Forres St Lawrence cricket team triumph over Northern Counties in Macleod and MacCallum T20 final at Strathpeffer
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
There was delight for Forres St Lawrence on Saturday as they took the honours in the final of the Macleod and MacCallum T20 final at Strathpeffer against Inverness side Northern Counties.
At the toss, Forres opted to bat first and take the fight to the bowlers. Pal Dhami opened with Alasdair Farr, the latter given free rein to play his own way.
A steady six runs off the first over, with a lovely leg side delivery first ball which allowed Dhami to step across and help himself to a boundary. Farr followed up next over with two crashing fours then stole the strike to plunder another 16 off the next over, including a straight six over the bowlers’ head, immediately putting the Inverness side on the back foot.
Hoping that this was a flash in the pan, Northern Counties carried on but the Forres pair were up for it and continued to ransack the bowling including 16 off the fifth over.
The Counties skipper rang the changes to stem the flow of runs which after over number 5 stood at 60 but Farr in particular was thrashing the ball to the boundary with some huge sixes.
The century came up in over number nine, three runs from the bat of Dhami. Farr was flagging and in the tenth he heaved the ball high for Green to take the catch at mid-wicket - 65 runs off 36 balls for the opener, he had done his job.
Three quick wickets put Forres on the back foot, going from 111 for no wicket to 122 for four in the 13th over, their momentum had gone and Counties thought they were in with a chance.
Dhami was still working the ball and Steve Barron rode a few overs before he was able to contribute as the score edged along past the 150 mark but the Forres skipper knew he needed at least 180.
With two overs to go, Forres were sitting on 165, time for a blast from Dhami who took 16 off the penultimate over although he fell in the last over, caught in the deep going for a final boundary, making an impressive 85 runs. The innings closed on 185 for 5 after 20 overs.
Counties replied with a big opening over, twelve off Merricks, but they were clawed back with only four off the next.
Merricks then settled to bowl a miserly spell, including a wicket maiden when he clean bowled Johnson for 7.
Magnus McGhee, only 18 years of age, was asked to bowl over number 6 with Counties sitting with sixty on the board. A lot of pressure but he handled it well, giving the batting side little to work with.
Alex Green had opened for Counties and was looking to play big shots, but the Forres bowlers kept his chances to a minimum. Despite this he was the danger and by over number 13 the century was up and Counties were still in the game.
In Steve Barron’s last over he took the wicket of Tucker for 34, caught by Gus Farr at point. There was 123 on the board for Counties but Gus Farr came back into the attack and parsimoniously only four runs off his over put a dampener on the batting side.
Ellwood gave them only six next over, but they still needed 53 off three overs. Twelve came from Farr then sixteen off Ellwood, 163 off 19 overs. A dot ball and a bye off the first two deliveries in the last over sealed the fate of Counties and despite six from Green who made a mighty 90 not out, they finished on 172, 14 runs short of their target.
Great teamwork from both sides, a good game for the neutral with plenty of impressive performances.
The Saints will be pleased to bring the James Kemp trophy back to Forres for another year.