Loretto fixtures  - March and May 2014

Eric Edwards reports ...

Carlton girls two opening kwik-cricket fixtures this season were both against our old friends from Loretto. The first two matches were played indoors back in March, while on the 18th May we ventured to the Musselburgh seaside for another 2 games outdoors. This left those still too young to vote with their own interesting dilemma - is cricket better inside or outside?

Turning to the indoor fixtures first, at least this year there was not 2 feet of snow on the ground like in recent years. Nevertheless, weather conditions were such that I was still surprised to hear some of the Carlton players ask if we were playing inside or outside - perhaps the constant referendum debate is subliminally filtering down. Well done also to Erin's dad Stuart for arriving in time at the notoriously difficult to find Loretto indoor sports hall, despite getting directions from Malaysian Airlines.

In the first game, Loretto batted first, but tight bowling and fielding from Carlton meant they never really got going. Erin, Georgia and Maddy all took excellent catches, Georgia added a run out and Erin also bowled someone, so the 25 runs deduction meant Carlton were only chasing a net 10. This they achieved comfortably. A steady start from school mates Georgia and Grace added a game high of 11 runs. Next came in school mates Ellen and Zoya. Surely excellent communication skills honed in the playground? Well........ after their first 2 deliveries they had been run out twice! However, this triggered the darkest recesses of their memories and they remembered they knew each other, and recovered superbly to get 12 runs off their remaining 10 deliveries. "Height" mates Erin and Maddy also had an exciting 2 overs, also hitting 12 runs but losing 10 from 2 run outs. "Senior pro" mates Miriam and Estelle comfortably saw off Loretto's top 2 bowlers, leaving Carlton on a net 22 and a 12 run victory.

In the immediate rematch, Carlton batted first. Changing up our pairs, first Grace and Maddy added 10, Georgia and Zoya 11 (despite losing 1 wicket) and Erin and Estelle 11. Ellen and Miriam were unlucky in having to face Izzy, Loretto's star bowler who rather unsportingly bowls it fast and unerringly just outside off stump. Nevertheless, we finished with a decent total of 33. However, this time Loretto were more aggressive in their batting. Their first pair hit 3 fours in a total of 23 - my instructions to Carlton's fielders to defend the back wall with their lives fell on deaf ears! However, Zoya got us back in it in he third over, with 2 clean bowleds and a chance to appear on the honours board with a hat-trick, though valuable momentum was lost in explaining to her what this was (honestly, does no-one read these match reports?!). However, only Miriam managed another wicket as our superb catching in the first match deserted us and Loretto finished with a net 45 and a neatly symmetrical 12 run victory for them.

As I've been typing up this match report, I noticed an unusual number of uses of capital "E". In fact, I could almost raise an entire quick cricket team starting with E, being able to call on 2 Ellens, Ella, Estelle, Erin, Eve and Ellie. My QI for the day is that there are no Emma's, which has been the most popular girls name in Scotland for children born between 2002 and 2005.

Thanks would go to our match sponsor , Malaysian Airlines. However, unfortunately they never turned up, despite searching for Loretto's sports hall for 8 weeks.

A couple of months later, we are back at Loretto, this time outdoors. Batting first in game 1, none of our pairs managed to get going properly. They all added a few, but a tendency to pick out fielders rather than find the gaps led to some catches and a lack of boundaries. A net total of 16 was always going to be hard to defend, and so it proved. There were a few too many loose deliveries down the leg side, giving up easy boundaries, though special mention goes to Anna who took 2 wickets with her first two deliveries, and was on for a hat-trick but valuable momentum was lost.................

In game 2, Loretto batted first. Zoya took a wicket, but a couple of difficult catching chances were spurned and Loretto finished with a net 33. Maddy and Grace got plenty of bat on ball, and Grace hit a couple of lovely 4 bound shots that went straight to a fielder. Despite losing a wicket, they added 5 and Anna kept up the momentum with our Loretto guest player to add 2 more. However, our batting fireworks came with a superb performance for Jenn and Fliss, each hitting a 6 on the way to adding a net 21, the best of the day from either side. Three by Miriam and Zoya of the first 7 deliveries left only 3 needed from the final 5, but Loretto's Izzy had the ball in hand and sent down 5 excellent deliveries just outside off stump. Perhaps just making sure we got bat on ball rather than trying to smash it hard might have paid dividends, but credit goes to Izzy for an excellent final over, leaving us agonizingly 2 runs short.

Thanks go to the match sponsor, Rentokil, whose fly spray products were flying off the shelves in Musselburgh thanks to the millions of flies that greeted us so warmly during the games. A special thanks go to Loretto for hosting both the indoor and outdoor games - matches with them are always evenly matched and played in the best of spirits. We look forward to their girls kwik-cricket festival on the 7th June (hopefully after Rentokil have sprayed the outfield!).

Square-leg umpire stands
ready with review system

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