ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
Arbroath United 2nd XI v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sun 04 Sep 2011 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Lost 2 runs
Sunshine, no worries about rain, a firm wicket, two teams turning up on time with eleven players, a good game of cricket played in the right spirit and a hearty tea.
Not too much to expect you would think for any Strathmore Union team; but for Forthill XI players the above “wish list” had not been fulfilled so far this year, but on a sunny Sunday in early September- in our final game of the season – our patience was finally rewarded and we were reminded why we actually play cricket.
The Super Sunday Showdown saw us making the short trip to our near neighbours and friends at Arbroath; in the knowledge that the winners would secure second spot in the division and the losers would finish third. I hesitate to say whether finishing third would mean missing out on promotion – this is after all the Strathmore Union. Between now and the start of next season we could have teams folding, teams merging, league reconstruction, teams declining promotion, teams begging for relegation and of course the old favourite around our clubhouse – you can’t have teams from the same club in the same league ( a law which saw Forthill XI relegated last season when finishing sixth – to add insult Cupar stayed up and folded before the season started…) Add to that the possibility of the Strathmore Union potentially merging with the Borders League, the Highland Premier League or the Shetland Friendly Society and you have a wealth of potential scenarios.
But let’s save the state of the Strathmore Union - and the obvious need to raise standards, the need to revamp the set up, the need to offer teams looking for social cricket a vehicle to do so, the need to help all clubs to get more kids into the game and the need to provide support to improve facilities - for another day………
Back to the game. Skipper Sim senior took a late fitness test on his injured wrist behind closed doors and was passed fit to play. He very surprisingly won the toss for the first time in six years and decided to invite Arbroath to take first use of a good looking wicket. Samir has been in great form all season with the ball and he helped validate the skipper’s decision to bowl first by knocking out Pedgrift’s off stump with the second ball of the innings. Fresh from being crowned as Player of the Year on Friday night, Adam took the second over and with his first ball took the outside edge of G Swan’s bat – but the skipper didn’t managed to hang on to the chance and the opportunity to make the home team 0 for 2 was missed. From there Swan and Cameron batted well and found gaps in the field and the scoreboard ticked along well. Adam finally snared Cameron caught and bowled and seemed quite pleased to have taken a wicket – throwing the ball so high up in celebration that it took out a hang glider from nearby Condor! Plomer came in and played some nice shots and when Swan fell he was joined by B Carnegie (one of four Carnegie’s on the field – two per team – no known parental connection; although Scott used to own a caravan in the Red Lion caravan park approx 17 to 20 years ago) and they entered into what ultimately proceeded to be a match winning partnership. Some good running between the wickets and some expansive shots saw them keep the runs ticking along and Forthill looked in some trouble as a mammoth total seemed likely.
However, the perhaps belated introduction of Andy into the attack saw the run rate slow and Carnegie (47) fell to a smart catch by Chris at mid wicket. The run rate slowed further with H Carnegie now at the crease and this forced Plomer (39) into taking on the bowling and he fell to a good catch by Samir at point off Andy. This let Forthill back into the game and Andy (3 for 22) kept bowling very tightly and Chris (1 for 18) also bowled a nice spell and picked up the wicket of M Swan. One of two Swans on the pitch; but there were a lot more seagulls. A late flurry from Fleming (19) and Robb (24) gave the innings some late momentum and with the evergreen Bridges(1 not out) scampering a single at the other end the home side finished on a creditable 199 for 9 after 45 overs.
At one stage a total of around 250 seemed likely; so at tea the Forthill team was happy in some respects to have kept the total below 200, however this was still a good total and we knew we would have to bat well to get there.
Discussions about the innings however were kept to a minimum as the waft of pizza was emanating from the Arbroath tea room. The tea adjudicator was first in the queue in order to inspect the spread and he was not disappointed by the fare on offer. Pizza (various toppings), filled sandwiches with plenty of good options ( no coleslaw which is always a high scoring point) and cut into nice quarters, cakes by the barrow load including creamy marshmallows, well laid out on a nice clean looking table, juice options and a lovely cup of strong tea. And to top it off – all being served by ladies.
Only disappointment was that the assigned photographer for the day was whisked off to take pictures of tea at Claridges so there is no point in visiting www.ianpottsfoodphotos.com for images, however in spite of the lack of imagery, there was no doubt that the spread was magnificent and the Golden Urn for 2011 for the best tea in the Strathy Union was awarded to Arbroath United Cricket Club. This year’s wooden spoon was shared between Strathearn XI and Rossie Priory XI who will no doubt be making a supreme effort next season to win the Golden Urn and the first prize of £1,000 courtesy of Jamie Oliver.
Well fed (and perhaps slightly overfed) the batters strapped on the pads for the last time in 2011and knew that the simple task in hand was 200 runs for (hopefully) promotion. The Cameron twins opened up and unfortunately Andy (feeling a bit under the weather after a dodgy carvery the day before) went early and Clark joined Scott. This pair proceeded to fairly comfortably take the score to 65 before the excellent Fleming (3 for 19) nipped one back into Clark and he was bowled off the pads for 23. Fresh from a maiden century last week Adam joined Scott and things were going nicely when Adam went for a single thinking Scott’s shot through mid wicket had evaded the fielder. The fielder had in fact stopped the ball, but it still seemed that Adam would manage to get back to the non strikers end – however the throw coming in was a direct hit and he fell just short.
