Forres St Lawrence survive round 1 of the Scottish Cup
The senior team travelled by minibus down to Leith, arriving in good spirit. Playing opposition you have never come across before is a refreshing challenge and the travelling eleven were looking forward to it. The Leith Links is a quirky ground, with a public footpath running through one part of the field but the weather was good and the welcome was warm. Losing the toss, Forres bowled first and really put the anchors on the Leith innings. Fraser Merricks striking first when he removed opener Rahul for 5, caught by Gus Farr at slip. Next over Derek Ross trapped Abhishek in front of the stumps for 2 and Leith were stuck on 9 for 2 which didn’t look much better when 8 runs later Ross struck again as Zafar edged the ball through to keeper Ian Roberts for 5. The partnership of Mann and Zubair saw Leith through the middle overs but they faced a thorough examination with Tommy McPherson whipping the ball in, making Mann call for his helmet. Some good fielding finally broke the pair, a quick run then a muddled call gave Gus Farr the opportunity to run Zubair out, leaving Leith 39 for 4. But the home side stuck at it and their tail kept them going despite losing wickets regularly. McPherson finally got through the defences of Mann, bowled for 10 and with 55 on the board Wahab was caught by Gus Farr off McPherson for 13. Two more wickets for the young bowler when he removed Tahir and Ingram on 60 then a good partnership pushed the Leith score up to 83, broken when Ferguson forced a mistimed shot and set up the catch for Neil McPherson. Another 20 runs and Leith finished on 103, the final wicket for Ferguson trapping Siva in front for 30.
The Forres reply was measured as Leith displayed their bowling talents. Pace from Tahir and Wahab got batsmen Dhami and Gerrard off to a good start but Wahab soon got his line and length which put pressure on the Forres pair and the introduction of spin from Rahul was an interesting experience for the visitors as he used his experience on the grass pitch. On 51 Gerrard missed one from Wahab and was trapped in front for 16, followed soon afterwards by Dhami who also fell LBW for 29. Neil McPherson and Gus Farr needed to steady the Forres ship and it was soon clear that the introduction of a left/right hand batting combination had unsettled the bowlers rhythm. Wahab, who had been consistent, suddenly bowled some erratic deliveries, gifting Forres 9 runs in his last over but the price was the fall of McPherson for 5, stumped off change bowler Zafar. A couple of much needed boundaries from Tommy McPherson lifted some of the pressure the Forres team were feeling as the score moved on from 76 for 3. A straight six from Gus Farr off Rahul drew admiration from the watching crowd and pushed Forres into the 90’s. Tommy McPherson perished on 94 but Fraser Merricks played cool cricket with Farr to close the innings on 104 for 4. A tremendous result for the club, their first win in this trophy and it sets up a fixture against Marchmont of Edinburgh in June.
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