Carlton Friendly XI 2012 Fixtures and Results
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Wednesday 20th June T20 Friendly
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Gargunnock Village CC
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Carlton XI
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67 all out

Bob Irvine 3 for 2

away

124 for 7 (20 overs)

Ali Shah 38

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Sunday 8th July Friendly
  Carlton XI
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Woodcutters CC
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday 15th July Friendly
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Largo XI
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Carlton XI
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100 for 9

Leigh Kasperek 4 for 2

away

184 all out

Neil Kirk 76 (ret)

It was a sunny yet blustery day in Upper Largo, one of the only places in Scotland that has been in any way playable for weeks. Considering the recent weather the pitch that Largo produced was of a very high quality. The two captains met in the middle and the toss was lost by the visiting skipper, but only by a fraction of a millimetre due to a strong cross breeze, Largo elected to field. Alex Fedenczuk and Keshav Arvind took to the crease. Keshav was facing the first ball from young fast bowler Brown and was eager not to repeat his previous performances at this ground and after getting his eye in nudged 1s and 2s wherever he could find the gaps. Meanwhile Fed had got off to a quick start with a 4 as his first scoring shot; he also hit a couple of 3s that were unlucky not to go to the boundary.

After Fed departed courtesy of Brown, Neil Kirk came to the crease after a long break from cricket, but he was in fine form hitting the ball all around the park, smashing many 4s and one outstanding 6 not to mention his quick running between the wickets. Not long after Neil had taken to the crease Keshav perished at the hand of another young bowler, Singh. After his departure Rory Allardice stepped up and, after running short twice, was getting into his stride when he fell to an outstanding one handed diving catch. Calum Everett came and went and with contributions from Alan Murray and Fantasy Bob (who felt hard done by after Fed quickly raised the finger to give him out lbw) while in the high teens region; Carlton were scoring at a quick rate. While wickets were falling around him Neil played a fine innings of 76 before he retired to give others a hit. Wickets then fell in quick succession including two in a row from Brown while the hat-trick ball was calmly dealt with by Sam Marchbank. With 2 expansive shots from Leigh Kasperek giving her a four and a three she was bowled on the last ball of the innings by a great yorker. Carlton posted 184 on the board for Largo to chase, an above par score given the conditions. The outstanding performances being Neil Kirk’s 76 and Brown’s 8-3-3-20.

Teas were served in the church hall and the highlight of the meal was the scones, they were given a good report by everyone. One of the conversation topics offered at tea was for Fed to undergo an Umpiring course; this was backed strongly by Fantasy Bob and Rory (victims of LBW and “one short” decisions that, had the only review available not been wasted on challenging the toss result, would surely have been overturned). After tea with everyone’s tummies filled with the tremendous scones it was back down the hill and it was Carlton’s turn to defend their very respectable 184 run total.

As Carlton went out to field the wind had picked up a bit but that had not disheartened anyone in the team. Opening the bowling was Leigh Kasperek the off spinner and Sam Marchbank the survivor of the hat trick ball. Leigh had no problem bowling both the openers to claim two of her four wickets, three of them being bowled and one a simple catch to Allan Murray. While all this was going on many suggestions were being made as to how Fed should pull the stumps from the ground because of the absence of bails in the instance of a run out (most of them by Fed himself). Most of the Carlton bowlers got in the wickets with Everett, Sibley and Irvine all claiming one victim. By cunningly varying length and more importantly width, Murray gave himself a few extra balls in the same over just to ensure getting on the scorecard.

Largo moved along slowly throughout the innings with no one really getting a start except for the not out Jess who was going along nicely for his 26. Wickets fell reasonably quickly before the drinks break but were held up for a while afterwards with two of the batsmen hanging in there. After that partnership was broken wickets fell at regular intervals, one of those wickets being a run out thrown by Calum Everett and Fed’s wish came true when he demolished the stumps with the ball in his hands. Winning the game became an almost impossible task and Largo decided to stick in there and bat out their full 40 overs. Runs were restricted by all of Carlton’s bowlers but the stand out performance was Leigh with figures of 6 overs, 5 maidens, 4 wickets and only conceding 2 runs it was fantastic bowling and got Carlton off to a winning start in the second innings.

Many thanks to Largo for the welcome invitation to play cricket after such a long time and, as always, for their excellent hospitality.

