ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
St.Modans v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sat 09 Jun 2012 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Lost 7 wickets
After heavy rain all week there was some doubt as to whether Forthill 2nd XI’s latest away jaunt would go ahead at all. However, after some respite from the precipitation on Friday and a Saturday forecast of showers - the game was given the go ahead. The longest trip of the season to play St Modans at Bannockburn was the allotted fixture and a tough encounter was in prospect against the unbeaten league leaders.
Simmy Senior was back in charge and expertly managed to shoe horn the whole team into two cars – one of which admittedly was his Mean Machine which was complete with Scooby snacks to keep the numerous youngsters in the side happy. The skipper was wearing a natty t shirt/white trainers/shell pants combo which made him look like a cross between Fifty Cent and Colin Montgomerie. Abdullah was posted missing at the appointed meeting venue and a succession of phone calls finally revealed a “family communication mix up” which basically meant he was still in his scratcher. He seemed less than keen to rise from his slumber; however one senior player gave him little option by advising him he would be arriving outside his front door in five minutes and that he would be expected to be ready. He thankfully agreed to go along with this command and we therefore travelled with the full compliment.
There were numerous changes to the line up from the last couple of weeks which meant a very youthful side took the park; with no fewer than seven players being 16 years old or younger. With the wicket not surprisingly looking soft after extensive midweek rain - the winning of the toss would again prove vital and our skipper has been having a poor run of late in that department. The definition of “of late” being the last sixteen years... The players watched with anticipation from the sidelines as the coin was flipped and it became obvious what the outcome had been given the way the skipper slowly walked towards us with shoulders hunched and a look of dejection on his face. He had called wrongly and we had been inserted on a green top.....yet again!
The visitors boast a professional in their ranks in the shape of the likeable South African Craig Matthew who has plied his trade in the Stirling area for a number of years now. A useful left arm opening bowler and hard hitting batsman he invariably has an effect on the outcome of a game and today was to be no different. He opened up the bowling from one end and the slightly less pacy Wilson was at the other end. Our opening pair of Jack and Junior found the going tough and scoring runs was proving difficult against some accurate bowling. Various bowling changes failed to allow us to up the scoring rate and Bridie was finally castled for 3.
Clark came to the wicket intent on upping the run rate, but only succeeded in aiming various clumsy sclaffs at almost every delivery he faced and was soon on his way back to the pavilion for a very shoddy 10. He was the latest SPCU player to fall to St Modans wicket machine Raza who has picked up an incredible amount of scalps this season. Coming in off a couple of paces he relies on accuracy and inswing to take his wickets and is very effective indeed. He went on to collect 4 for 10 in this game to add to his massive haul for the season and one can only think that a call up to the Saltires is only a matter of time. Glenn and Jack then proceeded to put together the only really meaningful partnership of the innings. Glenn started slowly before chipping in with some lusty blows in a good 31. The star visiting batsman on the day however was definitely Jack. He displayed great temperament and skill and batted over 30 overs on a very tricky wicket against a good and varied bowling attack. He was unfortunate to fall just short of a well deserved 50 and at just 14 years of age he continues to show great promise. Unfortunately Jack and Glenn fell in quick succession and Craig followed the older McConnachie in being bowled by Raza. Abdullah then wished he had stayed in his bed when Raza knocked his stumps over first ball before Sim Senior thankfully avoided the hat trick. The skipper played well over the closing overs to see us to a fighting total of 140 for 8 – and was especially well supported by young Calum who played some very nice shots indeed.
The home skipper Matthew marshalled his troops well and the home team bowled impressively throughout. We somehow avoided the showers that were clearly in the area; and with the pitch drying out all the time the homesters seemed well set at tea to take the points.
The tea adjudicator committed a schoolboy error by not realising that the Invergowrie service station was closed for refurbishment and therefore was starving – having eaten nothing since his breakfast. Record searches had shown that previous visits to Bannockburn had yielded good tea points so hopes were high for a hefty plate of goodies to fill the Forthill bellies. The first surprise came when tea was taken outside at the well used picnic table which is designed for six people maximum - so many players were forced to stand and take tea buffet style. One wondered if this Garden Party theme was perhaps related to the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations? Some sausage rolls and a limited sandwich selection was rolled out along with a singular plate of Rocky biscuits. We waited for the follow up cakes to appear but none were forthcoming. The players had to go and hunt down the teapot from within the clubhouse and initially it contained only hot water. Teabags were thankfully located and inserted into the teapot to provide a belated but welcome brew. Overall the assembled throng were left unsatisfied and the tea adjudicator was seen contemplating a quick dash to the chipper on the High Street - but time was not on his side for that venture. Overall this was therefore not a stellar offer and a perhaps generous four out of ten was awarded.
