority and his 41 not out was a courageous knock, but in one devastating over Somu went through the defences of Messrs Garrett, Turriff and Eadie like a knife through butter and he was left to play out the final over to gain the draw.
For the home side Clark took 1 for 42,Raj 2 for 42 and Somu 6 for 30.