Dugdale century steers Northern Counties home in eight-wicket victory over Ross County at Castle Leod
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Northern Counties eased over the winning line to an eight-wicket victory against Ross County last weekend.
The match was switched from the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness to Castle Leod because of the threat of rain, with the artificial wicket at Strathpeffer giving the game it’s best chance of going ahead.
Counties coped well with losing the home advantage though, even after going under the kosh early on in the first innings.
With County batting first, Finlay Saunders did manage to dismiss opener Chris Blake for six thanks to a good catch from Alex Green.
Duncan Scott and Graeme Carney set about rebuilding the innings though, and did so to great effect.
Their partnership accounted for the vast majority of County’s final score as Scott scored 61, but captain Carney went even further and reached his century before retiring.
Alan Amour was the only other batsman to reach double figures, adding 12 as Northern Counties were set a target of 196 to win.
The visitors got off to a solid start of their own with a new-look opening partnership of David Dugdale and Alex Green.
Green was the first to depart but by that time he had already scored 35, with Dugdale primed to push on.
Although Johannes Van Ee fell shortly after, with plenty of wickets still in hand the only question became whether they would run out of overs to catch County’s total.
Dugdale went on to match Carney’s score, retiring himself on 105, leaving Jamie Rodger (37 not out) and Will Ford (11 not out) to steer Counties to victory.
“We did quite well to keep it down to 195 at their place, it’s such a good batting track that it was good to restrict them to that in the end,” Counties captain Shaun Thomas said.
“It was the first time that David Dugdale and Alex Green had opened together, because Alex has just joined us from Nairn this year.
“That was really good to see, they both played really well and bounced off each other.
“In the end, their opening partnership made it a lot easier for us to get the win, especially with Dave getting 105 before retiring.”
County skipper Carney was philosophical about the result.
“I think it came down to a little bit of luck in the end,” he said.
“We didn’t take the key wicket of David Dugdale, but he never really gave us any chances of note.
“If we had managed to get him out, then perhaps the outcome would have been different.
“It was still a good performance with bat and ball overall.”