Local cricket teams suffered a whitewash at the weekend when all four sides lost their respective Grades fixtures, leaving them much to ponder at practice this week.
Ellon Gordon had, in fairness, the toughest test of the day when they took on league leaders Bon Accord and even with home advantage were unable to halt the progress of the Aberdeen side, who remain unbeaten at the halfway point of the season.
The Bons batted first and were restricted to 156 mainly thanks to the skill of veteran Jonny Barrett who wheeled away to the discomfiture of the visitors, ending the innings with the impressive figures of six for 54, giving the home side a glimmer of hope.
But while Ellon Gordon had bowled and fielded well, the defending champions were more than equal to the task, bowling the homesters out for 124 on a day when batsmen struggled under the heavy cloud cover.
Craig White was the exception, battling his way to 40, but apart from Ian Duncan who scored a stout 26, there was little resistance from Ellon who will have a great opportunity to get back in the title race this coming weekend when they meet Lahore Karahi in Aberdeen.
But if Ellon Gordon had a difficult day, their second eleven had a thoroughly bad day against 2nd Gordonians, made all the more disappointing after two sound wins in Grade 3.
After losing the toss the Ellon 2nds were asked to bat on the artificial wicket at Countesswells, and after being given a sound start by their openers, lost wickets at an alarming rate, leading to them being bowled out for 75.
Once again Scott Middleton was the mainstay of the Ellon batting, top scoring with 31.
Despite taking an early wicket the visitors were well beaten by five wickets, as Sheikh cruised to 39, though Charlie George made a good atempt of trying to contain the home team, capturing three wickets for only 13 runs.
Up at the Lairds there was no relief for Methlick who stumbled to a narrow three-wicket defeat at the hands of 2nd Aberdeen Grammar.
It was their second consecutive reverse, seriously denting their chances of winning the Grade 2 title, though they still remain in second place behind leaders Gordonians.
In a high-scoring game in which both sides were just short of 200 runs, the MCC had no one in the same class as Matt Barker who strolled to an unbeaten 84, although Les Maxfield did his best with a responsible 59 while others lost their heads and wickets. Set 198 to win, Barker was always in charge despite the best efforts of Tom Duffy and Colin Addison who took two wickets apiece. A win against third-placed Academy at Duthie Park on Saturday is now a must if Methlick are not to lose more ground in the title race.
The Methlick 2nds were also losers, failing to hunt down the 194 for the loss of four wickets set by Turriff, crumbling to 126 all out.
The defeat could have been worse had it not been for a splendid knock of 63 from Brian Carr.