APD Nunholm kept their hopes of staying in Western Union Division 2 alive, but only just, with a fighting display at home against Kilmarnock on Sunday. Badly needing a victory they were not quite up to the task against a team with title aspirations.
But the fact that the game was played at all was a tribute to the ground, ground-staff and players from both sides. Heavy rain early in the morning followed by another hour’s worth late morning meant that the start was delayed until 2 o’clock.
This meant that no overs were lost and that play did not finish until half-past-eight – in light that was a shade on the dark side!
Kilmarnock were inserted with the hope that there would be some early assistance from the wicket which Maskrey, Rennie and Mackenzie might take advantage of and although Maskrey struck in the fifth over to remove Alan Hill, the century maker from the match played at Kilmarnock, further early wickets were not forthcoming – the second wicket not falling until the eighteenth over and the third in the twenty-ninth with the score on 109.
Alan Hill and Baig then freed their arms somewhat and runs started to flow. A big score was on the cards until Hill unwittingly ran his partner out in the (probably) most unfortunate manner possible by Maskrey deftly flicking a powerful straight drive onto the stumps with outside of his boot!!
He followed it up by claiming the wicket of the said Hill – a good come-back by the Dumfries side. The innings was finely balanced at 176 for 5 with 11 overs to go. Unfortunately the late emphasis was on runs rather than wickets and despite a gritty performance in the field and 2 good spells from Mackenzie, Kilmarnock racked up a sizable 230 for 8 in their 50 overs.
The reply from the Nunholm batters was commendable but ultimately not quite good enough. The top order found the excellent Pasha hard to deal with and it was to their credit that he only took 2 wickets.
Unfortunately one of the wickets was that of Rennie who had shown the quality of shot-making that might have set up victory. Cross and Williams put on 83 for the fourth wicket but not at a sufficiently good pace to put much pressure on the Kilmarnock attack and when 3 wickets fell in the space of as many overs there was still work to be done to claim the much needed draw points.
Skipper Barnes, with support from Maskrey and Mackenzie, not only managed comfortably but claimed a further couple of valuable points by reaching 202 for 8 by night-fall – or just after!!
In the end it was another game from which a greater return might have been earned and still means that a win is desperately needed. It will require a good performance against another title aspirant – Victoria – at Nunholm.
Ball provided by William Jardine, Funeral Directors
Kilmarnock 230 for 8 (18 points); A Maskrey 3 for 60 from 15 overs, C Mackenzie 2 for 34 from 10.
APD Nunholm 202 for 8 (11 points); G Cross 43, T Williams 34, J Barnes 32 not out, R Rennie 26.