ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
Coupar Angus v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sun 25 Aug 2013 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Won 7 wickets
Forthill 2nd XI made the short journey to Coupar Angus in their final SPCU Division 1 away league fixture of the 2013 season. With Forthill sitting in second place in the league, word had come through that current league leaders Dalnacraig had won the previous day; so the Ferry lads knew that a victory was required to take the title chase down to the wire next week on Super Saturday....
The players gathered and there was immediate concern when it became apparent that Sim Junior was in charge of transport!!! With perhaps understandable surprise for many, the required number of cars was found and we set off up the road to rural Perthshire. The continued absence of the designated skipper has lead to extensive enquiries to try and determine the full extent of his dancing prowess. Why has the Chief Inspector been putting his dancing ahead of his cricket? It turns out that he has been away on a two week intensive course of ballroom dancing with the aim of improving not only his dancing technique, but also his running between the wickets and also his nimbleness in the field. This radical new course he has attended and indeed invented with Russell Grant is entitled Dancing Moves for Cricket Excellence.
Apparently for next week’s game he has perfected a new style pirouette when turning for a second run; which involves getting up on his toes at the point of turning and spinning round 360 degrees before heading back down the wicket. Apparently the Sim Turn can knock an average of 1.63 seconds off a standard two runs. In the field he has also apparently perfected a dance jump that can be utilised in the mid wicket area when the ball has been hit in the air – ideally hard and flat around eight or nine feet in the air directly above your head. The Davie Dive sees you bouncing twice simultaneously on the balls of both feet and then leaping high with palms facing upwards and tests show that incredible feats of elevation and hang can be achieved. Catches should be the result. The cricket world is waiting to see these moves being unveiled next Saturday, with the Sky Sports News cameras having already block booked the AG Walker Stand apparently.
So, with the Chief Inspector once again absent, the Transport Manager took on the captaincy duties.
We found ourselves fielding first on the artificial wicket and a surprisingly well trimmed outfield for the time of year was in evidence. We knew that the home team possessed a good batting line up with solid players at the top of the order and dangerous middle order hitters so this would be a tough game. The stand in skipper stamped his authority on proceedings immediately by despatching senior pro Clark down to third man and placing himself in the senior pro’s normal position of first slip. It has to be mentioned that Clark has a 100% record of pouching catches in that berth since 1996 – but none the less Sim Jr sent him out to grass and placed himself in that vital spot. Three balls in and Samir induced the very dependable Nelson into an edge and a regulation catch was sent towards the skipper at first slip. A very welcome early wicket was expected when suddenly......CLANK. Down it went. Sim Junior’s face went the colour of the cricket ball.
Nelson and Neave had racked up many runs against us before and in spite of decent bowling up front from Samir and Hogey, they looked pretty comfortable and were ticking along at 3 an over. Then, Nelson hit one firmly to Rojo at cover and set off for a single but a fine pick up and throw from Rojo left young Neave stranded and he was run out by a distance. West Indian Thorne came to the crease and played some expansive and powerful shots and a chance to dismiss him was put down in the deep. Craig then induced an edge and a nice deflection off Deano’s gloves sent the ball lobbing to first slip and a vital wicket was already being celebrated by all as it headed towards the skipper’s hands when..... CLANK..... down it went! The skipper’s face looked as if he had just spent ten hours under a sun bed.
Craig tricked Nelson into hitting one to cover and thankfully Thorne hit one out to point soon after from Rojo and Craig took a fine low catch. Home skipper Eddington is also a powerful striker of the ball and he looked in good touch and we were pleased to see the back of him and then Croll came to the crease. He is another powerful middle order striker and he played some fine lusty shots on his way to 47 including a couple of fine gluteus maximums off Ted. The tail ticked along slowly and Coupar Angus were finally dismissed in the second last over for what the visitors felt was a very competitive 190 runs on the plastic surface.
The visiting bowlers struggled all day with their run ups from the grass to the artificial surface; and a sizeable number of wides and no balls were conceded - and the overall fielding was not quite of the usual high standard.
We had a neutral umpire for the day and his strict interpretation of the wide rule also added to the extras count. Perhaps the authorities need to consider some leniency in Division 1 when administering wides – which is what the players do when they are self policing games at this level.... This is not a criticism of the umpire who was merely following the rules – but merely a suggestion to enhance the players combined cricketing experience at this level on a weekend...
The cricket sideshow over – we headed to tea and knew that this was the final chance of the season for an opposition side to take the Golden Urn away from the home team who were sitting in pole position with a season’s best 8 out of 10 mark from last week.
