Greaves relief as Forfashire beat Aberdeenshire
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
CHRIS Greaves couldn’t mask his relief after helping to steer Forfarshire to a clear-cut triumph over Aberdeenshire.
The success at Forthill carried the Broughty Ferry boys into third place in the table, behind unbeaten Grange and champions Heriot’s.
But on a personal level, Greaves’ superb knock of 93 was a welcome return to form in the wake of a wretched start to the season.
The turning point came the previous weekend when he smashed a double century for the second eleven.
And he marked his recall for the first team by carrying on where he had left off.
Greaves said: “It was a tough start of the summer for me.
“I have been a little low in confidence, but to bounce back with the 206 not out and then 93 in successive weeks was great.
“I am now feeling good and looking forward to what is yet to come over the next three months.”
Despite his own contribution, Greaves insisted it had been a strong all-round team display by the hosts.
Scott Cameron in particular was in fine form, striking an unbeaten 50 in the tally of 321 for five - then claiming three wickets in what Greaves labelled “an incredible spell.”
It was a stint that sent the Mannofield men sliding to 91 all out, with Liam Sweeney and Brock Ditchmen sharing the rest of the scalps.
The spirit of cricket was shown in a positive light amid unfortunate circumstances at Myreside, where the Watsonians v Arbroath tussle finished early with no result.
The visitors were marginally ahead on the asking rate when the umpires called a halt just two balls short of the stage at which the match would have been valid.
Play was suspended for almost 30 minutes while paramedics attended to a spectator who had taken ill.
But just as the action was due to restart, the rain arrived.
Despite seeing a likely win slipping away, Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie stressed that the correct decision had been made.
Petrie explained: “The abandonment was called after discussions with Sonians captain Ewan Chalmers.
“The pair of us and the umpires felt we wouldn’t have had a chance to get back out to complete the game and get a result.
“Sometimes that’s how it goes in our sport.
“The main concern from everyone was for the welfare of the gentleman who fell ill.”
Chalmers added: “Thankfully the chap is fine, but it was a bit of a scare for his family and everyone else at Myreside.”
Heriot’s captain Keith Morton reckons the delivery that accounted for Scotland star Safyaan Sharif was “right up there” with the most important of his career.
Glenrothes skipper Sharif had threatened to almost single-handedly propel the Fifers to their first win of the season.
But with Glens just 11 short of the 183 target at Gilvenbank and Sharif on 84, Morton sent the bails flying to clinch the victory.
Morton said: “It was a hugely important wicket.
“Once again we showed our fighting qualities as a side. To go from 55 for five to 182 was a great effort.
“Hayes van der Berg’s 94 would’ve been worth 140 on a good pitch.
“We lost Our frontline spinner Ryan brown to injury after he had only bowled two overs so our bowlers, myself included, knew we had to stand up and be counted.
“Credit to Safyaan who played an unbelievable knock to almost get his side over the line.”
Elsewhere, Grange got the benefit of a rain-revised chase at the expense of RHC Lions at Barnton.
After the hosts had reached 251 for seven, the league leaders only needed 111 in 29.1 overs - and they eased to glory by 18 runs with eight wickets to spare.
And Stew-Mel broke their duck by beating Carlton by 11 runs at Grange Loan.
Delighted Stew-Mel all rounder Kris Steel said: “It was an enormous win for us as we have endured a really difficult start to the season in the league.
Winning at Grange Loan is such an arduous task as we all know so it’s was nice to do it when our backs were against the wall.
"We are realistic that survival is our main objective this summer in what is a very competitive league.
"Winning gives us momentum for what is a crucial encounter with Glenrothes next Saturday.”