St.Andrews University Staff v ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sun 27 Jul 2014 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Won 22 runs

Match report Forthill 2nd XI headed over the Tay Bridge into the kingdom of Fife for a first ever league encounter against St Andrews University Staff. The St Andrews side entered SPCU division 1 for the first time this year after back to back league victories in previous seasons.

After safely negotiating passport control at the Fife side of the bridge, we kept our heads down going past the hub of the Fife Liberation Army in Leuchars and arrived in one piece at the ground. We found the stadium without difficulty as it is also used by that other famous Fife team, Kinloch, whom we have played here many times before. It is also used as a training base by lower league football team Dundee Hibernian FC and occasionally by good football teams as well, such as UK Championship runners up Manchester City. As a reminder they lost to Dundee FC in the UK Champions Final a few weeks back.

There had been some heavy precipitation overnight (that means rain for the less well educated readers) and that left the wicket looking a bit tricky to bat on. This was a day when winning the toss and inserting the opposition was essential. Fresh from a hearty pre match health snack (more of that later) Skipper Sim made his way to the centre of the oval and trudged back wearily having lost the toss and been asked to bat first. The St Andrews opening bowlers were of the steady medium pace variety but by simply bowling the ball in the general direction of the wickets it was jagging around, lifting and generally making batting very tricky. It can certainly be assumed that Alistair Cook would have been dismissed cheaply on this track............and probably Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen (if selected) as well.

Calum and Craig opened up and were both dismissed playing standard Forthill style off drives. Normally these would have been routine strokes; but on this occasion against popping deliveries they were subsequently pouched in the covers. Clark and Andy were next to have a go and Clark could be overheard telling his junior partner that this would be a war of attrition, that blocking was the order of the day and that digging in was essential. He then proceeded to do the exact opposite and swung three quick boundaries before missing a straight one - with the pitch blameless on this occasion! Christian joined Andy and against continued tight bowling they grafted hard before Christian was run out. This brought Cammy and Andy together and they proceeded to play very sensibly for a number of overs. Andy was defiant in defence and Cammy a bit more expansive and taking the aerial leg side route on numerous occasions much to the annoyance of the home bowlers. Off spinner Anderson who had been flown in from the headland of Largo as a guest for the day was particularly frugal in bowling 9 overs for just 11 runs. Andy and Cammy both finally departed; then skipper Sim came in and mixed obdurate defence with some more expansive stroke play. This allied to some controlled running between the wickets added more very valuable runs. Unfortunately Samir could not keep up with the skipper and was run out. The main aim of using up the overs was achieved and a decent 119 for 9 was posted at the close of the innings. The old sages in the Forthill line up felt that 100 was probably a par score on this track, so they were fairly content with the final total. The home bowlers did well and had a nice selection of medium pace and spin options to call upon and credit goes to them.

The long trek back to the pavilion was undertaken and memories of not so fine teas flooded back. Thankfully this was not one of these, and this was indeed a tea to remember and easily the finest ever seen by a Forthill side when visiting St Andrews. The home players had provided a terrific spread. Copious amounts of sandwiches with a fine array of fillings. Some delightful cakes including a beautiful toffee sponge type offering that even Mrs Neave at Coupar Angus would have been proud of. A nice touch of family bags of Doritos and even some fresh fruit. All washed down with a nice cup of tea, two juice options for the kiddiewinks and wait for it........even some pleasant cricket chat between the teams - and you could see this was a cricket tea to savour. The tea adjudicator was very pleased and had there been a lady to pour the tea then a maximum could have been in the offing, however in spite of the lack of female service; a season’s best 9 out of 10 was awarded and this puts St Andrews University Staff in pole position to win the 2014 Golden Urn.

Suitably refreshed, the teams took the field for innings two and the attempt to defend 119 runs began for the visitors. The bad news was that the sunshine that drenched the pitch all first innings had clearly made batting easier as the day progressed. Whilst there was still some assistance for the bowlers, it would still be a tough task to win this game. Craig and Andy opened up and both bowled well and made sure there was no runaway start, indeed the opposite happened and pressure was built on the home team. Christian came on first change and clearly his type of bowling was suited to conditions as he extracted lots of movement and proceeded to take 4 for 3 from six excellent overs and this swung the game in the direction of Forthill. A great spell from Christian. With Samir bowling well at the other end the runs had dried up and wickets were falling, but the home middle order dug in and stemmed the flow of wickets whilst picking up runs here and there. The game was still tight when the skipper turned to the dual spin attack of Morgan and Blair. They did well and whilst some runs came along, Blair (bowling in a Technicolour Dreamcoat) picked up a couple of wickets and hopes were high of a victory.

