ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
Strathearn XI v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sun 21 Aug 2011 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Won 8 wickets
Forthill XI approached their season defining weekend double header with real excitement - and following a week of intensive net practice the squad and support staff headed off for their Friday night overnight stay in Dunkeld in fine fettle. After a group Jacuzzi we had a nice pasta dinner and under the coach’s instructions it was a 9pm curfew and an early night was had by all.
After the largely sunny skies all week, for once this season the weather was not a worry; and after a hearty breakfast and then a stroll in the hotel grounds, you could sense the growing feeling of anticipation among the players as the start time approached. The one thing we wanted to avoid this weekend was a shock – especially as we headed into the games against Glendelvine and Strathearn XI as heavy favourites –but we really needed to avoid a shock if we were to stay in the promotion hunt.
The last shock we expected came at 10.00 am – and boy was it a shock and a half – when the call came from nearby Spittalfield to advise that the Glendelvine ground was “under water”. The only thing we could think of that could explain this event was that that Glendelvine CC had been suddenly bought out by Deep Sea World who had installed a suitable attraction for seals and dolphins – but further investigation suggested that it was a very localised heavy monsoon that had unbelievably descended on the little village just a few miles from our hotel base at Dunkeld. Under sunny skies and with an accompanying drying wind if needed, it was a disappointed Forthill team who boarded the coach back to Forthill for a net session.
The skipper ordered another early night and on Sunday it was a refreshed team that met at Forthill for the journey to Perth to meet Strathearn XI at Doo’cot Park. When we arrived at the ground, thankfully the one off mini miracle monsoon circulating in the Perthshire area (a miracle because it is undetected on weather radar) had avoided the playing surface of Doo’cot and whilst the pitch was a little damp it was perfectly playable.
On such occasions and on such surfaces, the key is to win the toss and bowl first and the senior players were nervous given Assistant Chief Constable Sim’s very poor record when tossing up this season. News came back that we were fielding first and the skipper was loudly commended on winning the toss. He then unusually for a policeman came clean and avoided a cover up by informing us that he had in fact lost the toss and the home skipper had chosen to bat. This did seem a strange decision under the circumstances and so it proved as batting was tricky against the old ball partnership of Samir and Andy. With scoring opportunities limited and the ball zipping around, batting was difficult and there was regular clatter of wickets and not many runs being scored. The first wicket to fall featured a remarkable slip catch from Carnegie senior who appeared to take a 180 degree swivel and extend his arms ten feet before actually clutching the ball nearer third man than slip. Bryce at second slip fainted.
Samir finished his 9 over spell with the excellent figures of 2 for 8 and Glenn then proceeded to take five wickets and demolish the middle order. A score below 50 looked likely, however the tail wagged sufficiently to reach 75 before the last wicket fell. Overall this was a fine bowling display by all with Glenn and Samir outstanding - and with the drying wind and sunny conditions it was clear that the wicket was only going to get easier to bat on.
Highlight of the innings was when Simmy missed a chance behind the wickets and the ball scuttled down to the third man area having skimmed through his greasy palms; then still bemused at not laying a glove on the chance; he was still stood with his hands on his hips in an apparent trance facing the batsmen when the throw from the boundary came in. This thankfully narrowly missed his head; however a clear run out opportunity did go a begging. This passage of play roused the watching Forthill travelling army of two (namely Messrs Thomson and Auchinleck) from their slumber with the watching feisty Yorkshireman being particularly vocal in his criticism of the skipper’s wicket keeping skills. The edited family version was along the lines of – “Simmy, for goodness sake what in heaven’s name are you doing?” A seemingly slight over reaction I felt, given the skipper had thus far masterminded a precarious home position of 68 for 9 and bunged the local skipper a tenner to bat first.
In spite of the earlier than scheduled finish to the home team’s innings, tea was taken and this was the second last chance of the season for a team to rest the Golden Urn pole position for best tea of the season away from surprise leaders Forthill. To say the tea was forgettable was putting it mildly. In fact this offering was bad enough to make the Rossie Priory Café look like a Gordon Ramsey owned establishment. To sum up – varying egg based sandwich efforts that looked none too appetising even if you like egg. A hairy looking egg quiche, some Viennese whirls and a gingerbread slab. On the plus side the tea was warm. The overall offer lead to much conjecture among the assembled visitors as to whether the tea adjudicator had ever awarded a minus mark. The answer was no………….. But there was a first time for everything! However for the warm tea and the polite chap pouring it – a one out of ten mark was given. Good job the adjudicator was in a good mood.
