Carlton 4th XI 2013 Fixtures and Results
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Sunday 28th April ESCA Division Eight
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Carlton 4
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Glenrothes 3
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147 for 6

Keith Murray 34*, Kevin Whitaker 33, Bob Irvine 33

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146 for 8

Bob Irvine 3 for 30

Welcome to a new season of match reports for the Carlton All Stars 4th XI.  Readers who have not consumed these products before should be warned.  Any resemblance to what happened on the field of play is purely accidental.  It may take some effort for the reader to work out the result of the match being reported upon.   Any suggestion that these reports have been pre-prepared during the winter months is wholly scurrilous.  Readers may wish to prepare themselves for the new season’s reports by having beside them some helpful reference books.  At a minimum these should include a dictionary, the Lives of the Great Composers, a volume of classical mythology, the Collected Works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and How to Make Things with String.  Familiarity with the works of Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner and Nigella Lawson will be an advantage. Knowledge of the laws of cricket may well be a hindrance.

 

Readers should be sure that they wish to proceed beyond this point. There can be no turning back.

Julie Andrews sang that ‘the very beginning - a very good place to start’.  TS Eliot wrote in his Four Quartets ‘In my beginning is my end’.  Your correspondent goes with the Julie Andrews’ view of things.   So a good place to start is to report that Carlton 4’s opponents at Grange Loan in the first match of the season were Glenrothes 3 – a new team to the league from a club that is rivalling Carlton in its go aheadedness. [What this is almost factual?  Is something wrong?  Ed] This could be an interesting tussle.

Your correspondent is sure that his readership is well versed in the classics, and in particular Virgil’s Aeneid.  For those who are having difficulty already, and do not have the recommended reference books to hand, this is not the Virgil in Thunderbirds, but Publius Vergilius Mora who lived from 70BC to 19BC making him only slightly older than Fantasy Bob.  150 years ago Virgil was also commissioned by the founders of Carlton CC to come up with a motto for the new club.  It took him until the 6th book of the Aeneid to deliver the goods - Tu ne cede malis, which can be roughly translated as Thou shouldst not swing wildly at a half tracker outside off stump.

Readers should also therefore be familiar with another of Virgil’s phrases - timeo doughtius groundsman et dona ferentes – usually translated into English as beware of the doughty groundsman offering you gifts.  This phrase went through your correspondent’s mind (there being nothing to stop it on its journey) shortly before the match got underway. The Doughty Groundsman, having slaved all morning to prepare a high quality playing surface, made a ceremonial presentation to the skipper of a matching set of Empire Biscuits.  The skipper was overcome with emotion – largely because he was unable to start eating said tribute since he was summoned immediately by the opposition skipper to toss. [Oh no - the toss, what’s coming now?  Ed]

As he walked to the middle the phrase beat its rhythm in its brain.  Such a valuable gift from the Doughty Groundsmen must mean something.  In the Aeneid, the phrase is part of a warning to the Trojans to think hard about the wooden horse that has appeared outside their walls.  They don’t; they misread the line big time; they take the horse inside their walls.  It is of course stuffed with Greek fast bowlers and the rest is history.  Or at least epic poetry.  What were the DGs trying to say to the skipper?  There did not seem to be any sign of a wooden horse in the outfield.

Virgil was pretty good at the epic poetry – battles and messages from the Gods and mottos for cricket clubs: that kind of stuff.  But he is not all that great with advice on what to do on winning the toss.  There is not one description of a toss in the whole of his work.  [Many of us wish more match reporters followed his example.  Ed]  It is not therefore clear what the Greek hero on the plains of Ilium would do if he flipped the coin and, finding the opposition skipper calling wrong, was faced with the choice of having to bat or bowl.  That is the issue that faced our skipper.  It being an early season toss, the margin of victory was comprehensive.  Stunningly so.  [We have only your word for that.  Ed]  But what would the skipper do.....timeo doughtius groundsman et dona ferentes.......the phrase came to his mind again.  He grasped the true meaning. Don’t be tempted by the pristine batting surface gifted by the DGs, this is a vital league fixture. ‘We’ll have a bowl.’ he said.

So Carlton took to the field.  Tom Ziolkowski making a welcome return to action after a few years’ absence and immediate past president DC opened with accurate and tight bowling.  Tom took a wicket in his third over - a regulation catch behind.  This metaphorical drawing of blood became real on the next ball which took the incoming batter’s top edge and smacked into his mouth.  DC meanwhile was exerting a stranglehold from the bottom end with 5 maidens in his 8 overs.  He was unlucky not to get a wicket as he went past the bat on numerous occasions.  Young Angus Beattie replaced Tom and kept the pressure on with a very tidy spell.  Things might have gone badly wrong at that point, for it was Fantasy Bob who replaced DC to bowl up the hill against the wind. [Surely not.  Ed] By some miracle, which Virgil would have attributed to the Gods being placated by the sacrificial offering of empire biscuits, he took a wicket in his first over to leave Glens 27 for 2 after 18.  At the other end Young Murray Whitaker was flighting the ball well and when he took a well deserved wicket, followed the next over by another miraculous wicket for Fantasy Bob, Glens were in a spot of bother at 40 for 4 after 22.  The rain then forced the players from the field.  The teams eyed the spread laid out by Barbara and decided to take tea early to allow the shower to pass.

