Forfarshire Cricket Club - Gordon Potts 2012

Match Report - Gordon Potts Memorial 2012

Sunday 1st July 2012 saw the fifth playing of the Annual Gordon Potts Memorial cricket match at Forfarshire CC.

The recent weather had put the game in some doubt, but thankfully the sun was shining as the players gathered and the ground was declared playable. The players largely comprise a selection of the veteran Forfarshire players who played cricket with and were friends of Gordon – along with some of his ex football team mates from Broughty United FC. It is fair to say that these days the hairlines are receding, the bellies are expanding and the fitness levels are questionable among the participants.....but we are still all willing to don the whites....or blues or remember our friend.

The normal format was observed which sees a team of Dundee FC supporters (The Dees) competing against a team of Dundee United FC supporters (The Arabs) in a standard 20/20 cricket match. 
As usual the Dees were skippered by Bryce and The Arabs by Chic - and they leisurely strolled out to the middle to toss up, still with civvies on and a lager in hand of course. The Arabs took first use of a damp and green strip.

The team line ups had seen numerous injury problems in recent weeks and the Arabs were minus Gus for the first time in this series of matches. Commenting on Gus’ absence skipper Chic said, “To be honest I was quite pleased when he broke his leg, he gives us nothing on the pitch and even less off the pitch”. Unfortunately injury also forced the call off of the Fonz who was due to debut for the Tangerines and return to the ground for the first time since 1993. Thankfully he came along and watched and it was great to see him back at Forthill. 
The Dees were minus Drummy (knee) - and Big Scott (thigh) failed a very late fitness test. Bryce commented, “We will definitely miss Scotty, he is our Bob Willis, our main strike bowler, our talisman - and this could be crucial. I am gutted for the big fella.”

The Dees had a pre match dilemma when they realised that they did not have a wicket keeper in the ranks and it was left to Bryce to delegate the position to Baz. This proved to be a costly error as it quickly became apparent when the action started that Baz was not a natural glove man! Indeed he had all the mobility of a deck chair. This lead to an early succession of byes, which carried on until the tenth over when he was replaced by the more effective Cheese. In spite of Baz’s best efforts, the Arabs still got off to a slow start and on debut Tucker was finding the striking of a cricket ball a bit of a challenge - and it was only when Ted came to the wicket that the runs started to flow. Teddy adopted his standard batting style of either a firm block or a hefty swish and he actually managed to swish a few and to the surprise of everyone reached 25 runs at which point he retired.

Wickets were falling at regular intervals and runs were slow in coming and if it hadn’t been for Baz’s byes this could have been a record low score. One particular highlight came when Bryce ran out young Jack with a direct hit from cover which truly rolled back the years..... However, Cully batting on his own wicket played some fine shots and also retired on 25 - and the coming to the crease of Chic and Howie saw a late flurry of runs and somehow the Arabs finally managed to cobble together a competitive 119 for 8. It was considered by the Blue Noses that the young scorers were perhaps a couple of Arabs on the fiddle.....

The batting order on these occasions is decided by the drawing of numbers out of a hat and Duke was unlucky to draw number 11 and was sadly not required for the Tannadice men. He was seen to be crying behind the pavilion when he did not get a bat. The Dees bowlers all did OK - and overall the skipper was happy with the effort and ordered everyone to have another beer. The rainclouds were gathering as the second half began and the Dees made a slow start against some good bowling. Ian unfortunately didn’t trouble the scorers and it became apparent that the game was swinging towards the Arabs. Nobby (in fetching green shorts) bowled a maiden to Deano and the pressure started to build – and the rain came on.

Desperate to atone for his wicket keeping debacle, Baz made a quick 25 and retired whilst young Christian was also batting well. Clark ticked things along with Christian and they were scoring at the required 8 an over and a tight finish was in prospect – and the rain went off again. The Arabs had a chance to swing the game back in their favour when Christian lofted a shot in the direction of Nobby and he started to move into position to take the catch. However he then somehow took on the look of a chubby Bambi on ice as his legs started to go in different directions and he then ended up on his ample backside........... with the ball now descending towards him. He never got his hands near the ball, indeed the ball very nearly ended up in a very sore place, but thankfully for him it thudded into the turf instead. The whole ground collapsed in laughter at one of the funniest sights ever witnessed by man...

Christian unfortunately got out soon after this escapade and skipper Bryce came in; and with two overs left 16 runs were needed. Bryce joined the fray having cleared the viewing area with his latest pumping escapade - which clearly also physically effected Carol and Betty who were actually sitting outside some ten to fifteen metres away.

Ted bowled the second last over to Clark and he came down the wicket and to his disbelief he missed the ball by a vast distance and was stumped. He walked off scratching his head and made an immediate call to Specsavers to set up an urgent appointment......and sat in the dressing room head in hands contemplating hanging up his bat there and then. However, his career was temporarily saved when it later transpired that Ted had switched the match ball for a “wind ball” ........which explained why the ball had behaved so strangely. Some would call that cheating.......but on a day like this it was seen as simply a good laugh!

Bryce was joined by James who blocked the first ball and as he tried to run a single Duke sprung like a caged tiger from his wicket keeping spot. Duke then kicked the ball towards the other end and unbelievably it hit the stumps directly and James was run out. To be fair, James wasn’t running all that quickly - but it was still a stellar piece of fielding. 
Bryce was joined by last man Conny and going into the last over eight runs were still needed with Howie bowling. Howie bowled a tight line and this meant that by the time we got to the last ball the Dees needed four to win – three to tie.

Bryce was facing and managed to connect well and the ball raced towards the fine leg boundary where Nobby (still nursing a sprung rib, sore buttocks and even sorer pride) was positioned. One run was completed and a second run was well underway when he collected the ball and fired it in, Conny burst every blood vessel and even threw his bat in a vain attempt to complete a third run but he failed to make his ground and the Arabs were victorious by one run.

In spite of the Arabs cheating by using a dodgy ball and fiddling the scores – the Dees took the defeat well and United Newco were declared the victors. It is possible that we will need to repair the trophy and amend the engraving in the coming years depending on Neil Doncaster’s findings. The main thing was it that we managed to complete a great game of cricket - and for the second year running the game went down to the last ball.

The players adjourned to the bar and as well as some liquid refreshment awaited delivery of the much anticipated curry - and forked out apparently huge money to the Curry Convenor for some grub. It finally arrived and the lucky ones (after waiting in a queue longer than Space Mountain) got a saucer full of rice, a mouthful of chicken and a whiff of a pakora in exchange for their hard earned cash. Seconds were unavailable. The Curry Convenor later announced that next year he would revert to being a Sandwich Convenor and the Rossie Priory Catering Company will be employed.

Thanks go to everyone for again supporting the day and a great time was had by all. The keener members of the drinking fraternity made their way on to Coke Floats and then ended up in the Fort Bar which seemed a good idea at the time...........but was not such a good idea on Monday morning.

Chic collected the trophy gleefully and Nobby once again collected the Champagne Moment prize for his comedy gold catching effort.

Everyone (and especially absent friends) would have appreciated that moment in particular.

Here’s to next year.