Saints play it safe against Fort William
FORRES ST Lawrence had a safe win against Fort William on Saturday although they needed to bat all the way down the order to make the points safe.
After winning the toss, Forres opted to bat first with Pal Dhami and Nigel Gerrard opening for the home side. The Fort William bowlers took their time to settle down and by the tenth over Forres had 47 on the board. The withdrawal of Ross Lavin from the attack saw him replaced by Keith Reid who certainly gave the Forres batsmen something to think about with his in-swinging seamers. The scoring rate dropped and the batsmen had to work harder for their runs. The first wicket came when Gerrard was trapped LBW by Reid for 17 with the total on 67. Derek Ross was number three and looked as if he would settle after a couple of two’s but he played down the wrong line to another Reid delivery and was bowled for 4. Dhami now had Gus Farr as his partner and after a few overs of looking at the ball Dhami went for a pull shot which he sent straight to DJ Duncan at mid on after a patient 53. The century mark had not long been passed with three wickets down but then the innings fell apart as first Steve Barron and then Fraser Merricks nicked the ball through to the keeper, Blanchard, off Reid and now Forres were 108 for 5. With Reid still having four overs left to bowl and the returning Lavin bowling a better length, the Forres batsmen closed the shop and waited for easier bowling to score from. Al Farr played an unusually quiet innings while his brother took what meagre pickings were available. Ten overs saw only 16 runs added at a time when the innings is normally pushing ahead but as planned Fort William had to change their bowlers and they proved easier to score from. Al Farr had one profitable over but then was caught at point from a lofted shot and after Durance held up one end allowing Gus Farr to play his shots, Durance was trapped LBW to D. Duncan. Ian Roberts came in with just two overs left and played his innings well as he helped to finish the innings with a flurry. At the end of the 45 overs, Forres had a healthy 184 on the board with Farr not out 55 and Roberts 13. Reid finished with 4 for 30.
The Fort William innings opened with a bang as Gus Farr took wickets with his second and third balls of his first over. The vistors two best batsmen, Colin Jennings and Keith Reid, both fell victim to the edge through to the keeper, leaving them on 5 for 2. With Andrew Callanan making no attempt to score runs at one end, DJ Duncan at the other end gave it his best shot and pushed the Fort William score along to 31 before he was caught by Dhami running round from mid on off Merricks for 19. D Duncan was now at the crease and it was almost a mercy when Callanan was given LBW off change bowler Steve Barron for 3 after batting for 16 overs. But Duncan lost his next two partners quickly as first Blanchard was run out by a direct throw from Fraser Merricks and D Davidson was bowled by Merricks, both for nought. Ross Lavin dug in and with Duncan they gave their side some respectability as the score began to climb. It was just before the hundred came up that Duncan, on 34, finally succumbed to the guile of Durance and despite juggling the ball, Gerrard manage to hang on to the catch at slip. Shortly after that Lavin became Dhami’s first wicket after making 24 and when Spencer handed Dhami a straightforward caught and bowled the innings closed on 109.
Next Saturday will be Forres’ last home match of the season as they host Ross County in the Grant Park.