Barbara had done a great job laying everything out but had a worried look on her face.  ‘There seem to be an awful lot of empire biscuits,’ she said anxiously to the skipper. The skipper did not see an issue. He was in a place as near Heaven as you can get. He had just discovered that among this bounty were a set of home baked empire biscuits prepared by Angus Beattie!  Could life get any better?  Angus’ career at Carlton is secured – he may well be considered for the First XI next week who are short of a front line baker.

The shower passed and play resumed.  Glens needed to press on but Tom got a wicket immediately.  Tabasum had returned to the crease following his blood letting and played a fine innings increasing the tempo effectively.  He found willing partners in Muir (21) and Thomas, eventually out to the last ball of the innings for an elegant 25.  Ruairidh Main and Angus were given the hard task of bowling the final overs.  They did immensely well, unphased by knowing that the batters were looking to hit them.  Both took wickets and dealt with the wet ball and the gusting wind (which Angus had to use all his strength to fight against). Good lads both! Tabasum survived a loud appeal but accelerated the scoring, hitting the ball hard all round the wicket.  He was left undefeated on 59 at the innings close.  Glenrothes finished on 146 for 8 – a good effort given their slow start and probably 20-30 more than Carlton would have preferred.  Good bowling by all the youngsters saw them each get a deserved wicket, and Al Murray and Ruairidh excelled in the field.  Tom had 2-22 and FB 3-30.

The Carlton response got underway in sunshine with Alan Murray and Ian Thompson at the top of the order.  Unfortunately it was not the dream return to competitive action for Ian who got an unplayable delivery from opening bowler Graveling in the first over.  Kevin Whitaker and Alan pushed things along until Alan was bowled by Tabasum who came on first change.  Murray then joined his Dad - unfortunately the strain was too much for Kevin, who unable to emulate Murray’s textbook shots, played all round a straight one from Cox and was out for a sprightly 33.  Keith Murray came in and, as his swelling fan base appreciate, he started slowly.  Murray W, having played immaculately, tried to force the pace but went to a good c&b to left armer Morris. This left Carlton on 55 for 4 at the 20 over mark. Still in touch, but the run rate had slowed dramatically in the last 5 overs.  Martin Robertson then strode to the wicket – like Tom and Ian returning to cricket after an absence.  He set about the task with his usual gusto and the scoring rate quickened until he was bowled for 16 by Thomas who seemed to be getting some turn from the top end.  80 for 5 off 27 and, as they watched FB shambling to the crease, many in the crowd thought Glenrothes had it in the bag.  But FB had other ideas.  Your correspondent acknowledges that it is rare for him to have any ideas and must attribute this state to the power of the empire biscuits consumed.

Your correspondent finds it hard to describe what happened next.  A lesser journalist might record lazily that a partnership between FB and Keith blossomed, which would imply something of beauty and grace.  Blossom is certainly not an accurate description but little by little they took control of the situation.  For some reason best known to themselves they eschewed the easy option of the short road side boundary and played the ball into the wide open spaces of the hill.  Running 2 is always an adventure for FB, but running 3 is the type of thing that would get Virgil waxing lyrical for a few pages.  There were more 3s than boundaries in their partnership.  They put increasing pressure on the field by finding runs where no runs should be.  Their running went from aggressive through suicidal to completely imaginative and then hallucinogenic.  The propitiation of the Gods by the sacrifice of empire biscuits meant that they escaped being run out by increasingly fine margins. FB also survived a hard c&b chance, a rare event for FB has never knowingly been dropped at any time in his career up to that point.  But run by run they clawed Carlton’s way back into the game so that 21 were needed off the last 5.  The crowd was gripped as the tension mounted.  Could they do it?  10 wanted off the last 3, 4 off the last 2, 1 off the last over.  

At that point FB made the supreme heroic gesture, recorded in allegorical fashion in the later part of the Aeneid, of allowing himself to be bowled by Tabasum off the second ball of the last over. Out for a game changing 33, and a match winning partnership of 66 with Keith.  The crowd rose to applaud his return from the battlefield.   FB’s intent became clear – his sacrifice allowed Angus to complete the game, as he confidently pushed his first ball past the fielder to get the winning single, and a great ovation from the now ecstatic crowd.  A fitting tribute to honour Angus’ baking………………and his bowling.

Carlton therefore won by 4 wickets with 3 balls to spare.  Keith ended not out on 34 in another bedrock performance.  A good start to the season with excellent contributions from young and old alike.  Played in excellent spirit – good luck to Glenrothes for the rest of the season, they are unlikely to get their pockets picked so blatantly again.  They have a tricky decision to face for the return fixture – how can they minimise the influence of empire biscuits on the outcome.  They may be wise to start reading Virgil now for guidance.