Callum came in but a very sharp leg side stumping from Swan off the bowling off Fleming saw him depart quickly and the game had swung back in favour of Arbroath. Much was now resting on the young but very broad shoulders of Scott. He has had a great season and was playing beautifully again today and looked in very little difficulty. Having moved serenely to 44 he got a short ball outside the off stump from Fleming but only managed to smash it to Pedgrift at point who took a very smart catch. The momentum had now swung very heavily to Arbroath and for Forthill much rested on the father and son combo at the crease of Scott and Glenn (also not feeling 100% but not with a carvery induced pain). Scott rolled back the years with some expansive cover drives and with Glenn looking solid at the other end hopes were once again raised that victory could be achieved. Leg spinner B Carnegie was introduced into the attack and he turned one short from outside Scott’s off stump and it kept a bit low and Scott somewhat unfortunately under edged it on to his stumps and departed for 19. Steven joined Glenn and they did well and kept the runs flowing and the target edged ever nearer with the run rate being met. With bowling options running thin home skipper Swan (who captained his troops very well throughout) chucked the ball to Cameron (1 for 27) who proceeded to bowl a very good spell. Steven then fell and the skipper threw himself into the fray. Aside from the match situation, the skipper was under the added pressure of not having scored a run thus far in the season. Thankfully he got that gorilla off his back first ball when he glanced one down to fine leg and with six overs left in the season his run tally was up and running.
In combo with Glenn they were keeping up with the required rate and it was clear this was going to be a tight finish. Glenn held the key, having batted superbly for 33 very valuable runs.
With four overs to go and 21 needed, Cameron ( one of three on the pitch – two from Forthill and one from Arbroath – Lindsay did once have a night out in Arbroath approx 18 years ago….) produced a crucial over when he bowled yorker after yorker and only conceded one run. First ball of the third last over and with 20 needed; Glenn (33) clubbed one in the gathering gloom in the direction of Plomer at mid wicket. He gratefully pouched a very good catch and Glenn departed having given everything. Samir went for it and was a little unfortunate to find a fielder with a good shot and Chris came to the wicket to join the skipper with one wicket left.
B Carnegie was entrusted with the last over and an unlikely 12 runs were needed for victory. Simmy knocked the first ball for a single and Chris took guard for the first time. Chris then proceeded to swing his first ball to the square leg boundary for four. Game back on; seven off four. In spite of Chris and Simmy’s best efforts a couple of singles were all that could be managed and we got to the last ball with the skipper on strike and with five needed - a maximum was required. The ball was flighted into the “slot” and the skipper with his ample frame swung with all of his might into the ball and it flew skywards towards long on. The fielder ran in and the ball sailed over his head – but to the disappointment of Forthill and the delight of Arbroath, it plugged into the turf some ten yards inside the rope and only two runs were collected and the victory (and promotion?) went to the home side by a slender 2 run margin. Simmy finished a gallant 22 not out. A season’s best score….!!!
Summed up as a “great game of cricket” the young Arbroath side (plus of course the more mature D Bridges) trooped off delighted and were deserved winners.
The young talent in the Arbroath ranks is clear to see and they also played this game in a great spirit - and showed the way cricket should always be played. A credit to their club – our congratulations go to them. For Forthill XI it was a huge disappointment. We contributed to a great game of cricket but fell just short.
For once, the Man of the Match Award went to a member of the opposition and this was Craig Cameron of Arbroath who came on and bowled really well at the end of the innings and won his side the match. He receives a burger flipping kit, a pancake flipping pan and some flippers courtesy of Lindsay Cameron of Forfarshire CC who may or may not be a relation????
On reflection for 2011, the main purpose of this team for our club is to ensure the development and progression of our younger cricketers and to this end the season was a huge success. In spite of the disappointment of the miserable weather conditions and the even bigger disappointment of facing cancelled games due to teams not raising a side or being unwilling to play in less than perfect conditions; our youngsters have ALL improved greatly and we have a lot to be pleased about as a club. Over the season we have also seen the emergence into senior cricket of a new crop of players from our under 13 team in Christian, Jack and Callum and the club’s future does indeed look bright.
So a curtain falls on another season. 2011 will be best remembered for the dreadful weather, soft wickets and some minging teas. Let’s hope the Olympic year of 2012 brings sunny skies, hard pitches and cordon bleu cooking to the pastures of Scottish Cricket – and we see some gold medal winning performances.
Most importantly, let’s hope we see no more casualties among our already small number of clubs - and if teams are struggling let’s hope that as a cricket community we can gather round and help them survive rather than stand back and watch them slip into oblivion.
For all of our cricketing friends across the country who for some perverse reason seem to check in and read this nonsense every week – thank you for your support. We wish you a healthy and happy winter and look forward to welcoming you all to Forthill next season – and to visiting your grounds for some magnificent home baking in 2012…..!!!
Arbroath United 2nd XI Batting
for 9 wickets
199 (0.0 overs)
b S Hill
b S Hill
ct & b A Hill
ct Welsh b A Cameron
ct S Hill b A Cameron
ct D Sim b Welsh
ct A Hill b A Cameron
st D Sim b Walker
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
for 9 wickets
ct Pedgrift b Fleming
st Swann b Fleming
b BA Carnegie
ct Plomer b BA Carnegie
st Swann b BA Carnegie
ct Pedgrift b Cameron
Arbroath United 2nd XI Bowling
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