ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
St.Modans v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sat 30 Aug 2014 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Lost 109 runs
The final game of the season arrived; and the day had a distinctly autumnal feel to it as the players of Forthill 2nd XI gathered on the steps at Forthill ahead of their trip to Bannockburn to face St Modans. There had been some team raising issues for the club during the week - and a plethora of excuses for unavailability raised their heads. These ranged from football (playing), football (watching – very poor excuse), hockey (playing), weddings (attending), injuries (soothing), performing (Joseph!), working (grafting) and holidays (sunbathing).
In addition to the massive list of unavailable players, league rules forbid using players who have played a certain amount of first team games; so this restricted our options even more as we scurried around to find the required 22 bodies for the day’s cricket.
The second team were due to play in Aberdeen and by coincidence they had the same meet time as the third team; but word came through that Mannofield had once again been struck by very heavy showers and that game was therefore called off. Second team players started to eye spots in the third team; and considered whether some of those drafted in might want to go shopping with their mum rather than play cricket. But as ever, it was felt unfair to even ask that question of anyone who had committed to play; so it was a very young third team that jumped into the cars and headed west. Greg was unsure of the whereabouts of the Bannockburn ground. He was also without printed directions or any modern navigation aids; so in old fashioned style it was decided he would follow someone. Clark was nominated.
Before departure, Greg failed to advise the lead vehicle that he drove a hearse as a day job - and this meant that for the majority of the journey Clark spent his time looking in his rear view mirror wondering where Greg was. To allow the following vehicle to catch up, Clark decided to stop at the Little Chef in Dunblane for an Olympic Breakfast, two cups of coffee, a strawberry filled pancake and a read of the Daily Record; but still Greg did not catch up. Just when an emergency call to the police was planned, we spotted him in the slipstream of a combine harvester - and thereafter he thankfully managed to keep up and we located the ground safely. We arrived with ten minutes to spare and made our apologies to sundry opponents and umpires. In spite of our very slow progress, we still managed to arrive before Sim Jr who was the skipper for the day. It transpired that in spite of having all manner of modern navigation aids - he still managed to get lost...!!!
Sim Jr was phoned and he advised thought he was close by – but he authorised a substitute captain to be despatched to the middle and the instructions were given that we should field first if at all possible. He presumably used Google Earth to survey the ground conditions before taking this important decision. Clark took the walk to the middle and won the toss and despite the temptation to go against the skipper’s wishes; he did the needful. In spite of the travel difficulties, the game started amazingly promptly - and the background to the fixture was that St Modans had to win to avoid the drop and to consign St Andrews University Staff to bottom spot. The game also had some meaning for the visitors who could still finish second; but the battle to stave off relegation was the big news of the day.
Craig and Kailas opened up and the St Modans openers in standard fashion gave the ball a belt. Sultan (40) was the hitter in chief on this occasion. Kailas struck when he got Mehboob out LBW and the opening bowlers stuck to their task well. Kailas came off due to under age bowling restriction rules and Craig switched ends to complete his own spell. The remainder of the bowling attack was made up of young spinners in the shape of Morgan, Cameron, James (on third team debut) and Chris (on third team debut). They all stuck well to the task against what was a very experienced St Modans batting line up. Their line up was supplemented at number four by Jason Atkins who was obviously a player of some class and he compiled an excellent 65 which was the mainstay of the innings.
An interesting event occurred at drinks when the skipper could be seen scurrying into the pavilion before re-emerging looking very flustered with his car keys in hand. He then made a dash for his car which was parked in full view of the playing area and fairly adjacent to the pavilion. A quick push of the key fob gave him reassurance that he had remembered to securely lock the vehicle. He seemed very relieved. Perhaps one day we will find out where this paranoia over perhaps losing his car has come from?
Now looking more relaxed, the skipper overlooked the claims of more experienced and historically more talented bowlers - and decided to bowl himself at the death. We witnessed a fine three over spell of fast, bodyline bowling and he got some reward when he bounced out a shocked looking Seshagiri for 41. Credit goes to St Modans for batting well on a sticky pitch and credit also to the young Forthill lads who stuck to the task all innings. The upshot was the home team ended on a highly impressive 221 for 7.
The Golden Urn for 2014 was on the line as we headed for tea. This was a standard St Modans offer of the outside catering variety. Neatly quartered sandwiches filled with the likes of processed ham, mild cheddar and tuna in brine. Also available were cakes of the Kipling sort and some succulent sausage rolls. Females were in attendance (although only in a background supportive role) and a nice mug of tea was offered from a silver teapot. A TV which gave out the day’s football scores was also welcome – although the news that Dundee United had taken the lead at St Mirren made the adjudicator feel a bit queasy. There was just enough food to feed the masses; and when all was said and done the tea was “nice” and a six out of ten was awarded. But “nice” is not good enough to win the Urn, so the 2014 Golden Urn goes to St Andrews University Staff. Congratulations go to them on winning the urn at the first time of asking.