Scorecard

Photos

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Saturday 4th May ESCA Division Eight
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Carlton 4
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Kirk Brae 2
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177 for 5

Kevin Whitaker 102*, Duncan Sutherland 31, Ruairidh Main 18

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176 for 6

Bob Irvine 3 for 45, Dave Carter 2 for 11

The organising committee of the annual Festival of the Coldest Cricketer in Christendom has issued the following statement:

The 2013 Festival was a triumph. The committee recognised it would have to work hard to top last year’s festival which was held at Double Hedges when Carlton 4 and Kirkbrae 2 were the celebrants. Victory then went to Kirkbrae. On that occasion the committee had carefully arranged for a relentless east wind to sweep off the North Sea (on its journey from the frozen wastes of Siberia) across the exposed hill top ground. While the committee was pleased that last year’s celebrants were again involved, they changed things a bit by ensuring that a full force westerly gale howled across the flat plain of Peffermill. This ensured that wind chill was at world class standards throughout the Festival.

The first ritual in the Festival is for all participants to stand around losing body temperature rapidly as the warmth of the dressing room becomes a distant memory while the solemn ceremony of the toss is held. [Oh no you’re not going to give it religious connotations this week are you? Ed] This ritual determines which group of celebrants remains huddled together while the other group is required to spread around in a suitably artistic fashion.

It was the Carlton High Priest [Eh? Ed] who returned from the frozen altar of the middle to tell his colleagues that he had gained a more than convincing victory in this ceremonial contest. They uttered the mandatory ritual expressions of amazement and surprise and already suitably chilled prepared to take the field.


Your correspondent takes up the story:

Both teams were buoyed by victories in the first match of the season – [I suppose you’ll say that these were warm up games. Ha Ha. Ed]. So there was everything to play for in a table top tussle.

Tom and DC opened the bowling in a severe cross wind helping Tom push the ball away from the batsman and DC to bring it in. Both had early success – Tom taking the first wicket when he beat opener Ben Vincent. In a heroic gesture the umpire removed his finger from the warmth of his pocket to test the wind-chill and pronounce LBW. The wind chill at the other end was tested in the same manner soon after and when Kevin smartly stumped Kirkbrae skipper Umer Tahir off DC, Kirkbrae were 40 for 3 off 13 and looking shaky. DC finished his spell with his usual miserly figures of 2 for 11. Angus was continuing the left arm attack from the road end while FB replaced DC at the railway end. His first over brought immediate success as he clean bowled Wasim Mehdi for a good looking 37. At halfway when cold drinks were taken to the great enjoyment of all players, KB were 52 for 4 and Carlton were on top. FB had 2 more successes, one to a fine catch by Calum off a skier, but Carlton’s other bowlers increasingly found control hard as the cross wind strengthened and gusted. Fielding was not easy on a bumpy ground. KB accelerated as Gupta put bat to ball with some vigour and the wily Raja, much lower down the order than usual, pushed and ran with great purpose. 86 for 6 off 30 became 176 for 6 off 40 as Gupta soared to 60* – taking 22 off FB’s final over, ruining his bowling figures not only for the match but for the season – FB ended 3 for 45.

The rules of the Festival require the celebrants to take tea al fresco, with the emphasis on the fresco and the freddo. A special dispensation allowed players to stand with their backs to the wind. Carlton’s shivering teeth chomped sandwiches and wondered whether Gupta’s late surge had taken the game away from Carlton.

The skipper thought some momentum at the start of the innings would help so Mike opened with Ruairidh. Unfortunately Mike arrived at the wicket completely exhausted from having had to remove the 25 layers of ski wear he had donned during tea and his appearance was regrettably brief. LBW as DC also showed his interest in testing the wind chill factor with his finger as Mike swung at Raja. Ruairidh however looked every inch the opening bat and an assured partnership with Kevin was developing when he stepped too far across and was bowled (wind assisted) round his legs by Tahir. 43 for 2. Ruairidh a high quality 19. Duncan and Kevin then formed the match winning partnership – Duncan cleverly chipping the ball over each fielder in turn – Kevin mercilessly exploiting the shorter wind assisted boundary. They looked in control until Raja came back at the other end and Duncan finally found a fielder to be caught for a sprightly 31 and a stand of 84.

Your correspondent now refers to the Abstracts of the Proceedings of the International Symposium for Cryogenics:

Experiment – to investigate the impact of total body freezing on the forward defensive shot
Subject – Keith Murray
Method – the subject was left in exposed conditions for 26 overs whereupon he was unexpectedly summoned to the crease to face a bowler renowned in the lower leagues for bowling straight
Result – the forward defensive proved defective as the bat’s angle was affected by the severe shivering of the subject and the stumps were shattered.
Analysis – the resulting score of 0 is within the 100% probability – there was no standard deviation – it was a straight one
Conclusion – cryogenic treatments are not a satisfactory preparation for batting. More research is needed to determine the origin of the steam which was emitted from the subject’s ears.


Your correspondent resumes his narrative:

Angus joined Kevin and looked well set until he was run out with victory in sight. As the remaining runs were ticked off Kevin reached his century and finished on 102* (8 4s and 6 6s). An excellent effort.

A victory for Carlton by 5 wickets. Many thanks to Kirkbrae who have introduced coloured clothing into ESCA matches by donning a variegated assortment of anoraks, jackets and gilets. The conditions made it easier for batting than bowling.

