The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Gallant Shire see end of their title bid

Eastern Premier: Easton is destroyer at Myreside


As Arbroath stepped up their charge towards the Eastern Premier title, Aberdeensh­ire claimed a significan­t victory off the field in their dispute with Cricket Scotland.

The Mannofield men had been threatened with a points deduction if they went ahead with their plan to boycott the rearranged match with SMRH at Inverleith yesterday.

They insisted they had been put in an impossible position by being commanded by the ruling body to fulfil that fixture and the simultaneo­us Murgitroyd Twenty20 tournament final stages in Glasgow.

Shire officials lobbied for the league match to be put on hold, however SMRH, refused to budge as their ground will be unavailabl­e later in the month because of its seasonal conversion to school rugby pitches.

But CS agreed with Aberdeensh­ire’s case and told them there would be no sanctions against them.

At that stage, Shire were still in contention to become champions – although the weekend results ruled them out.

That prompted Aberdeensh­ire captain Tyler Buchan to focus on the Twe n t y 2 0 event at Shawholm instead of sending a below-strength side to meet SMRH.

They feared the makeshift team would be at risk of injury by batting against Premier grade bowlers.

Buchan said: “Cricket Scotland informed us the threat of a points penalty had been withdrawn. They said the match would be declared void with no points awarded or taken away.

“We turned our attentions to the Twenty20 and we were able to fulfil our obligation­s to them by sending a full- strength squad to Glasgow. It’s a rel ief things have been sorted.”

Aberdeensh­ire’s Twenty20 hopes fell in the semi-finals after an eightwicke­t defeat to Drumpellie­r. The Mannofield side struggled to 79 all out which Drumpellie­r easily overhauled.

Drumpellie­r themselves were beatean by six wickets in the final by Grange.

Aberdeensh­ire’s quest to win the Eastern Premier Division title finally came to an end at Myreside where Watsonians eased home in the final over of a rain- interrupte­d game, leaving the Mannofield men to reflect on a season of great promise in which they ultimately failed to get among the major honours.

Shire captain Tyler Buchan admitted to great disappoint­ment at the outcome, but took some solace from the manner in which his side lost.

He said: “This was unlike last week’s collapse when in sight of a win against Arbroath. This time we battled back from six wickets down for 60 to post a respectabl­e 152 for nine. We then just failed to bowl themout. Wewerefoil­edby Stoneywood-Dyce are all but relegated from the Eastern Premier Division after turning in an another shocking batting performanc­e in Edinburgh.

The Peoples Park men James Easton, whose unbeaten 45 was the rock. Kenny Reid once again showed he is great in a crisis.”

The Shire recovery was led by gutsy vice-captain Reid, who scored 26 in the company of veteran Neil MacRae (29). Buchan (20) enabled the visitors to set a challengin­g total.

“I thought we had done enough to win, only for Easton to step up to the mark,” said Buchan.

The pick of the visiting attack was Calum Howard who claimed two for 17.

The defeat leaves Arbroath United and Carlton to play for the title when they meet in the penultimat­ematchof theseasona­t Grange Loan where a win for the Angus men would guarantee them the championsh­ip.

A win for the Edinburgh team would ensure the title race goes to the last day of the season. failed to reach three figures in the failed pursuit of Grange’s total of 170 for the loss of eight wickets.

Captain Stuart Coetzer conceded it was difficult to see where a win was coming from, having not tasted victory since the first day of the season on May 11. But he promised to give it a go in Saturday’s home against Watsonians, while hoping fellow strugglers SMRH fail t o win a way at Grange.

Coetzer said: “Once again wefailed with the bat and 86 was a very poor return for us, especially after JanStander­hadbowled his heart out. His four for 32 was quite magnificen­t and he deserved better.”

Grange batted first in a match reduced to 40 overs a side and were boosted by an unbeaten half-century from Josh Edwards. Spin bowler Simon Kerrigan struggled to digest the “surreal” news that he had been called up by England, but has now sets his sights on trying to force his way into contention for the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia this week.

The uncapped Lancashire bowler was one of two surprise inclusions, the other being Chris Woakes, in a 14-man squad which was named yesterday ahead of the match at the Oval where England will look to seal a 4-0 series triumph.

Kerrigan is the second leading wickettake­r in the county championsh­ip Division 2 after taking 47 scalps at an average of 20.23 this season, but while the 24-year-old is thrilled to have caught the attention of the national selectors, he admits the England summons came out of the blue.

He said: “I found out on Saturday when I got a call from (national selector) Geoff Miller. I’mdelighted tobeselect­ed, but it was a bit hard to take in when he rang. “It all felt a bit surreal to be honest.” He added: “I’ve been inundated with good luck messages and congratula­tions. My phone went into a bit of a meltdown this morning, and I’m grateful for all the messages and good wishes.”

Kerriganma­yhave been called upas cover in case England decide to rest number one spinner Graeme Swann after his 23 Ashes wickets to date this summer, but the slow left-armer is determined to push his case whatever the make-up of the team.

“Hopefully I can impress over the next couple of days and be ready if they choose two spinners,” he said.

If Kerrigan is selected to make his internatio­nal debut, his head coach at Lancashire Peter Moores believes the Preston-born bowler will revel in the opportunit­y.

“He’s loved bowling in tough situations, he’s really always wanted to take on the best players and I think that’s what you need to go to that next level,” said Moores. “I think he’ll love the challenge if he gets the opportunit­y. It’s a fantastic Test to play in.”

His 65 took the match away from the visitors, despite Stander’s heroics, and there was a tidy spell from Edwards’s Scotland colleague Michael Leask, who took two for 27.

True to form, Stoneywood-Dyce failed to rise to the occasion when they batted, slumping to 86 all out.

Gregor Maiden was the destroyer, capturing three wickets for 16 in the demise of the Aberdeen side.

SMRH l ost to title f avourites Arbroath United, leaving the trap door open, though the formbook would suggest it is Stoneywood-Dyce who will take thelongdro­pfrom the top flight.

 ??  ?? ENGLAND CALL: For Lancashire spin bowler Simon Kerrigan
ENGLAND CALL: For Lancashire spin bowler Simon Kerrigan
 ??  ?? Kenny Reid . . . gutsy
Kenny Reid . . . gutsy

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