As defending champions, Coupar Angus were expected to pose a major threat to their title chances, especially when Mrs Neave was spotted mid innings transporting a massive cake tin towards the pavilion. The cake was unveiled and certainly did not disappoint - and was its usual nice moist sponge, perfect consistency, well filled and full of flavour. If this was a cake contest, it would have been game over.....but this is all about the overall tea; so what of the other fare on offer? The sandwich content was nicely mixed, if a little top heavy on ham fillings. The quantities were ok and the fact there were leftovers told the story that there was ample. The fact that Sim Sr was missing from the line up was perhaps a factor in this as well of course. The other sweet treats were mainly of the mass manufactured Kipling variety and with tea served in paper cups and the fare placed on paper plates deductions were taken. The overall presentation was also perhaps slightly lacking with the sandwiches mainly housed in Tupperware containers and difficult to reach at times.
Perhaps the deciding factor in deciding the winner of this year’s Urn ; was when the tea adjudicator noticed that the paved patio area immediately outside the tea pavilion was populated by some doggie doo doo and a further half mark was deducted for this blemish. Another half mark was then deducted when the Coupar Angus players tried to blame this on Ted....
After deliberating with his colleagues, the adjudicator settled on a mark of 7 out of 10 for Coupar Angus and this means that with just one home fixture remaining in 2013; the Golden Urn for this year goes to Forthill 2nd XI.
When informed of the victory via a live BBC News feed, Dave T (head chef at the Forthill Cafe) was close to tears and paid tribute to his heroes Gordon Ramsay and Gordon Galloway who have been a tea preparing inspiration to him throughout his career. He then had a group hug with Freda to celebrate.
Back to the cricket...
With 191 runs required against a good and experienced bowling attack we knew we would have to play well; and the now established opening pair of Callum and Christian headed to the middle. Unfortunately it was not Christian’s day and his departure brought Rojo to the crease. He and Callum batted well against the home attack and both played some fine shots all around the wicket. It was great to see Ex Forthill star Grant Carnegie in the visitor’s line up and it was he who induced Callum to hit one in aerial fashion to long off and he departed for a fine 39 runs. The top four was made up in full by Under 15 players; and Hogey was next to the crease. He and Rojo carried on in fine style and took us towards the winning post before Rojo was caught behind the wicket for a fine 67 runs.
Craig joined Hogey and saw us to the winning total, with Hogey scoring the winning runs and completing a fine 50 at the same time.
This was another fine run chase against a good bowling line up and credit once again goes to our young batsmen for a fine display. The victory means that the SPCU division one title race goes to the final games of the season next Saturday, with Forthill 2nd XI just one per cent behind Dalnacraig at the top.
Next week, Dalnacraig head to Coupar Angus knowing that victory will give them the title, whilst at the same time Forthill 2nd XI will entertain Breadalbane looking to win themselves and hope for a Heh Skale slip up....
No matter what happens, this has been an outstanding season for Forthill 2nd XI with brilliant performances from all of our young players across the year.
Callum, Christian, Jack, Craig, Rojo, Chris, Midge, Morgan, Samir, Blair, Connor and Cameron have played and formed the real backbone of the side - and have all contributed greatly to the team’s success and this has been fine reward for all of their hard work, training and effort.
The facilities at Coupar Angus are fine and are especially marked by a sizeable toilet in which you could easily hold a small function - such as a christening for example. Unfortunately the lock is not working though, so if you do have to visit the facilities for a number two then you do have to be very aware of anyone coming in to the toilet area unexpectedly – with the seat being located some distance from the door. The best move is to ideally go at home before getting to Larghan Park, but the next best idea is to sing loudly whilst in the sitting position..... Our young wicketkeeper unfortunately learned the hard way what needs to be done in such situations – and he now knows that the key element is not so much the song choice, but the decibel level. No doubt in future rather than humming his favourite One Direction number..........he will instead belt out “I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in” at the very top of his voice.
The players headed back to the car park to collect their vehicles for the journey home – at which point the Transport Manager counted the cars and realised we were one short. It transpired that the missing vehicle was his own and he started to look up country lanes and behind trees for his (Mum’s) car. Much giggling ensued among the players and it transpired that some jokers had in fact moved the vehicle to another location mid innings without the transport manager’s knowledge... With the missing vehicle recovered, both teams gathered for a post match drink in the nearby hotel bar where the Forthill players had a whip round and gave the Coupar Angus players twenty pounds each in anticipation of a big effort by them to gub the Heh Skale next Saturday.
So that is the league road trips over for another year. 2013 has seen some good away jaunts and some great memories have been banked. Let’s hope the sun shines next weekend and we can sign off the season with a good game at Forthill next Saturday......and whatever happens 2013 will go down as a great season for Forthill 2nd XI.
Coupar Angus Batting
for 10 wickets
190 (44.5 overs)
ct Johnston b McConnachie
ct McConnachie jnr b Johnston
ct Welsh b Johnston
ct McConnachie jnr b Walker
ct Garden b Walker
st Garden b Sargeant
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
for 3 wickets
ct Thorne b Oswald
ct Croll b Carnegie
ct Eddington b Nelson
Coupar Angus Bowling
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