The organising committee of the Festival of the Coldest Cricketer in Christendom makes the following awards:

The Coldest Cricketer Award – this year’s award was keenly contested but is shared by Ruairidh Main and Callum Everett. Ruairidh looked the picture of misery in the field until FB gave him his sweater. He then looked like a boy in a bell tent. He may well take up camping. Calum hurt his hand making a great attempt to catch a huge skier off Gupta and asked to bat down the order. He spent he innings wrapped in a tartan rug.

Bluest Hands in Cricket Award – the unchallenged winner of this award was FB himself, the deep blue of his mitts exciting cries of admiration from celebrants on both sides. Mr Fraggle Watts will be asked to consider the colour for future Carlton headwear.

The Committee is already planning next year’s Festival. It will take something special to top this year’s triumphant event.

Scorecard

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Saturday 11th May

ESCA Division Eight
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SMRH 3 shim v
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Carlton 4
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193 for 7

Murray Whitaker 2 for 39

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194 for 3

Neil Kirk 103, Keshav Arvind 59*

Your correspondent spent the morning watching the raindrops on the window and wondering whether he would have to dust down, or more correctly dry off, one of his world famous match reports of matches that do not take place. A wet night had given way to an overcast morning and a heavy late morning shower meant things didn’t look hopeful for the table top clash between Carlton’s All Star 4th XI and SMRH 3 – both teams sitting pretty with 100% records so far.

Evidently voices across the globe were raised in earnest prayer to the forces that influence the weather. In one voice they cried out ‘For pity’s sake spare us from a match report without a match. We can take sub zero temperatures. We can take gale force wind. But we can’t take that. Please, please, please spare us.’ Your correspondent does not know whether these pleas were supplemented by sacrificial offerings of empire biscuits, but through whatever means they proved effective and play at a blustery Inverleith started more or less on time. It may have been 15 degrees warmer than last week, but it was still extremely cold and ski wear was much in evidence.

Carlton welcomed back Neil Kirk, Keshav Arvind, Gregor Shand and Calum Sibley for their first outings this season. Tom Kujawa made his debut. Also forcing his way into the side presumably through his purchase of Carlton’s new playing shirt with the club’s new sponsor’s logo was the one and only Akeel Aslam. The selectors may also have noticed the superstar’s [Steady on. Ed] outstanding commitment to net practice – he stands for hours watching others practice.

Both teams line up for Akeel's camera


Archivists are expected to confirm later today that for the first time in their long and prestigious history the side was Murrayless as both Al and Keith had other commitments.

A hushed aura of expectation hung over the ground as the skipper made his way to the middle with his opposite number for the toss. [Oh no. Here we go. Put the kettle on, we'll be here for some time. Ed] Two wins out of two is an exceptional run of form. A career best. Could he make it three out of three? Would the bubble burst this week? Would he be forced into a rash call? How would the tension affect his judgment? [For goodness sake, get on with it. Ed]. The coin span. He called heads. The coin landed. It rolled along the wicket on its edge. It slowed. Slower. Slower. It wobbled. It began to topple.........[Who do you think you are? Alfred Hitchcock. Just get on with it! Ed] The crowd strained their necks to see. [Sigh. Ed] Heads! By a not insignificant margin! An unparallelled achievement even for this much lauded skipper. A new personal best. This will go down in the history of sporting excellence [Er..........steady on. Ed]

Carlton took the field. Mike and Calum opened the bowling in a gusting cross wind. Akeel standing beside Kevin at slip turned himself up to full volume. Kevin is booking a hearing test on Monday to check for damage to his ears. Calum got instant reward for bowling at the stumps trapping SMRH star bat Miah LBW in his first over. Mike had adjusted his radar this week to take account of atmospheric conditions and there were no easy runs. Mike got his payoff when he bowled Vic Coltherd just when he looked set. Mike finished his 8 overs with 1 for 18 and Calum had 1 for 17 off a 5 over spell. Tom and Gregor came on and both had success – Tom taking a good c&b and Gregor an undeniable LBW. At half way SMRH were 69 for 4 and Carlton felt on top. Akeel had now found 11 on his volume control.

However Carlton reckoned without Euan Campbell. The teenager started cautiously but was soon clumping FB to the boundary with relish. [Well, anyone can do that. Ed] This was a good test for Murray Whitaker – keep it pitched up. Keep it on line. Murray got 2 well deserved wickets – 8 overs, 2 for 37. Tom Kujawa took a fine catch off the skipper [No pressure on Tom then. Ed] to give FB an undeserved scalp and good fielding by Tom and Mike got 2 run outs. Campbell ended on 65* not out to leave SMRH on what looked quite a respectable 193 for 9. Great bowling from Carlton’s youngsters. Great encouragement from Akeel. Tea was well deserved all round.

It was a bit colder when Carlton’s innings was begun by Neil and Keshav. Earlier, Keshav had arrived straight from his school match. ‘Hi Keshav. How’d your match go?’ ‘Er.....we lost..............no, we won............I think.’



