Double delight for Forres club
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A double header for Forres St Lawrence which brought double silverware, the Senior League title and the Reserve Knock Out Trophy were both bagged by the club in a tremendous weekend of action at Grant Park. This is the second Senior title in four years but the first time since 1959 that the Reserve side have won anything!
Forres won the toss and asked Nairn to bat. Openers Cresswell and Macleod took the field for the visitors with Merricks and Ross taking on the bowling duties. Ross struck in his first over when Cresswell nicked through to Gerrard behind the sticks for only 1. Replacement batsman Lednor lasted only a few overs though, as not to be outdone, Merricks induced the nick leaving Nairn nine for 2 in the sixth over. Macleod was comfortable at the crease but he was not attempting any shots. New batsman A Neill needed to do the scoring. It was a slow business with the 20 run arriving on the board in the 11 over. Neill’s arrival brought Gus Farr on to bowl and his first ball brought a chance behind the sticks followed by another later in the over but the Forres fielders spurned the chances. However is didn’t cost the home side too dearly as the batsmen showed no sense of urgency. At the twenty over mark Nairn had reached a mere 35 and the next over Merricks put Macleod out of his misery by taking a caught and bowled: the batsman departed on nine. Steven Neill replaced the opener and had a brief partnership with his brother which brought only four runs as Merricks finally took the wicket of A Neil, caught by Ross at gully for 22. Alex Green joined Neill but he too looked as if scoring was a difficult task, although Neill played nicely, keeping the ball on the ground but running between the wickets was poor. Still, Neill stuck to his task as the score climbed until change bowler Barron enticed Green to hit out and was taken by Dhami at mid on for 9 with the total on 74. The next four wickets fell for just eleven runs with Jon Benn coming on to bag a couple and Steve Barron another two. Nairn only had ten men so their innings closed on 85 all out. S Neill 29 not out, Merricks 3 for 19 and Barron 3 for 18.
The Forres reply was short and sharp. Forres skipper Pal Dhami and regular opener Nigel Gerrard faced A Neill and brother Steven with the ball. When the first over went for nine runs it was clear that the batsmen were not going to hang around. As usual Dhami took the lead and found the boundary regularly. A Neill was taken off after four overs but by then the fifty was on the board. Nairn tried their luck by taking the pace off the ball but this didn’t work either as he went for 27 in his three overs. The final run was scored in the fourteenth over when Dhami played the ball to backward square leg, once again showing what an asset he is to the club and what an inspirational captain he is to the rest of the players.
Earlier in the season there had been little hope that the title would be coming Forres way but it is a credit to the team who dug deep when they needed to, kept cool heads and played the best cricket.
And the weekend was topped off when the Reserve side won the knock out trophy against Nairn on Sunday. Batting first Nairn reached 113. All of the bowlers chipped in and it was an achievable total they were set. The Forres innings ebbed and flowed, it could have gone either way with some good batting from Jake Ellwood but Al Farr came in and smashed the ball around, winning the man of the match trophy and helping the team across the winning line.
A very successful season for the club. Thanks to everyone who has supported us and we look forward to next season.