Second derby defeat in a row

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After their defeat against Montrose, Brechin faced another derby day this time away to Strathmore.

With a severely depleted side, skipper Barker did well to win the toss and elect to bat first.

In the sixth different opening partnership of the year, Barker partnered Johnstone in Brechin’s opening partnership.

Johnstone couldn’t repeat his stoic performance from last week, and he was found lacking early on.

He conversely disagreed with the umpires’ leg before wicket decision and made sure the umpire was aware of his displeasure. Nevertheless he had to depart for three.

The inform Elliott was the next man in, and when he fell to the swing of Evans just minutes later for a duck, Brechin were in trouble yet again.

Barker now had Holland for company and the pair looked like they could turn this game around for 
the better.

As the storm clouds gathered overhead and rain threatened, Holland tried to smash one straight up into the clouds only to find the hands of McKay waiting to take 
the catch.

Brechin were now 47 for three, with Barker desperate for a partner to bat some overs with him. He hoped Harrison would be the man for the task, and for about five minutes he was. But it was Barker who fell next, bowled by a slow loopy ball from Hewitson for 41.

It was now be left to young Harrison and the baton-wielding nearly 50-year-old debutant, Derek Mitchell.

Harrison went soon afterwards, playing all around a Hewitson straight one for three. Williams came next and looked as if his batting heroics of a couple of weeks ago could be repeated as early confidence witnessed him play a wide range of shots. Ultimately he played one shot too many and departed 
for one.

Things began to look up for Brechin at this point, with just one wicket remaining and the score on 83, some prayers somewhere must have been answered as the heavens opened and the rain started to batter down.

Twenty minutes later and things were still wet, but this was not to continue as the sunshine broke through on Forfar and the innings restarted.

One ball later the innings was complete as fellow debutant Simpson became Hewtison’s last wicket, clean bowled for zero, leaving Mitchell unbeaten on nine.

Let down by some abject batting, the Buccaneers knew they would have to bowl and field well to have any chance or coming away with any form of positive result.

Elliott and Holland were the pairing tasked with this job. Elliott in particular was at his stingy best as the pressure began to build on the Strathmore batsmen as maiden after maiden over was bowled.

Controversy then rained as a ball appeared to be nicked towards first slip and Johnstone pounced to dive full length to take a spectacular catch. The batsman turned around nervously to see the catch taken cleanly and then back to the home umpire who shook his head and 
said not out.

With stakes high at this point some verbal interaction took place between interested parties. Riled by this, the visitors effort were increased, and when Holland struck just a few balls later, thanks to a guilty leg before decision, Brechin had the breakthrough they craved.

Some young blood was then introduced into the attack with the introduction of Harrison. This move struck almost instantly removing the lucky Taylor for six more runs than he should have scored.

At 22 for two Brechin had a small sniff of victory and with a pumped up Harrison in full flow chances were coming.

Shortly afterwards he struck again thanks to a fine catch from Barker. Twenty eight for three then became 28 for four as Harrison struck again the very next ball with a fine slower ball that he managed to snaffle himself.

With still 60 required to win, Brechin had a better than average chance of victory and although chances were still coming, no further wickets were taken and the home side struggled over the finishing line for the loss of only 
four wickets.

Despite a good performance in the field and with the ball, the team were at the end of the day let down by some iffy batting. A spokesperson said: “If we can get our team on the park, that is the first step towards victory. We know we are good enough but every game this season we have had last minute call offs, and these are what are killing us”.

The Strathtay Insurance man of the match could have went three ways - Barker for his runs, Elliott for his stinginess with the ball, but in the end for a fine bowling display the award went to 
Jake Harrison.