Carlton Girls 2012 Fixtures and Results
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Friday 4th May  
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Carlton
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Kinross
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  53 home 72

Another historic day at Grange Loan as Carlton girls had their first ever hardball match. Some late unavailabilities had left us two players short at six, so Harriet sent out the call to a short player, her younger sister Fliss, who volunteered for her first ever hardball experience and even more bravely to face the arctic weather conditions. This gave us seven, which was handy, because our match sponsor Cadburys had focussed on their Flake brand so we took to pitch as Flakes Seven. The Flakes also came in handy for the ice cream sellers who, in view of the temperature, were able to make their products at Grange Loan.

Game format was 10 overs each, batting in pairs for 4 overs each. Kinross opted to bat first and kindly lent us a fielder to make up our eight. Kinross to their credit have been developing girls cricket for even longer than Carlton and had some excellent players who were well schooled in batting. Claire, Zoe and Hannah all cracked some lovely boundaries and kept out our good deliveries. In the second over Carlton's Hannah took a couple of wickets (5 run penalty for each wicket) with some interestingly flighted deliveries to keep the lid on the scoring early on, but Kinross' second pair of Zoe and Hannah batted brilliantly and added 33 in their four overs. Elsewhere young Fliss did herself proud by surprising the batsman with a straight one to take our only other wicket, and Annie bowled much better than she thought she was going to. Our most accurate, consistent bowlers were Catherine, Harriet and Lisa who all bowled extremely well and can count themselves unfortunate not to take a wicket, with many deliveries shaving the stumps. Catherine also has the distinction of being the only bowler of either side not to have any wides called against her. Special mention for our wicket keeper Iona, who had a fantastic debut behind the stumps and only let 4 byes past. Kinross ended with a net total of 72 from their 16 overs.

After a short break to warm up and eat up (Carlton parents had done the team proud and the table was groaning with goodies) it was Carlton to bat. Kinross opened with Claire, and her pace and accuracy was probably a bit of a shock to Catherine and Iona. Nevertheless they defended stoutly and Catherine showed a lovely straight bat to keep out some great deliveries. There was no let up at the other end, with Laurie also being very accurate and nabbing a wicket. Nevertheless, Iona and Catherine managed a net 2 in 4 overs which was still an achievement against the best bowling of the night. Next in was Fliss, partnered for 2 overs by Catherine and 2 by Iona. I am proud to report that Fliss didn't lose her wicket once, and despite her pads and helmet not adding to her speed across the ground added 10 runs to our total with her 2 partners, including 3 from her own bat and our first 4 of the night from Catherine. Next in for Carlton were Lisa and Annie, who put in a fine performance as third pair. Lisa hardly missed a ball and struck one lovely 4, and Annie provided fine support. However, Lisa proved that you can't shout too often at weekly practice "Be alert for byes" as she was narrowly run out after setting off too late. Still, their net 12 added was very creditable. Senior pros Hannah and Harriet came in with the game out of reach, but put in a fantastic performance and added 29 runs without losing a wicket. Hannah also managed the shot of the night, a beautiful 4 through point off Claire's bowling to add to her earlier 4 from a straight drive. So Carlton finished with a net total of 53, just 19 behind the total of Kinross. Despite the defeat, it was a great learning experience for all Carlton's players.

A special thanks also to Kinross for this fixture and for the lovely spirit the game was played in. They offered nothing but encouragement and help to our players and were magnanimous in victory. We look forward to a rematch later on this year.

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Friday 1st June  
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Carlton
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Watsonians
  58 home 44
Carlton girls hardball team had their second ever game at Grange Loan, against our old friends from Watsonians.

