Ellon Gordon bounced back from the disappointment of losing out to league leaders Bon Accord in Grade 1 with an 80 run win over Lahore Karahi in Aberdeen, but Methlick lost their third game in a row to fall off the pace in Grade 2.
Ellon batted first, and racked up a massive 253 for the loss of seven wickets before bowling their Aberdeen opponents out for 173 at the Links.
Opener Brian Veldsman top scored for the visitors with an impressive 72, while captain Scott White weighed in to score a tidy 47 in an innings dominated by the batsmen.
Lahore attempted to chase down the target, but were restricted by an up-for-it Ellon bowling attack led by Ross Wade who impressed with his three wickets for 28, although it was Len Bortslap’s three for no runs that was the talk of the day as Lahore slumped to 173 all out. On this form a visit to Crescent will hold no fears for Ellon Gordon on Saturday as they bid to hunt down leaders Bon Accord.
The demise of Methlick in Grade 2 is harder to understand, especially as the Lairds team won their first five games in style, only to experience a slump which has seen them lose their last three games, including Saturday’s match at Duthie Park where Academy’s four wicket win enabled the Aberdeen side to leap frog them in Grade 2, pushing the MCC into third place.
A game in the Bon Accord Cup this coming Saturday might well come as a welcome break from league duty for the out-of-touch Lairds side.
The problem is in part due to no Methlick batsman being able to impose himself on the opposition, best reflected in the fact that Shaun Murphy and Byran Carr top scored with 27 and 20 respectively in the below par total of 156.
When the home side batted Agir Kache showed what was possible, striking an impressive unbeaten 66, taking the game away from a hapless Methlick who, in fairness, bowled and fielded better than they had batted, led by the tireless Tim Duffy who took four wickets for 28, but well supported by Murphy who chipped in with two for 40.
But in the event it proved not to be enough as Academy eased past the target with four wickets to spare.
It was also a poor weekend for the area’s two top sides also failing to record wins in their second team games. Despite playing at home in Grade 3 2nd Ellon Gordon lost out to Dunecht by the margin of five wickets after posting 118 all out which was never enough against the third-placed side in the league. Only Brian Fullar batted with any assurance, hitting a tidy 31, though Charlie George stepped up with a resilient 22.
Mark Tait was the pick of the home bowling attack, capturing four for 40 as Ellon Gordon attempted to restrict the visitors.
There was more misery for 2nd Methlick as they crashed to their fifth defeat, but saved from total humiliation by Jack Jones who scored a gallant 42 in the home total of 77 before table-topping Portcullis eased to a comfortable five-wicket win, led by David Mitchell who top scored with an unbeaten 40.
A match in the Johnston Rose Bowl away to Turriff on Saturday will come as welcome relief for 2nd Methlick.