Still famished and having phoned Dominos, the skipper once again decided to give youth a fling at the top of the order and for the second visit to Doo’cot Park running young Christian opened the batting. With normal opener Scott C for some strange reason away playing another sport, Calum was also asked to open up. The two made a steady start and didn’t look in much trouble and when the first wicket fell it was Calum who was run out by a direct hit. Chris also enjoyed a promotion up the order but came and went quickly - and then Andy came to the crease and saw the visitors to within a few runs of victory before he too was run out.
Adam had been pacing the boundary liked a caged lion waiting his opportunity to show his hitting prowess – and with Andy’s demise he strolled to the middle intent on finishing proceedings quickly. He got on strike with four needed for victory and preceded to pat back five half volleys to the bowler. The feisty Yorkshireman who earlier barracked the skipper was now in the pavilion among the players and hatched a plan to barrack poor young Adam with every ball that passed without him scoring a run. Among cries of “hit out or get out” and “BOOOOOOOO” Adam then struck the last ball of the over for four and thankfully managed to quell the disquiet among the travelling support. This correspondent suspects that alcohol had been consumed by the supporter in question. In spite of Adam’s careful late innings knock, the innings belonged once again to young Christian. He showed great resolve; concentration and ability as he once again batted through the innings for a fine 31 not out. This was another innings of terrific promise and it was great to watch.
One player failing to wield the willow was Captain Taggart who rumour has it as we approach September is still searching for his first run of the season. (I can confirm it is not a rumour but a fact) The skipper was urged to ensure he put himself into the fray on this occasion and sclaff a single at least and get off the mark for the season- but he declined. One eagle eyed reporter noticed that the skipper is clearly having a confidence crisis by virtue of the fact that he had actually left his bat in the boot of his car all through the game…………. Ladbrokes are offering even money on the skipper going through the whole season without troubling the scorers. I am glad I had a fiver at 2 to 1 in April.
So 25 points went into the bag and with one game left at Arbroath we still have a chance of promotion. This was another fine performance and a great bowling performance set up the win.
The Man of the Match Award went to Glenn for his five wicket haul and he wins an annual pass to the Glendelvine Swimming Pool.
One notable feature of recent matches is that senior players appear to be having far less impact on the game. With the batting and bowling duties this week being exclusively shared by those aged 19 and under - it would seem that the elder statesmen have now been resigned to the combined roles of car drivers, umpires, scorers and tea adjudicators. It has been noted by these senior players that they also have to pay a joining fee to the club as well as a match subscription in order to have the dubious honour of carrying out these menial tasks. One senior player reckons it has cost him five pounds this season for every over he has umpired – and he has umpired a lot…
The senior players have therefore formed a Senior Players Union and have threatened to go on strike next season unless they get-
• Either a bat or a bowl in every game ( minimum top 6 spot or 9 over spell)
• Umpire duties are restricted to maximum of ten overs per game
• All juniors have to learn to read, write and score.
• The juniors have to automatically sit a driving test as soon as they are 17 years old
• A senior player pension scheme is introduced whereby if conditions (a) to (d) noted above are not met in full in any match then the junior players have to pay the senior players ten pounds each
This move has been ratified by the Unite trade union and supported by the Forty Club.
So next week we have a home friendly with Broomhall followed the next week by a Saturday friendly at Largo – before our final league fixture at Arbroath. The game that day will clearly be of secondary importance irrespective of it being a promotion decider –with the primary focus being on whether the much vaunted Arbroath teas can rest the Golden Urn from the grasp of Freda’s Forthill Bistro.
The tea adjudicator has even suggested he might take pictures of the tea and have a graphic representation of the fare on offer – so watch this space for a few lines on the match and a six page culinary review and some nice glossy food images in a couple of weeks time. (Photos courtesy of www.ianpottsfoodphotos.com)
Everyone is reminded that a supporter’s bus will be running to the Arbroath game with pick up points at Deep Sea World by Dunkeld (flippers supplied), Faf’s house, Gordon Ramsay’s RP Restaurant (for chef training at Lochlands), Dave and Freda’s caravan, Dicky Miller’s hoose (he is our ringer guest pro), Tay Ferries, Lindsay Cameron’s garden (he is bringing his flipping barbeque – keep off his grass) and Forthill.
In closing, congratulations go to the Forthill squad who secured promotion back to the Premier League and go into their last game of the season with a 100% record. Promotion is of course awarded unless the league committee decides that teams with names beginning with F and ending in L cannot be promoted in which case they will stay where they are.
Strathearn XI Batting
for 10 wickets
74 (0.0 overs)
ct S Carnegie b Cameron
b S Hill
b S Hill
b A Hill
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
for 3 wickets
Strathearn XI Bowling
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