Fraserburgh triumph over Cults

Relegation fears: The win against Cults has eased any worries of relgation
Relegation fears: The win against Cults has eased any worries of relgation

As their relegation rivals Academy were losing heavily at Inverurie, Fraserburgh bounced back from last week’s disappointment and put themselves in pole position to avoid the drop to Grade 3 with a win against Cults-Artisans.

Captain Mark Ironside won the toss and chose to bowl on a damp wicket, his decision was soon justified as Fraserburgh dominated early proceedings, conceding less than 50 runs while taking seven wickets.

Opening bowler Fraser Lawrance spearheaded the attack and took three quick wickets - the latter being an excellent catch from his own bowling while the consistently accurate Alan Rennie built pressure by giving nothing away at the other end.

The positive start by the two opening bowlers seemed to rub off on the rest of the Broch team as they threw themselves around in the outfield preventing as many runs as possible.

The change bowlers of Chris Gospel and newcomer this season Nirav Thakker also helping themselves to early wickets with Nirav also striking a direct hit to run out another of the visibly rattled Cults-Artisans team.

Things were going so well for the Broch that it took a drinks break halfway through the innings to slow the momentum and allowed a counter- attacking innings by Ricko Munro (50) ably supported by the more careful John Thompson (8) to build an eighth-wicket partnership that took them past 100.

The second half of the Cults-Artisans innings went equally as badly for Fraserburgh as the first half had been good with many catching opportunities falling frustratingly just out of reach of the fielders.

After looking like bowling Cults out for a lot less than 100, and in under 30 overs, they eventually made 132 before the last wicket fell in the 44th over.

The impressive Lawrance added another wicket for his haul of 4-21, while left arm spinner Nirav Thakkar took 3-44, Chris Gospel 2-38 and the unfortunate Alan Rennie bowling well without reward 0-22 off his 12 overs.

After another cracking Broch tea, Craig Parkin and Michael Watson walked to the crease in slightly more favourable conditions with the wicket having dried somewhat, however the dents in the pitch which the Broch bowlers had made served to still make it a difficult test with extra lateral movement and uneven bounce coming into play.

Chasing a total of 133 to win in 46 overs was no easy task judging by the Brochs shaky batting displays this season.

After some wayward bowling and a rapid start by the Fraserburgh openers, the Cults-Artisans bowlers found their line and length with the experienced Gill and Anderson marshalling their team well.

Parkin and Watson however continued to frustrate the bowlers and score runs regularly in a long partnership of 48, which was only broken in the 19th over when Parkin was given out lbw for 12.

The next wicket came soon after, as Ironside departed for just four runs. Watson and Lawrance built another fruitfull partnership, which ended in the 32nd over when Watson was bowled for 29 (the score then 86). Youngster Ross Smith followed in the same over without scoring and it would have been easy for the Broch to start panicing at this stage with still nearly 50 runs to get in 14 overs.

Nirav Thakkar joined Lawrance at the wicket and both started dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground for boundries with a mixture of superb stokeplay and clever running.

The excitement was growing among the Fraserburgh players in the pavilion at the thought of a long overdue win and the heads were finally dropping from the Cults –Artisan players on the field.

Unfortunatly Vice-Captain Lawrance (33) could not remain till the end of the innings and was bowled by Milne with 16 runs to win.

Nirav (19 not out) duly completed a morale boosting win for the Broch stroking two fours and a six to give the Broch their second win of the season.

Fraserburgh’s morale boosting first home win of the season has meant they leapfrog Academy at the foot of the table giving them a fighting chance of remaining in Grade 2 with only two league games to go.