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Tuesday 17th July T20 Friendly
  Carlton XI
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Exeats
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday 26th August Friendly
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Carlton Crocodiles
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Cherrybank Rovers
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90 for 9 (20 overs)

Craig Burgess 24, Brian Gill 18, John Beattie 18

home

91 for 7 (15.2 overs)

John Beattie 2 for 3

"I hope there will be a match report." said Fantasy Bob, sometime coach of the newly formed Dads' team, the Carlton Crocodiles. Inspired by the exploits of their children in the junior ranks, and with distant memories of school cricket matches to the fore, a group of Carlton Dads had decided they should form their own team to provide some light entertainment on balmy summer evenings. Alan Murray and Bob Irvine were brought in for instruction on the rudiments of the game, and after a few casual nets sessions in which small boys enjoyed bowling fast and short to their fathers, a match was arranged.

As readers of the 4th XI match reports will have learnt from their weekly instruction in the Classics, the heavy infantry of the early Roman legions prior to the reforms of Gaius Marias in the 2nd century BC were formed into three ranks: the hastati consisting of young soldiers, the principes being fighting men in their 20s and 30s, and the triarii being veteran soldiers used in battle only in extreme situations, who generally watched battles from beyond the boundary and were allowed to rest on one knee when not engaged in combat. Thus on a strangely sunny day in August, a motley band of Crocs assembled at the Meadows who looked like cricketing triarii who had fallen on hard times.

The groundsman had offered the teams a choice of two strips, an emerald green affair which at least had the virtue of being largely flat, and a brownish surface that rose up alarmingly at each end to present batsman and bowler with a small mound upon which to stand ... Jay Book, our recent baseball convert who hadn't even heard of cricket six months ago, was beginning to feel at home. The toss was won, the pitch selected, the drunken students removed from the square, umpire David Main produced a neon pink ball and the Crocs' captain John Beattie bravely elected to bat.

Opening pair Simon Kujawa and Stuart Sizer started with some well timed shots, but fell cheaply causing a flutter of pad-strapping. Craig Burgess and Phil McIntyre then established a partnership which proved to be the foundation of a middle-order fight back, with the skipper replacing Phil after one swing too many. Star of the show was Craig Burgess, who produced a full range of shots (including some of his own invention) and managed to survive the enthusiastic running of his captain falling one run short of his retiral on 24. His place was taken by Brian "Boom Boom" Gill (below), who decided that hitting the ball through the long grass for ones and twos looked like hard work, and adopted a more aerial approach to great effect. The introduction of Carlton U15 Adam McDonald in the Cherrybank attack brought a change of pace for the Crocs batsmen to contend with, but a fine four from Dale Garbutt and cameo appearances from Jay, Alistair Keatinge and Graham Bean completed the innings, leaving what looked like a respectable total of 90 for the visitors to chase.


Angus: "Brian do you realise you're holding your bat the wrong way round?"

After a short break during which the divots were replaced in the pitch, the Carlton Crocs took to the field. Two early wickets from Paul Watts and Craig had the visitors teetering on 6-2: was this to be an easy run for the Carlton veterans? Alas no. Cherrybank hastati Adam McDonald and Paddy Halliday tucked into the bowling with a flurry of boundaries including a mighty straight six from Paddy which dropped just short of Melville Drive, eventually retiring on 28* and 27* respectively. Glad to see the back of such youthful excess, the Carlton bowlers applied themselves to the task again, interrupted only by a shout and impressive turn of speed from umpire Main who set off in pursuit of a rather agressive-looking dog bounding about in the outfield. With the pink ball recovered from the jaws of the hound, stout resistance from Dougie McDonald and Banks added a further 15 before Craig took a diving catch at short midwicket off Dales's accurate bowling, and then retired to deep square leg to recover.

This was the breakthrough that the Crocs wanted, and the skipper benefited from not having to face the youngsters by taking 3 wickets with bowling of consistent line if variable length, including one athletic catch by tidy keeper Stuart.

Wickets to Phil, bowling through the pain of an Incrediball injury sustained earlier in the week, and Jay competed the series, but Cherrybank 11th man Dave Jones steadied the ship and with the psychological threat of the returning Paddy looming, the Crocs did the decent thing and the Rovers triumphed by 2 wickets.

Many thanks to Douglas McDonald and the Cherrybank Rovers team for a very enjoyable game played in a friendly spirit, to umpires David, Angus and Gregor, and to everyone who came down and enjoyed the spectacle. We look forward to a return match next season.

Photos

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Sunday 2nd September Friendly
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Carlton XI
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Gargunnock Village CC
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168 for 9 (40 overs)

Neil Kirk 78*

home 167 for 4
The discerning cricket fan was spoilt for choice on Sunday. High level matches on which the stakes were high abounded in the calendar. At Lords England and S Africa vied for the number one spot in the ODI rankings. At Titwood, Watsonians and Heriots were locked in a struggle for the Scottish Cup. At Stenhousemuir, or was it Forthill, or maybe Stenhousemuir after all, or somewhere in between. Anywhere somewhere in Central Scotland Carlton under-15s were playing in the age group finals. But dwarfing these minor matches with unimportant outcomes, was the feast of top level cricket at Grange Loan where Carlton’s Sunday XI (aka Fantasy Bob’s XI) took on the might of Gargunnock CC in their now annual contest for the Mike Kennedy Trophy (not that there is a trophy, but if top level cricket confers undue seriousness on meaningless rounds of ODI or T20 matches by giving them some fancy title or other, why should the elite of Carlton’s lower league stalwarts be different?)