Mike comes prepared for a long scoring stint at Inverleith


After a quiet first 3 overs, Neil exploded into action with a 6 and 4 off successive balls and from then on the result was never in doubt. Keshav pushed and whipped it through mid wicket rotating the strike to Neil who scored all round the wicket. He reached a chanceless ton in the 24th over and immediately surrendered giving Scotland u17 girl Ms Savage, who had fielded brilliantly throughout, a c&b. Neil was 103, with 15 fours and 3 sixes. Ruairidh looked solid but then tried to score all the remaining 15 runs off one ball, only to be bowled. As the winning total approached, Keshav got to a fine 50, his first of many for Carlton, and was 59* when victory came. Well done Keshav – and by the way we won this match.

Akeel was still at full volume. He may be unavailable next week due to throat strain.


The youngsters wait patiently for Keshav to get out ...

A fine victory for Carlton. SMRH’s total may have looked challenging but was just not enough on a reliable arti and fast outfield given the power of Carlton’s batting line up. Boom Boom Kennedy, last week’s century maker Kevin, Akeel and FB were all unused. So three out of three victorious tosses. [Don’t you mean three out of three victorious matches? Ed].

Carlton 4s? Centuries-R-Us. A great start to the season.

Many thanks to SMRH for a good game played in fine spirit. See you in July.

[PS – the editor would like to apologise on behalf of his correspondent for the absence of obscure cultural references in this report. He knows many readers (well both of them) may be particularly disturbed by the absence of an allusion to Gustav Mahler. Readers should be assured that he is calling for an immediate and comprehensive psychiatric assessment of the correspondent. He suspects that winning 3 tosses in a row may well have overheated his brain.]

Scorecard

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Saturday 18th May

ESCA Division Eight
  Carlton 4
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Dunnikier 2
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RAINED OFF

Determined not to let his skipper down, Alan Murray continues the 4s' proud tradition of submitting an educational match report for games that haven't even been played ...

The weather forecasters of days gone by took to inspecting the entrails of various fauna to aid their predictions.  Fortunately for the local wildlife population things have moved on although it is debateable if the results of the modern methods are any more accurate than those of the ancient soothsayers.  Whatever their methods the augurs had predicted rain, rain and more rain – enough to scupper even the chances of play on Peffermill’s artificial track, the venue for the 4s' latest contest.  Our opponents were the familiar adversaries of Kismet 2s now playing under the banner of Dunnikier 2s.

Eleven faint pulses were duly assembled for the fray, admittedly in a somewhat haphazard fashion once the logistics of getting the 3rd XI to Freuchie were taken into account.  Sandwiches were made and cakes baked (although for certain players this function may have been delegated to one of the major food retailers).  All that was needed was for the forecasters to prove as accurate as normal and we would have a game. 

In economics Frank Knight formalised the distinction between risk & uncertainty.   Situations with risk were those where the outcomes were unknown but in some way measurable.  Uncertain situations, by contrast, were equally random but not measurable in any fashion.  As the morning wore on the chances of play were definitely uncertain, as there is no way to predict the extent to which the forecasters were correct.  Uncertain, but not forlorn.  The forecast rain was yet to arrive and although conditions were damp underfoot hope lingered like a lingering thing.

Alas by 10:30am the forecasters were threatening to be proved right as the rain started to fall.  Still the fact that we were to play on the plastic at Peffermill meant that if the rain abated a game would still be possible.  An hour passed and despite continued rain there was still a risk of play.  The captains conferred and decided to give it another hour before making a decision on whether Dunnikier were to venture south over the bridge.

In the end it took only another 20 minutes of incessant rain to remove any uncertainty (Knightian or otherwise) from the outcome as puddles formed on the outfield and the empire biscuits were put away for another week.

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Saturday 25th May

ESCA Division Eight
L Morton 2
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Carlton 4
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171 for 8

Tom Kujawa 4 for 20

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162 for 8

Kevin Whitaker 73

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
The cherry darling buds of May surround
Edina’s hallowed Meadows pleasure ground
As Carlton Fours and Morton Twos come play

Vital league points at stake in this glamour tie.
A blazing sun not seen since season begun
Brings a clamorous crowd to watch the fun
As they barbecue beneath the blue sky

The crowd fall silent and the skippers meet
In a flash of silver the coin is tossed
What’s this? The murmur is that Carlton’s lost.
Lost? Lost? The skipper acknowledges defeat

Prostrate, he asks for punishment condign
Though the margin of the loss, he says, was narrow
The shame of failure hurts him to the marrow
Forlorn, cast down, he offers to resign

The junior players are of sterner stuff
They trample on their leader’s broken soul
Hey skip – the boys ask - do we bat or bowl?
We field - he sobs. Right - they say - that’s enough

Callum and skipper open proceeding
And Morton’s openers are circumspect
They block, they nurdle, they push and deflect
Till Callum’s yorker starts the bleeding

A wicket then for shambling skipper Bob
As Shuaib flies to take a brilliant catch
A candidate for moment of the match
27 for 2 after 10 – good job

Young Kujawa takes the ball; it seams, it floats
His spell of 3 for 7 gives us pleasure
Morton 6 5 for 5 feel under pressure
As welcome drinks quench those thirsty throats

But bit by bit they rebuild, with Kartik
And Farrell - they chip and clip and run and shout
Pass the ton; then Shuaib bowls Kartik out
Now with Nanda comes Carlton heartache

Though Murray spins and flips and threatens
He is luckless and they’re scoring plenty
Tom gets another – 4 for 20
Outshines the skipper’s 2 for 16

Morton finish on one seventy one
A decent finish to their innings
Building on slow and careful beginnings
A total, not massive, but a decent one.