Carlton batted first and our opening pair of Iona (below) and Lisa got us off to a great start, adding 17 runs with Lisa striking a couple of fours. Next up were Annie and Biz, who was making her hardball debut. They got off to a great start, adding 8 in their first two overs. The third over was incident packed. It started well with Annie scoring a "five", proving to both sides that you can never shout too often "back up the throw". However, a run out came next and then Annie was really unlucky as she smashed a delivery to mid-wicket that was superbly caught by Holly C. Then a fine over from Holly S saw two more wickets that resulted in Annie and Biz's hard earned runs cancelled. Carlton's third pair were hard ball debutant Louise and junior pro Catherine. Catherine delighted the large crowd with some superb straight hitting down the ground. Despite being our youngest player, Catherine consistently demonstrates to the rest of the Carlton team how to handle well pitched up deliveries and hit 3 fours to be the top scoring batsman of the night. With fine support from Louise, the pair added a high on the night of 22. Senior pros Hannah and Harriet took their traditional final pair slot and picked up from where they left off against Kinross by adding a net 20 to our score. This week it was Harriet who was in 4 hitting form, hitting three including one over cover. However, Harriet wasn't used to a wicket-keeper standing up sniffing for stumpings, and I had to raise the finger without the need to call for a third-umpire review. Carlton finished with a net 58.

After a short break to devour the table of goodies set out (thanks to Helen and June) Watsonians came out to bat. They opened with Georgia and Caitlin. Devoted followers of the Carlton website may remember Georgia taking a remarkable one-handed catch on the boundary during a kwik-cricket match. Clearly she is going to be a talented cricketer, as evidenced by 3 fine overs during the Carlton innings, though her run up did start in a different postcode. However, Carlton deployed their own secret weapon and Lisa's opening ball was perfection. Fast and angling in, it clipped off stump and would have claimed the wicket of many a batsman. In their other overs, the Watsonian pair came back well, adding a net 13 with Georgia clubbing a couple of fours before needing to leave early for a night of clubbing. Despite four tidy overs from Carlton, Watsonian's next pair added 16 to give a midway total of 29, exactly half way to Carlton's total. With the next pair, the advantage edged to Carlton. Iona took our first ever catch in hardball cricket off Annie's best delivery of the night, to cap another fine performance behind the stumps that grew in confidence as the evening drew on. Biz skipped in to take her first hardball wicket and Louise and Catherine each bowled excellent, tight overs, leaving Watsonians on 33, 25 behind.

However, the match was still intriguingly poised as Watsonian's last pair included someone with the "Bryce" surname that puts such fear into opposition cricket teams. It was time to deploy Carlton's secret weapon again, though slightly less secret after her earlier over. Lisa has the ideal action for the Carlton artificial wicket, getting the ball to skid through whereas those that bowl more "looping" deliveries often see their best full length deliveries bouncing over the stumps. What followed was the best over I have ever umpired to in girls cricket. First ball is a dot ball. Next ball smashes into off stump. A wide to fullfil an agreement Lisa had made with an Indian bookmaker. Then middle stump is knocked from its springs. Dot ball. Next ball hits middle and off. Final ball is a dot ball that the batsman does brilliantly to keep out. So a match changing 3 wickets in one over, including 2 prized "LBWs" (Lucy Bryce wickets) to put in the memory banks along with her earlier dismissal of Watsonians other star batsman Georgia. So key wickets that really made the difference. Mention must go to Lucy who in the remaining overs showed her undoubted talent and scored an evening high of 19 runs from the bat to still make a significant net contribution to her team's score and show that Scottish girls cricket has a promising future. Watsonians finished with a total of 44 to give Carlton their first hardball victory.

Many thanks to Watsonians for an excellent fixture between two evenly matched teams played in great spirit. Great to see Carlton's improvement since our last match. We scored more runs, took more wickets, fielded better (with some coaching from the sidelines by Leigh helping greatly), took our first catch and bowled fewer wides.

