A poor batting performance cost Fraserburgh dearly as they lost to relegationthreatened Banchory last Saturday.
The Broch had been looking to put more distance between themselves and a relegation battle, but came up ten runs short as Banchory managed to avenge their opening day loss.
Unusually, Fraserburgh didn’t manage to tie down Banchory’s opening batsmen. Instead, they raced past 20 runs in the opening overs, and it was instead the bowlers who were under a bit of pressure.
The batsmen just kept ticking along despite losing a couple of wickets along the way, with Colin Souter (222) eventually making the initial breakthrough dismissing Pai (24) with the score on 49.
But it was when Cory Bowie took his second catch of the day to dismiss Richards (41) off the bowling of Pradeep Chinta (210) that the tide really started turning. At that point the score was 793 in the 25th over, but the innings wouldn’t last too much longer.
Fraser Lawrance blew away Banchory’s middle order, taking four wickets for the loss of just nine runs in the spell. His performance put Fraserburgh well on top, and by the time he was done there were just two wickets left, which were quickly taken by Andrew Henderson and Alan Rennie.
A feature of the day was the Broch’s good catching – eight of the ten wickets to fall were the result of catches, including a caught and bowled from Lawrance and Rennie.
Chasing 98, Fraserburgh will have been confident that it was a gettable total. But that confidence was soon shaken as efficient bowling from the Banchory openers Z Crawley and Hussain restricted the batsmen to 43 from the first ten overs.
The first partnership of note came from Paul O’Neill and Stuart Flowerdew (8), but that ended after the latter became hampered by an injury that forced him to use a runner.
Hussain kept picking up wickets, and when he eventually bowled out he had five scalps to his name, and Fraserburgh were in real trouble at 417.
But the crucial wicket of O’Neill remained intact, and with Hussain out of the attack the run rate accelerated again. He passed fifty – his first half century of the season – but he was running out of batting partners. Still 20 runs short of victory, Fraserburgh were only one wicket away from defeat.
Z Crawley (212) came back into the attack to try and get the decisive wicket, but it was Wilson (23) who took the honour, meaning Banchory won by just 9 runs.
The result closes the gap between the two sides near the bottom of the table, and while Fraserburgh should be far enough ahead to stave off relegation, if this sort of batting collapse is repeated they could yet find themselves in trouble.