So Al and Keshav open with deliberation
Till Keshav is bowled in the 10th over
Kevin is soon smacking it through cover
And giving the square leg palpitations

Then Al on 18 skies a drive and’s caught
Tom Simpson plays straight and gives no chances
While Kevin sparkles flashes and dances
Now Morton are worrying – things look fraught

The hundred is passed and the target comes near
Six runs an over will give Carlton vict’ry
But Farrell bowls Kevin for seventy three
And Morton’s supporters give a huge cheer

Akeel looks solid but has to take chances
He flicks and he prods – he even looks frisky
But that second run was always too risky
Run out for 10 so the skipper advances

The challenge is high and fours are essential
The skipper - he swings; he heaves; and he swishes
Achieves only spectacular misses
The crowd on the boundary are not deferential

‘Try opening your eyes’ comes a withering call
A sensible tip but a little too late
Kartik takes 3 in over thirty eight
And Carlton end nine short after the final ball

An unlucky finish to the Four’s unbeaten run
Great contributions from Kev Tom and Tom
Good catches taken with great aplomb
A fine close game that Carlton could have won

Good luck to Morton we await the return
And hope not for frostbite but more sunburn.


[With apologies to Shakespeare - who declined to submit a match report on the grounds not only that he was dead but he was otherwise unavailable and his broadband link was down. Your correspondent thinks he is spinning in his grave – leg spin he assumes].

Scorecard

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Saturday 1st June

ESCA Division Eight
W
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Leith FAB 2
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Carlton 4
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138 all out

Maxwell Farrer 2 for 9, Mike Kennedy 2 for 10, Dave Carter 2 for 17, Callum Sibley 2 for 25

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140 for 4

Tom Simpson 48, Bob Irvine 37

Your correspondent received the following missive from someone describing themselves as Hon Secretary to the Carlton CC Publications Committee [Er.........that’ll be me. Ed]

Dear Sir,

The Carlton CC Publications Committee met this week and discussed at length the issue of match reports. As a result of that discussion, I have been asked by the Committee to remind you that the purpose of a report of Carlton matches is to convey some information about the game. In particular the result. Significant contributions to the progress of the match should also be included. Generally writers are invited to adopt a light and lively style and are encouraged to bear in mind that brevity is the soul of wit.

The Committee has asked that you consider these points carefully. Some members suggest that if you could just get the point about brevity into your head the world would be a better place. But more particularly they have asked that you refrain from submitting further reports in iambic pentameter, or indeed in any other form of verse. The Committee firmly do not consider that poetry is an appropriate medium for match reports. I did suggest that the verse that you submitted last week could be described as many things but poetry is not one of them. But they consider that a side issue to the main point. They accept the general point that events on the field of play can occasionally be poetic, but on the whole they think the readership prefer match reports in prose. They do not agree with your suggestions that the frequent references in the team to the Waste Land indicate a familiarity with and affection for TS Eliot’s greatest work. Rather they suspect it is a comment on the quality of the playing surface at the Meadows. They also think that for many Carlton players April is the cruellest month has nothing to do with TS Eliot’s work, but is a reflection of the fact that they face the risk of having to play at Peffermill with a gale force wind straight from the Arctic.

The Committee has also set out its view that other artistic media inappropriate for match reports include modern dance, mime, macramé, electronic sound sculpture and embroidery. Especially mime. In short, they ask you should stick to prose and also cut out the long words.

Yours faithfully,

[signature illegible]

Hon Secretary
Carlton CC Publications Committee


Your correspondent is much chastened. He regrets his mistake, he asks the committee to accept that it was honestly committed in a fire of artistic inspiration similar to those previously experienced by Gustav Mahler. He has terminated his subscription to the influential publication ‘Mime For Match Reports and Other Purposes.’ He will be prosaic from now on. [Yes. Yes Yes. Just get on with it for goodness sake . Ed]

The skipper had assembled an XI of all the talents for the fixture against Leith FAB at the historic Leith Links. However his breakfast tranquillity was shattered by news of a late withdrawal of last week’s star bowler following a training injury the evening before. His emergency machinery went into instant action and a replacement was immediately recruited. Gathering the details of his new player for registration purposes, the skipper was only slightly taken aback to discover his recruit was not yet 11 years old. Step forward Pete Gill believed to be the youngest Carlton senior debutant. Two of Pete’s team mates had over 50 years of a start on him – not that they put any of that extensive experience to anything like good use.

The Links were breezy and the sunshine deceptively cool as the team’s assembled. Could the All Stars get back on the winning trail after falling short in last week’s run chase? That was a run chase of heroic dimension and splendidly recalled in vivid Homeric verse [Ahem. Please see above. Ed]

Also making his first appearance was u15 bowler Max Farrer and the team also welcomed back over15 but eternally young Mike Kennedy from his epic cycle trip round Spain. On the way down to Leith Mike suggested to the skipper that he fancied a bowl today.

