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Four wickets in four balls consign Forres St Lawrence to defeat against Ross County in the North of Scotland Cricket Association Senior Cup final in Strathpeffer

By Craig Christie

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FORRES St Lawrence cricket club captain Nigel Gerrard said a poor batting performance by his team brought about their downfall in Saturday’s Nosca Senior Cup final.

Forres Saints skipper Nigel Gerrard in batting action.
Forres Saints skipper Nigel Gerrard in batting action.

Saints lost by 105 runs to hosts Ross County at Strathpeffer, their third defeat this season against the Highlanders including a T20 cup final loss at Forres.

The Forres tail was removed by some remarkable bowling by County’s Renato Belli, who not only claimed a hat-trick by clean bowling Gerrard but also claimed a fourth wicket in consecutive balls to finish the visitors’ innings in some style.

“We didn’t bat particularly well, but Ross County are a nice bunch of lads and have a decent team,” said Gerrard.

The winning Ross County team.
The winning Ross County team.

“The main difference in the batting was that our two best players got out and the rest of our team fell away around them.

“We thought we were on to a good thing, but the other guys stood up for Ross County and scored the runs.”

“We’ve struggled all season to put partnerships together, so I’m not sure if that’s a hangover from last season when we didn’t play at all – and even the season before that was broken.

“At the end of the day, we’ve surprised ourselves by getting to two finals and being able to compete in the league, because it’s very much a rebuild season.”

The home side set a challenging total of 172 off their 30 overs, Magnus McGhee taking two for 12 off five.

In reply Forres could only total 67, with Pal Dhami scoring 24 of those.

With five wickets down Belli entered the bowling, losing two runs in his first ball then taking a wicket in the second one.

His next over proved to be the last as he claimed his unique quadruple to finish with figures of 5-2.

The fixture card has the two teams meeting again this Saturday but this time at Grant Park when Forres will be hoping for better fortune to keep them in top spot in the league.

Gerrard said: “In previous years we’ve maybe had a bit of a jinx over Ross County in the sense that they’ve always had the batting.

“That’s the difference with them this season, they’ve got the bowlers now too.

“After the surprise result last week when Ross County lost to Northern Counties we had been expecting next week to be the decider for the league, but as long as we get enough points out of the game it won’t be now.”

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