Northern lights dimmed for Greenock

Greenock 1st XI vs Aberdeenshire

Greenock (0 pts) 134 all out (C Bellwood 27; NJ MacRae 3 for 11)
Aberdeenshire (10 pts) 137 for 2 (CJO Smith 58*, ME Parlane 32)


Greenock’s long and winding journey to play reigning champions Aberdeenshire ultimately proved fruitless as once again the batting performance left a great deal to be desired against what could only be described as a pretty ordinary attack on a good Mannofield wicket.

Fully refuelled with sandwiches and coffees the visitors' day started well as skipper McLaren called correctly and elected to take first use of the flat track on a bright and sunny day ruined only by the bitingly cold North Sea wind. This was to be as good as it was going to get for the Greenock crew as the innings started badly and promptly fell away. Opener Hislop looked confident and comfortable for the first two deliveries before inexplicably lobbing a slow half volley straight to midwicket third ball with the score on 1.

A strangely out of sorts Berrington joined Prabhu but before long the latter had joined the procession as he played on to a wide delivery from the slightly wayward Papua New Guinean overseas amateur Gevara. I respectfully suggest that the youngster from PNG did not believe that it was possible for the mercury to fall so low on planet earth as he shivered furiously at third man. Berrington’s 28 ball misery was ended on 5 with the total on 25 as he played around a straight one from Buchan. It turns out the young man had been unwell midweek with tonsillitis and it showed with both bat and ball.

The Ealing comedy continued as Kruger hit the ball straight to mid on, called yes, then no and then sent McLaren back only to see Smith score direct with the throw to seal the captain’s fate, run out for 12. Kruger and Bellwood sought to effect a recovery which was ended abruptly as Kruger (21) was adjudged to have nicked a Gevara delivery through to the ‘keeper when bat on pad seemed a better call. Youngster Baum and Bellwood added 42 for the sixth wicket before it was déjà vu all over again and Bellwood was run out in similar circumstances to McLaren for 27 with the score on exactly 100. Baum followed soon for 20 after being adjudged LBW to Parlane, bowling right arm around the wicket.

Former Greenock captain Neil MacRae brought himself on to what could only be loosely described as bowl but even his two step hurlers proved too good for us as he duly wrapped up the tail to end up with 3 for 11 off nearly 6 overs of the indescribable. A final total of 134 was never going to be enough and so it proved.

Rowan snapped up opener Tomlinson for 6 with the score on 27 and Bellwood induced the very capable looking Kiwi pro Parlane (32) into a false shot in his first over as Prabhu pouched the catch at mid off with the total on 52. That was to be the last wicket to fall as teenager Cross (24no) and elderly, but mightily talented, statesman Smith (58no) saw the home team to victory with more than 20 overs remaining.

Having lost the battle on the field the boys set about regaining some dignity for the Club off it by comfortably winning the post match war in the bar in a no contest. As with all good things a price had to be paid and so the long journey home was extended somewhat to accommodate the innumerable comfort stops all the way down the A9 and beyond. It was, in more ways than one, a very long day.