By comparison with many tosses [Oh no here we go – perhaps the poetry thing was better after all Ed] that have been celebrated by poets through history, yesterday’s event was quiet. It was orderly and discreet. There was no sense of anything out of place. It had a beginning a middle and an end. In that order. It was in short and well proportioned, suitable for a haiku rather than an Homeric epic [Oh for pity’s sake just tell us about the end. Ed] OK - Carlton lost. That early season run of successful tosses seems to be a thing of the past. But there were no histrionics. The skipper accepted his failure with humility and was informed that Leith would bat.

Tom and Callum opened the bowling. Before the blink of an eye, Leith had lost both openers – Callum struck first getting an outside edge and Kevin at slip taking a fine catch fast and high to his right. Tom’s yorker in the next over got the just LBW verdict. Callum then got another in the 10th over, caught behind, to leave Leith on 36 for 3. At that point in the match all fielding (other than the catches noted) had been done by Keith Murray. The rest of the team were contemplating getting sun loungers out since the batsmen did not think they were part of the game. Keith meanwhile was diving, chasing, sliding and whanging it in like a man possessed. At the fall of each wicket Mike had mentioned to the skipper ‘Am I going to get a bowl today?’

Pete Gill replaced Tom and bowled a nice 4 over spell. Well done Pete. Mike asked whether he was going to get a bowl. The skipper huffed and puffed at the other end but has obviously taken all his wickets for the season already. 6 overs for 4 runs kept the lid firmly on things. There was another query from Mike as to whether he would get a bowl today, as the skipper brought on Murray and DC. Murray induced a skied catch to Kevin. There is nothing like the incentive of having to give double pocket money for a month to ensure that a catch is taken. There was shock around the team when DC was smacked for 2 fours off successive balls. Archivists are sure that this is the first time that this has happened since DC was Pete Gill’s age. Some pundits are not convinced by this – they say that DC was never as young as that. Your correspondent should record that DC was suffering from a heavy cold and should be applauded for his heroic effort – a verse or two would seem appropriate [Oh no you don’t Ed] The skipper was concerned about DC’s chances of survival to the end of each over without breathing equipment being brought on to the field. But DC had his own revenge with 2 wickets in his next 2 overs. The first was an athletic [Steady – this is DC you’re talking about. Ed] c&b to dismiss LFAB number 3 bat Fraser, who had put up stout resistance to accumulate 48. Mike welcomed the progress with the question ‘Will I be getting bowl today.’ Max Farrer came on for his first senior bowl and immediately looked the part with a c&b in his first over. He ended with 2 for 9 off his 4 overs. As he trekked from mid wicket to midwicket the skipper said ‘Mike next over this end.’ Mike answered forlornly ‘I don’t suppose I’ll get a bowl today.’ ‘Next over this end’ ‘Oh all right, if I really must.’ Mike came on and wound up the tail taking 2 for 10 in 10 balls to leave LFAB all out for 138.

A tight bowling effort by old and young alike. While there were a few mistakes in the field – a couple of run outs in particular went a-begging - they were not costly in the end. This looked a gettable total. Mike sat down to tea with the question ‘Will I be getting a bat today?’

The ladies of Leith always offer a fine tea. Many thanks to them.

Keith and Tom opened the innings. Steve Middleton, LFAB’s wily veteran [What kind of cliché is this you’re giving us now? Maybe you’d be better with macramé after all. Ed] presented an early challenge. But Keith was soon prospering by smacking anything pitched short over the short cover boundary. Remarkable since his bat sounded completely gone – it had cracked at nets last week and his attempt to mend it with 3 six inch nails, a staple gun, chewing gum and welding equipment may not have been successful. The innings was going along nicely at 35 off 10 when Keith’s bat failed him altogether and he was bowled by Middleton. The expectant crowd hushed, looking forward to seeing Kevin stride to the wicket. All they got was FB; Kevin too was riddled with the cold and asked to go down the order. As the skipper crossed the boundary Mike said ‘I don’t suppose I’ll be getting a bat today.’

Tom and FB prospered. Tom survived a sticky run out incident when FB sent him back to see him slip but the keeper failed to gather cleanly and everything was OK. There was occasional rain in the gusting wind now as the sky darkened. But FB plundered the short ball and Tom drove cleanly and well and they brought the hundred up without further alarm. FB was then bowled round his legs in a display of incompetence only he can muster. FB out for 37 with the winning total in sight but still 36 runs away. Mike welcomed the skipper back ‘Will I be getting a bat today.’ Murray and Tom then took things on till Murray, having reached double figures, thought that a 6 over the top against the wind was required and got more height than distance to be caught. ‘Mike. Mike. It’s you. You’re in.’ ‘What. What. I suppose I’ll have to bat then.’ The batsmen had crossed so Tom faced the next ball and was bowled unluckily short of his 50 on 48. An excellent effort – well done Tom – particularly good through the covers. Kevin averted the hat trick and he and Mike knocked off the remaining runs – Mike bringing up the target with a characteristically huge 6.