The photographer from the Scottish Sun missed much of the cricket action after spending most of the time with his camera in the pavillion with the tea ladies Helen and June. For the pictures, please see page 3 of the website though I have not yet been able to find this page, so it may not in fact exist.
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Saturday 9th June  

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Freuchie
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Carlton
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday 17th June  

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Dollar Academy
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Carlton
    away  
RAINED OFF
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Monday 18th June  
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Loretto
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Carlton
    away  
Following the weekend deluge, Carlton girls went to a sunny Loretto for their third hardball fixture. The first surprise of the night was the large number of football pundits who had turned up to analyse the game for a special edition of "Catch of the Day". Their pre match jaw-jaw centred on how Carlton could possibly replace our injured star batsman Hannah. The official story was she had dropped frozen food on her toe (well, at least she didn't drop a catch) though rumours were circulating the injury happened during the team curfew. Barbie Savage volunteered to take her place, but his hair wouldn't fit inside our helmets. Lawrenson suggested Ashley Young should replace Hannah on the grounds he had a girls name, but Lisa pointed out he was completely useless and would add no value to the team whatsoever. Roy Keane suggested Rooney - he thought now that he had hair could pass for a girl - only in Manchester night clubs, Roy. While I must declare a vested interest in this hair transplant business, it seems like Wayne should be saving up his paltry wage packet (after his charitable donations to the elderly) for something more pressing - say a brain transplant or at least a course in anger management. Harry Redknapp was there too, but only because he had brought the match sponsor. This was his dog, our richest sponsor so far, so naturally the Carlton team had brand new kit for this match.

And so to the contest. This was our first match on grass, though with only a day to dry out from the weekend downpours it was closer in resemblance to lightly baked mud. After an extensive inspection of the batting surface Lisa decided to put Loretto in to bat. In a move that the Irish FA would have been proud of, the Loretto team included Mairi and Catherine who have both played for Carlton earlier in the season. As Carlton bowled, it became immediately apparent runs were going to be hard to come by. The difficult pitch meant the ball kept low and the outfield was slow. Lucy was our star bowler, and her unerring accuracy was rewarded with Carlton girls' first ever "Michelle" - in her 3 overs, she took 5 wickets for 6 runs for a place on Loretto's honours board. This included 2 separate chances for a hat-trick. Good bowling from the rest of the team, with Biz and Harriet also picking up wickets, saw us restrict Loretto to 55 runs for the loss of 8 wickets, leaving a net 15 to chase. Carlton's own keeper, Iona "Sepp" Meier put in another great performance, with her first clean sheet for byes. Difficult to improve on that unless she can undermine the opposition batsman's confidence with subtle sledging. Lessons with Rob Thornton start next week on the sledging, followed by a session with Fantasy Bob to try and add some subtlety.

Alan Hansen's half time analysis focussed on defence, defence, defence. He said there was too much of a gap between the bat and the pad. Jamie Carragher then gave his input, though no-one had the faintest idea what he said.

Carlton were confident of chasing down this total, though I told them it would be a lot more difficult than they thought on this pitch. We did get off to a great start though, with first pair Lisa and Louise adding 14 runs without loss, the best of the night. Our second pair were Biz and Annie had lots of bad luck - good strikes going straight to fielders and resulting in run outs, and being bowled by deliveries that failed to bounce. This left us behind the asking rate, but Lucy showed her all round ability in the 3rd pair to get us back in it. Final pair Harriet and Sepp started well and had our net scores level with 2 overs left, but Loretto still had their best 2 bowlers to come. Four runs from the first 5 balls had Carlton temporarily in control, but then Catherine struck with her final ball, leaving us 1 behind with the last over to come. A tense final over beckoned, for the bookmakers as well as the teams. Loretto's own speedster Lauren bowled an excellent last over, striking with her third and fifth deliveries to give Loretto a narrow victory.

So another tight contest between two evenly matched teams, with the result in doubt right up to the final few deliveries. Congratulations to Loretto and thanks for their hospitality.

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Sunday 24th June  

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Kinross
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Carlton
    away  
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