For it is to Carlton’s 6 hitting hero Mike that this fixture graces Carlton’s fixture list. In between his round-the-world bicycling adventures Mike turns out for Gargunnock, who from their idyllic Stirlingshire base travel far and wide in order to provide Mike with fresh boundaries to pepper with his explosive hitting. Unfortunately for Mike most of these grounds also have stumps which are inconveniently placed in the way of straight balls Mike struggles on occasion to negotiate, so allowing the boundaries to escape inviolate. The hum of the crowd assembling at Grange Loan as the competitors warmed up reflected the excitement at this question – stumps or boundaries? Which would it be today?

The ground was splendidly set up for the toss. The sunshine dappling the green outfield still damp from the floods caused by tears from Grange’s players denied the league title by Carlton the day before. As ever your correspondent looked with keen anticipation on the skippers as they moved towards the middle for the toss. But what is this? They were a mere 10 yards inside the boundary when they stopped. They shook hands and turned back. A sigh of concern chased round the crowd. No coin seemed to have been flipped. What could this mean? The skipper advised his astonished team, ‘I said we fancied batting. He said they would ask us to bat. It didn’t seem necessary to do anything more’. ‘What are we doing then skip?’ asked a mystified senior member of the side. The junior were traumatised. They looked at the scorebook and the empty space beside the words Toss Won By. What could they do? Did this count as a toss won? [Adjudication of whether this counts as a win or loss to the skipper has been referred to the Court of Session. Observers should in the meantime exercise caution in agreeing with the skipper’s assertion of victory. the matter is sub judice. Ed]

Al and Gavin opened against Mike Kennedy and fiendish left armer Naris. Gavin was using the skipper’s bat – confidnet that the middle was fresh never having been touched by a cricket ball all season. Progress was steady until Al mistimed a Naris full toss and short mid wicket took a smart catch as he surfaced again after ducking to avoid the crashing pull which never came straight at his head. Kevin came and also succumbed to a mistimed shot on a full toss this time from change bowler Farquhar. The full toss was obviously the ball to bowl. Neil then set about putting things to right and accelerating the scoring as wickets fell at the other end after Gavin was eventually out for a well played 36. Neil ended with 78* scoring all round the wicket to leave Carlton 168 for 9 off their 40 overs. Farquhar 4-39, Naris 3-19.

At tea the side felt one hand on the Mike Kennedy Trophy. Not that there is a trophy….. [All right we got the point the first time. Just get on with it. Ed] Were they counting their chickens? Sam and the skipper opened the bowling. Sam went past the bat on 5 of his first 6 balls but failed to catch the edge. The right and left hand combination of the openers made things difficult and extras began to accumulate as Gargunnock more or less kept up with the required rate. Mike Kennedy sat in the pavilion, Achilles in his tent, waiting for his moment. Carlton needed a wicket, but little seemed to be happening. But the openers were mindful of the run rate and started taking chances between the wickets. They got away with a couple but on the third ‘Yes-No-Are you Sure?-Probably-You Must be joking-On reflection, No-Oh well sorry’ exchange Neil swooped, Shuaib gathered and it was 43-1. Carlton looked up expecting Mike to see striding out. Instead it was Naris and he and skipper Lloyd moved things on smartly to within sight of Carlton’s total. Naris fell for 38 to a catch to Al at point trying to force Gavin. 125 for 2. Four an over required. Evenly balanced and the stage set for Mike to bring a rapid end to proceedings. But Gavin had other ideas. He had bowled at Mike in the nets and knew what was required. The ball was bowled. Mike swung. A sharp breeze was felt by all fielders as the bat blade parted the air. But the ball parted the stumps. 128-3. Mike gone for 2. It was still interesting. Extras was playing a manful innings and keeping Gargunnock in the hunt. Carlton’s skipper then came back and very unsportingly bowled a wicket maiden which seemed decisive, until extras got within sight of his 50 in the next over. So the the last over. The skipper bowling. A catch dropped. A scrambled single. Another. The skipper’s boot stops a fierce drive that could have hit the ropes. A dot ball. A dot ball. And Carlton leave the field victorious. Gargunnock 167-4, one run short.

Many thanks to Gargunnock for such an enjoyable and closely fought game. The Mike Kennedy Trophy stays another year at Grange Loan. See you next year.

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