The tension was broken when the home umpire insisted on helping our wicketkeeper out, having noticed that his shoelace was untied and he was worried our glove man may trip and fall. The umpire kindly bent down and tied the shoelace to ensure player safety was maintained. This was of course much to the amusement of the Forthill lads, who knew that the particular shoelace in question had been untied since 1983. Thankfully the umpire stopped short of tucking the wicketkeeper’s shirt in! A late flourish from the home team kept the game going, however Andy returned to pick up the last wicket and the game was over with the home team all out for 97 runs in the 43rd over. As is often the case, low scoring games on tricky pitches can often be the closest and most exciting of contests. Whilst not a great game for spectators or players looking to see lots of runs scored, it is still a battle of wits and skill for the connoisseur. This was one of those games. Full credit goes to the young Forthill bowling attack for a fine display of controlled bowling; and credit also goes to the home team for playing well throughout. The game was conducted in a competitive yet fine spirit all day. Special mention goes to home batsman Stan for walking when caught behind. It would be nice to see more player honesty of this kind at this level of cricket. The win keeps Forthill in the title race, tucked in alongside Kinloch in second place and still within touching distance of league leaders Rossie Priory whose game was cancelled due to the weather on Saturday.

Off the pitch, much has been made of the skipper’s pre match routine in recent weeks and he has been quick to defend his eating habits, amid his claims that he is on a very healthy pre match feed of muesli and semi skimmed milk. Rumours also persists of a secret Sunday morning brunch club which meets quietly in the Forthill bar every week - and these have also been denied. We sent our undercover reporter to Forthill on Sunday morning to try and find out once and all for whether this Brunch Club actually exists; and if it does........are they eating healthy food or not? The secret sheikh (posing as a Forthill cricketer) therefore entered the premises at Forthill on Sunday 25th July 2014 and he pretended that he was looking for a missing children’s cricket bat. Upon entering the bar area, there before him perched on two high stools were the club grounds man and the third team skipper, munching on a wide array of snacks with the main content comprising bacon rolls and sticky buns. It was very clear that the Brunch Club exists............but this is no muesli appreciation society! With the aid of secret hidden camera technology, we have exclusive snaps of the skipper and the food in question. When the secret sheikh revealed his true identity and confronted the chief inspector with the facts; he turned red and admitted his guilt. He had no choice as you can see from the images. The skipper has now been booked into the (Rossie) Priory Clinic where he will be forced to survive on a diet of second team cricket teas. It is anticipated that upon his release in two weeks he will no longer have a taste for fine foods and will instead be living on grass and tap water.

The Brunch Club has now been disbanded amongst rumours that the illegal use of the clubhouse out with official opening hours has been challenged by the Forthill Squash Club. Next week, the third team have a home Sunday league fixture against Kinross and look forward to a good game. Above all, hopefully further sunshine will prevail in the coming seven days.

ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 9 wickets

(45.0 overs)
Callum Garden ct Dalton b Millar 9
Craig McConnachie ct Dalton b Millar 0
Clark McConnachie b Stewart 14 1
Andrew Cameron ct Anderson b Franklin 13
Christian Robertson Run out  2
Cameron Walker b Anderson 34 1
David Sim ct Threlfall 21 1 1
Samir Hill Run out  6 1
Iain Lockhart ct Smith b Millar 2
Morgan Sargeant Not Out  0 1
Blair Walker Not Out  0

St.Andrews University Staff Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

St.Andrews University Staff Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
97 (42.2 overs)
D Bransden b Robertson 13
A Stewart lbw Cameron 2
S Frankland ct Sim b Robertson 20
P Smith b Hill 0
A Anderson ct C Walker b Robertson 4
G Dalton st Sim b B Walker 9
D Millar ct McConnachie snr b Robertson 1
P Jess ct Hill b B Walker 8
S Threlfall ct Sergeant b B Walker 1
P Pass Not Out  18
S Bardsley b Cameron 5

ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Craig McConnachie7.011300.001.86
Andrew Cameron8.2122211.002.64
Samir Hill9.0118118.002.00
Christian Robertson6.04340.750.50
Morgan Sargeant6.011700.002.83
Blair Walker6.011836.003.00