With the storm clouds brewing overhead, Brechin Buccaneers played host to top of the table Arbroath at Guthrie Park.
Skipper Barker started the day well by winning the toss and electing to bowl first.
Looking to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat it was left to seasoned regular Holland and the returning Elliott to open the attack for the home side.
What a return it would prove to be, as just a couple of balls into the game Elliott gave ex-High School teacher, Bridges, a maths lesson never to be forgotten.
Three balls, two played and missed, one wicket and zero runs. If that wasn’t a big enough shock for the home team an even greater surprise followed as Vishalan stood under a spiralling catch looking rather nervous. The youngster took a big deep breath and snaffled the ball with ease. At this point the table toppers looked rather rocky at 15-2 and things could have been even worse, but for the chances spurned by stand in keeper Robertson.
Hogg and Cameron then took a grip of events and started to turn the ship around with a plethora of boundaries and sharp run singles. The Buccaneers were not helped by mass of wide and no-balls.
Several bowling changes were made and time and time again the visitors were let off the hook by one bad ball an over to ease any possible pressure being built.
Harrison and Robertson in particular proved to be struggling with the intermittent downpours and bowling with a soggy ball.
But it would be Masterton who would make the breakthrough thanks to a spectacular catch from the sprightly Elliot.
Galt, wounded by some recent unnecessary criticism, then picked up the mantle from the other end to remove Cameron just minutes later and suddenly the Bucs were in with a shout again.
At 112 for four, with 11 overs left, the bowlers were left feeling that with a good finish they could contain Arbroath to a manageable total.
But this was not to be as some interesting shot making and field placements helped the visitors to the close of innings at 172 for six.
A further wicket fell to the returning Elliott and another thanks to the hands of Elliott to Robertson.
The final score of 172 was more than skipper Barker had hoped to chase and was not helped by the bowling of 31 extras.
After a truly hearty tea, sponsored by The Stables lounge, Brechin strode out to put runs on the board with new pairing Holland and Masterton looking to put their markers down.
Masterton played rashly at one ball, only to be caught for zero. With Barker up next things should have been okay, but just one ball later he played all around a straight one and fell to the vocal Burnett.
The old partnership of Galt and Holland then came together at the crease and things began to look up as the pair put some roots out and began to clamber some of the initiative they had lost.
But, Holland fell for 6. Twenty two for three then became 22 for four as Galt, despite some lusty blows, became another home batsman to be dismissed caught, this time for 11.
It was left to the last recognised batting pair of Elliott and Robertson to put things straight and try and rescue the day for the Buccaneers.
Elliott was in fine form and with Robertson doing his very best not to be dismissed the pair looked to have things under control.
Robertson’s mind however appeared to wander and he finally holed out for one.
Fifty four for six became 54 for seven as Johnstone was dismissed, before Harrison came and went next for another zero.
Yet another joined the party as Viswan fell leg before wicket for zero again. All through this Elliott simply had to stand and watch at the other end as this carnage ensued.
With only two youngsters left to bat things looked bleak and Elliot now tried to open his shoulders and smash some quick fire runs but despite some small success he would fall for 34. This left Williams to score his first senior runs for the club and Vishalan to fall last with the total on 64.
A club spokesperson described the day as a bad defeat for the home side with too many overs offered a free run scoring ball which was heightened by almost 20 per cent of the opponent’s runs coming from bowling extras. It was also worrying that the team could only manage to bat for just under half of their allotted overs.
The Strathtay Insurance man of the match went to Darren Elliott for his 34 runs, two catches and eight overs, two maidens, two wickets for 19 runs.
Next week sees the team look to get back on track and play like the third place team in the league against Dundee aside Dalnacraig.