Nairn County’s First XI travelled to the Castle Leod ground at Strathpeffer on Saturday for a NoSCA Senior league match against Ross County.
The weather was unpromising. Rain was forecast for the whole of the Highlands – and in fact most other matches were called off. But despite the miserable conditions, Nairn – who were only able to muster 10 players – took to the field after winning the toss.
Steven Neill struck early, getting one of the Ross County opening batsmen out LBW with the score on only 18. But then Blake and Carney made a stand, and took their total to 100 before Blake was bowled by Anniss for 18. Shortly afterwards Carney was caught and bowled by Martin Bronkhorst for an impressive 65.
The other high scorer for Ross County was Sugden, who lasted until the end of the 45-over innings for 73 not out. The hosts ended on a total of 231 for 8 wickets. Shane Hayward was Nairn’s best bowler, taking 2 for 25. Nairn used five other bowlers, each of whom claimed a single wicket.
It was inevitably a struggle for Nairn, chasing a big total in deteriorating conditions. Alex Green was caught early on for just 1. Dave Wolton and newcomer Mike Davies started to build a partnership which ended when Davies was caught for 10, and then Wolton was run out for 37 with the score on 50. Stephen Anniss (15) and Martin Bronkhorst (13) added to the total, but it was Shane Hayward who survived to the end as highest scorer with 46 not out while the remaining Nairn players were swiftly dismissed.
In the end Nairn’s final tally was 141 (for 9 wickets) in 32 overs. Best of the Ross County bowlers were Embleton and Belli, each taking 2 wickets.
Despite the cold and wet weather, both teams tried to play a positive and competitive game. No doubt all will be hoping for a bit more warmth and sunshine next weekend when Nairn host the Highland First XI on Saturday and Buckie Reserves on Sunday, both at the Links.