Final hurdle the problem for APD Dumfries: APD Dumfries finished season 2008 in a respectable fourth place in National League Division 2. In the process they lost twice to the league winners, Stoneywood-Dyce, once to the side that came second, Dunfermline, once to the side above them in third, Corstophine, and a damaging loss to SMRH who finished eighth. There was the exciting one wicket win over Dunfermline in May but that was the only win over the eventual top three.
So fourth place was the justified place for the Doonhamers and was a good effort for the season with essentially a local side. Each of the top three sides had more resources at their disposal with a professional, player-coach, overseas amateur and the occasional imported player, and the side also had to overcome the “Pro” in their encounters with the other league sides. In the case of the SMRH match this was the reason for the loss with their South African professional batting them to victory.
In the first part of the season Dumfries were up with the leading pack but that loss to SMRH and a subsequent failure to take more points off the leaders meant that they were out of the promotion places. Two wins instead of these losses would have had Dumfries in a promotion spot at the end of season.
Nevertheless Dumfries have been in this league three seasons and have finished second, fourth and fourth again. At the beginning of this season the side’s strength was assessed as the batting. In practice it proved to be the bowling. Admittedly a dreadful summer meant some batsman unfriendly wickets, and other sides scored similarly but the top three sides did score more heavily.
There were just 5 fifties for the season, compared with 14 last season, and each by a different batsman. In an effort to improve the scoring the batting order ended up being adjusted throughout the season. Australian amateur Geary finished as the top run scorer with 227 and his 80 against Weirs was the highest score of the season. Skipper Beveridge finished just behind and had the best batting average of 31, and Stuart Corbett-Byers, Chris Bellwood and Alan Davidson were all past the two hundred mark. Davie Davidson didn’t have his usual impact with the bat but young Tommy McBride looked comfortable at this level and notched up his own century of runs.
The established double-act of opening bowlers Stuart Alexander and Alan Maskrey proved potent once again. Alexander produced several man of the match performances to earn his 21 wickets with one highlight being his four wicket burst to blow away the Dunfermline top order at Nunholm.
He was well backed up with left-arm spinner Beveridge topping the wicket tally with 26 and by Maskrey (17), Patterson (16) and Geary with an unaccustomed 13 wickets. Davie Davidson applied the pressure with his economy rate and his 9 wickets and Richard Rennie got valuable opening overs under his belt. Their impact was seen with the Dumfries bowlers ending high up amongst the league stats at the end of the season.
The side’s fielding performances were also a strength with Chris McCutcheon and Tommy McBride providing the pressure. Keeper Corbett-Byers claimed 15 victims, including 6 stumpings, and Beveridge and Geary clung onto plenty in the outfield.
The side went through the season with a core of just 12 players and a squad of 15. However mention should be made of first caps going to juniors John Dunbar and Michael Temlett who were there in the hour of need!
Next season there will be no Stoneywood-Dyce and Dunfermline who are replaced by Freuchie, (of Lords fame) and West Lothian. It remains to be seen if Kelburne will replace Edinburgh. After missing promotion, despite losing only one game, Corstorphine will be tough opponents. It will be up to the younger brigade of Davidson, Bellwood, Rennie, McCutcheon, Johnston and the McBrides to challenge the established names and their place in the end of season report.
Thanks go to the team’s sponsors APD Ltd of Newbie for their continued support of the team and local cricket.