Ross County lose out in final friendly of 2020
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Ross County Cricket Club’s 2020 season came to an underwhelming end as they lost out to Northern Counties in Strathpeffer.
It was the second time in as many weeks that the teams did battle on County’s home pitch, after the first clash was moved from the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness to the artificial wicket at Castle Leod.
Then, a century from David Dugdale saw Northern Counties win what was a deceptively close match, with run-rate rather than wickets seeing that tie move into the final stages.
Last Sunday however, there was no such tension as the city side ran out comfortable winners.
Batting first, this time it was David Dugdale’s opening partner who took the game by the scruff of the neck and made an impression.
Alex Green, who has had a highly unusual first season at the club under-pandemic conditions after leaving Nairn County, set the Meeting Park outfit up for a strong total with his individual score of 109 not out.
Even when Green retired, the damage had already been done.
Steve Embleton did take two wickets for the loss of just eight runs, but Northern Counties still reached a total of 197-8 as their 35 overs drew to a close.
Ross County’s under-strength batting line-up – which only had 11 players after Counties loaned their hosts a couple of their own players who had missed out on selection – never looked like having the depth to come close to victory.
Club captain Graeme Carney put up the biggest fight, scoring 43 before being dismissed.
It did take some tight bowling from spinner Nuwan Eshwara and paceman Johannes Van Ee, who both ended with bowling figures of 3–8, to bowl the home side out for 111, 86 runs short of Counties’ total.
The result would have been disappointing, but Carney can take some comfort from County’s activity this year after a handful of matches went ahead when at one stage it looked like no play would be possible at all.