The second innings commenced and Forthill knew that if they were going to have another St Andrews University tea in 2015, then they would need to knock off the runs and preserve the Fife team’s Division One status. The homesters opened up with Wilson off his usual long run up and delivering his usual deceptively slow deliveries. On the sticky surface he was tricky to get away, but he dropped one short to Deano who clubbed it heavily through mid wicket – but it went straight into the hands of Mehboob who took a fine catch. Greg followed soon after and this brought Cameron and Clark to the crease. Cameron flicked Wilson around the corner only to see Etheridge take a magnificent low one handed effort. Craig was then undone by a slower ball from Wilson and the writing was on the wall. “Dibbly dobbly dismisses dodgy Dundonians on damp deck “was once again the looming headline! Wilson finished with 3 for 13. The visitors were in trouble. The acting skipper came in and he and Clark rebuilt to some effect, but with the bowling tight they were falling behind the run rate. At drinks, the decision was made to have a swish; however Clark (26 - runs not years) fell soon after to a fine catch behind by Atkins off an under edge from the impressive Raza (3 for 20). Morgan hit some lusty blows, but when he succumbed, the young lads to follow found the task a bit beyond them and Seshagiri (3 for 13) came on and cleaned up the tail. This left the skipper to do his best; but when he was last man out for a fine 45 the innings closed on 112 all out and a hefty 109 run defeat was dished out.
Credit goes to St Modans who played well over the whole game and were deserved victors and as an upshot preserved their Division one status. For the young Forthill team it was mainly a day to gain experience. The young spinners all performed well and for James and Chris on debut it was a fine effort. Young James has the surname Sim, but his family have asked us to point out that he is not a relation in any way shape or form to the Sim family who control the Forthill 2nd XI. The one thing that did happen on Saturday when James was bowling - was the uttering of the phrase “well bowled Simmy”. This phrase had never been heard before in the history of Forthill cricket. Apologies go from the club to the parents of the youngsters who made the return journey home in Greg’s car. It is not normal for the children to get home at 2am in the morning.
Chips were purchased for the standard paced vehicles - and both the French fries and the season were digested on the way home. We had some good wins once again and ended up in third spot on the ladder. The club’s youngsters almost exclusively bowled the overs across the whole season which can only be good for the future. Indeed, the youngsters did the bulk of the work for the team and many progressed to play regular second team cricket which is the whole point for us as a club! As a little bit of icing on the cake; we also managed to win the Two Counties Cup on an excellent finals day in Perth.
Huge gratitude once again goes out to the Chief Inspector (aka David Sim) who has as always marshalled the troops brilliantly and does untold work behind the scenes. Thanks also go to the vice captain in the shape of Sim Jr who also did a fine job whenever called upon to skipper the side. Thanks also go to them both for providing some comedy gold moments to illuminate these reports – and for taking any ribbing in great part. Thanks also go to the groundsman for providing nice pitches all season. Our thanks go as well to our webmaster who ensures we are kept up to date with all things Forfarshire during the year - and who also censors these reports very well and keeps me out of trouble! And last but not least, our thanks go to Chef Dave for ensuring the limited fare we provide for teas every week somehow look magnificent - and for organising the behind the scenes effort for the whole club so fantastically well over the whole season.
Most importantly of all, congratulations go to St Andrews University Staff on winning the Golden Urn 2014. It is pleasing to report that the tea standard in SPCU Division One has been of a good level this year and the important event of the cricket tea is being well preserved.
So that brings the 2014 cricket season to an end. From a Forfarshire perspective, we continue to work very hard to get kids to play cricket from a young age and try to teach them how to play the sport in the right way. The role of Forthill 2nd XI (the club’s third eleven) is to give these emerging kids experience of senior cricket and help them to progress in the game. We always try and teach them to play the game in the right spirit - and it is pleasing to report that this season we have seen very little in the way of bad sportsmanship in the league and we hope that is a trend that continues.
It is a real worry that some clubs are finding it hard to raise teams. With most clubs having “ageing populations” it is a concern that in the coming seasons we might see a further reduction in cricket clubs in the area. I hope that the SPCU recognises this and works to help clubs not only survive – but thrive. To do this we perhaps need to reduce the amount of regulations we have in place (particularly at lower levels) which I think is hindering progress among clubs looking to enjoy social cricket – and players who simply want to play and enjoy the sport. We need to ensure that we make it easier for people to play the game. This might mean considering more locally arranged fixtures to reduce travel, shorter games to reduce the time needed to play the sport, the option to easily play for different clubs to increase player pools, a midweek T20 league to let clubs play this format if they prefer, a more sporting approach between clubs to ensure fair contests, and help with reducing costs where possible. Without the association and the clubs working together and helping each other to make life easy.........then I fear we will not protect the game in this area. Once clubs are gone, they are gone forever. Blairgowrie, Kirriemuir, Cliftonbank, Lawside FP, Grove FP, Telecoms, Cupar and Kingsway are just some of the clubs that have gone by the wayside....
For an old codger like me it is a welcome moment to put the whites in the attic for another year. God willing they will be dusted down next April and we will see if the old legs have another season in them.
Thanks to everyone who has played against Forthill 2nd XI this season. Thanks also to everyone who reads this nonsense.
Have a good winter (The Tea Adjudicator)
for 7 wickets
221 (45.0 overs)
ct S Sim b J Sim
lbw C Walker
ct Hayes b J Sim
ct Garden b S Sim
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
for 10 wickets
ct G Pollock b Sulton
ct Seshgari b Wilson
ct Etheridge b Wilson
ct Wilson b Raza
ct G Pollock b Seshgari
ct A Pollock b Seshgari
James (jnr) Girolami
ct Etheridge b Seshgari
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