Craig and Jack opened up and both bowled very accurately and after ten overs only twelve runs were scored. Craig bowled the older and less good looking Pollock ( Note to George - Alex told me to write that) and this seemed a mistake when home pro Matthew came to the wicket and from his first ball launched a vicious attack on the visiting bowling. It seemed to anyone present that he either had a very hot date or was a closet Denmark fan and wanted to see the second half as he continued to pile into the bowling in search of an early finish. Morgan was introduced to the attack and induced a rare false shot which flew in the direction of Chubbsy on the deep mid wicket boundary and a game changing moment arrived. Chubbsy moved nicely into position, the ball fell snugly into his upturned hands and it seemed like we were back in the game; however the ball inexplicably jumped out at the vital moment of pouching and sadly landed on the soft St Modans turf.
With this reprieve, Matthews went on to score 77 fine runs in brutal fashion before Chubbsy had a small amount of revenge when he pouched him at long off from the bowling of Abdullah........who had by now woken up. But the damage was done, the bulk of the runs had been scored and St Modans knocked off the remaining runs needed to win by seven wickets. The first raindrops of the day started to fall as the players left the field and a few minutes later a monsoon erupted. Clearly the home team had been tuned into the Weather Channel and not Euro 2012 when deciding to make haste - and their tactics paid off with the securing of 25 points.
This was a harsh lesson for the very young visiting attack as they ran into “the pro” in this mood– but one they will no doubt remember and become better players because of the experience. Up front Craig and Jack bowled well – and in the crazy overs Morgan and Blair also showed some nice slow bowling in spite of some harsh punishment. Abdullah picked up a couple of wickets late on and also bowled well.
So the trip to Bannockburn left us with a low points haul and the undefeated league leaders march on. This correspondent finds the St Modans lads a very committed yet sporting group and always enjoys the tussles with them. Memories of football games down the years against Milton AFC who share the facilities with them also come flooding back whenever I am in this part of the world.
In conversation during the day; it was disappointing to hear that the home umpire had been given some cyber abuse after a recent game. We have always found the gentleman in question to be very fair, efficient and sporting in everything he does. We wish him well and hope he will continue to don the white coat - and also that he will continue to give us a shot of his wee ball counting device instead of scrambling around looking for stones. So we squeezed into the allotted vehicles and headed back home to Broughty Ferry and on the journey it became clear that some areas close by had seen some serious rain. One wondered if we had managed to keep the game going a bit longer whether the weather might have saved us – but in reality St Modans thoroughly deserved the 25 points on offer.
Blair was still nursing a sore shoulder after attempting a caught and bowled from a hard hit drive which slipped through his fingers and thudded into his upper arm. The force of the blow was such that it brought water to his eyes and no wonder given the pain he was clearly in. This event lead to discussion about the Walker family and any previous event that may have brought tears to any of their eyes – and it was exclusively revealed that Mr Walker Senior (Teddy) recently also had water in his eyes. Not from a return catch or a sporting injury – but perhaps surprisingly he apparently blubbered whilst watching Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent....
Next week sees us welcome Coupar Angus to Forthill and hopefully the rain will relent and allow the game to take place in pleasant cricket conditions. This fixture normally sees the renewal of the Carnegie family cricketing rivalry with Uncle Grant locking horns with nephew Glenn.
Paddy Power have actually opened a special book on this pair with odds as follows:
Grant to bowl Glenn – 2/1;
Glenn to bowl Grant – evens;
Grant to hit Glenn for a six – 25/1
Glenn to hit Grant for a six – 6/1
Grant to call Glenn a naughty name – 2/1
Glenn to speak to Grant – 1000/1
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
for 8 wickets
ct b McPake
ct b Matthews
ct b McPake
4nb 7w 1b 2lb
for 3 wickets
144 (28.3 overs)
ct S Sim b Awan
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
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