A COMPREHENSIVE defeat away to Anniesland ended Bute’s league season in disappointing fashion on Saturday.
After winning the toss, Anniesland elected to bowl first and Bute were little troubled in the early stages, the waywardness of the bowling helping the score along nicely to 30 off five overs before the first wicket fell.
Another wicket went with the very next delivery, though, and from this point the game took on a very different complexion, with a steady fall of wickets weakening the visitors’ position.
Richard Harding, however, remained out in the middle, and with Craig Murray doing his defensive best they had the biggest partnership of the innings, putting on 43 runs between them.
Harding played aggressively, ran well and managed to get a good proportion of the strike, but unfortunately was the next man out, well caught on the boundary, having played a lone hand in trying to give the Bute total some respectability. With Harding out for 54 and Bute only able to field nine players, only another six runs were scored before the innings came to a close with the island team on 96, having only been able to bat for 23 overs.
It would have taken something miraculous for Bute to have won the game, but Mark Crichton tried hard to do it - bowling with real pace and accuracy, he got a wicket in the first over, stand-in keeper Guy Crichton taking a good catch low down.
Captain Mark took another two wickets in his third over, knocking over the leg stump on each occasion to leave Anniesland on 19 for three, but another 40 runs were scored before the Bute captain took the next home wicket – and though a fifth wicket fell when the scores were level, Anniesland completed their victory in the 18th over, Mark returning figures of four for 43 off eight overs.
This was the last game of Bute’s WDCU season, and following losses in their last few matches it is expected that the team will finish in around sixth place in the ten-team Championship division - a creditable finish considering the team was promoted to the second highest division in the league in only their second season of WDCU competition.
This weekend Bute are looking forward to a slightly more, erm, relaxed atmosphere as they go on their annual tour to Fife.