Carlton win by 6 wickets and 6 overs to spare. A good win. There were excellent debuts from Pete and Max – credit yet again to the standards of the junior coaching team. An innings of great class and potential from Tom. A valuable contribution from Mike (10 balls 2 wickets – 4 balls 8 runs – a supreme expression of minimalist art [Oh shut up. Ed] Well done everyone.

Thanks to LFAB for a game played in great spirit with good humour all round. See you in August.
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Saturday 8th June ESCA Division Eight
W
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Stirling County 4 shim v
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Carlton 4
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173 for 4

away

177 for 5

Kevin Whitaker 69*, Tom Simpson 41

‘The sun has got his hat on, Hip Hip Hooray, The sun has got his hat on, and he’s coming out to play.’ [Oh no you’re not back on that poetry thing are you? Ed].

This song was written in 1932 by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler and featured in the West End show Me and My Girl. It fell into obscurity but was popularised by Jonathan King in the 1980s. A mixed blessing for anyone. Although the song is very English in its style, your correspondent understands that it was written specifically to record the last time the sun shone during a cricket match in Scotland. Gay and Butler also wrote that other famous cricket song ‘Run Rabbit Run’ – the instruction given by the established batter to the lower order player on the last ball of the over. And that was it as far as their cricketing songs go.

Your correspondent has never fully understood why the sun should put his hat on to come out to play. What kind of hat would the sun wear? [I bet you can’t resist saying a sun hat - Ha ha. Ed] Frankly your correspondent wishes this chap Ed would stop interrupting – as if he would stoop to such an obvious joke. There are so many possibilities facing the sun. A sombrero? A souwester? Or maybe - a bowler? [Groan. Ed] Your correspondent’s money is on a cricket cap in a fetching shade of light blue such as sported by all serious minded Carlton cricketers this season.

But his hat was definitely on as the Carlton All Stars 4th XI made the trip to Stirling in search of the vital league points that would keep them at the top of the league. They arrived in good time to find the a good looking firm wicket. The outfield was smooth and fast. The team’s senior players – that is all those over the age of 13 – chorused to the skipper – ‘Better win the toss and bat.’ Challenging advice for a skipper with a bowl first mentality. The skipper duly sought out a dark room to lie down in and await decision time.

The skippers met. The coin was flipped. Carlton’s skipper called heads. Both skippers looked earnestly at the coin on the grass. It was one of those new fangled things with a funny design. Was it heads or tails? The skippers struggled. Eventually they thought it might help to turn the coin over. Yes, there was something on that side with a passing resemblance to the Queen. Which meant that, on the balance of probabilities, the other side was tails. But could they be sure? The skippers debated whether they should send the coin for forensic examination to reach a definitive conclusion. [For pity’s sake, can’t you just say who won or lost? Ed] But the Stirling skipper asserted that he had definitely seen a coin like that before and that definitely was heads and he would definitely bat. Definitely. Carlton’s skipper was shell shocked. A third toss lost in a row. And so narrowly. And a third time he’d been asked to field. Are there no other bowl first skippers left? Is he such a fossilised relic? [We all know the answer to that one. Ed]

The skipper’s pre-match talk showed all the qualities required for leadership of the 4th XI. He gathered the players in a huddle. His rhetoric was Churchillian, ‘Right lads,’ he declaimed, ‘Make sure you get that sun cream on.’ ‘I’m not putting on any sun cream.’ ‘Mike – you’ll put that sun cream on or you won’t get a bowl today.’ Mike’s bottom lip pouted. He scraped the ground with his foot. He took the tube and with ill grace smeared across his face and arms. ‘Now, that wasn’t so hard was it?’

The match got underway. Things proceeded quietly. Callum and Adam bowled well in partnership but after an initial flurry of boundaries, Stirling’s openers took no risks and Carlton felt in control. The wicket was true and bowlers would have to work hard for any reward today. Mike (having assured the skipper again that he had put his sun cream on) and Ruairidh came on. Mike immediately slowed the scoring to funereal pace and ended up with excellent figures of 8-4-7-0. A reward for good stump to stump bowling adn unlucky not to get a wicket. Ruairidh was getting some purchase on the dry surface but it was his devastating full toss that got the breakthough. Stirling skipper Bruce Cilliers swatted it away. A four to backward square leg everyone thought - reckoning without Mike who, almost as an afterthought, stuck up his left hand and plucked the ball from the air. A wonder catch. But Mike was not finished. Bowled out, he was replaced by Max whose first ball was lashed in Mike’s direction. Simples. Then a smart bit of fielding by Gregor in the covers ran out opener Bentley by a mile, to leave Stirling 82 for 3 off 28 and not really doing justice to the surface. But McGowan was now at the wicket and set about sorting that out with a series of big hits. He was well supported by 12 year old Jasper Davidson until the youngster was bowled by the skipper for 16. Then with young Machana also trusting his eye, the score rattled up to a creditable 173 at the end of the 40th over, with an eye watering 14 off the skipper’s final over. So much for FB’s legendary death bowling skills. [So much for what? Ed] McGowan ended with a robust 49* including 2 huge maximums – just what his skipper wanted.

An excellent all round fielding effort from Carlton [Really - I heard rumours that the skipper had a couple of comedy episodes trying to take catches? Off his own bowling too. Is there any truth in the rumour that money (or empire biscuits) changed hands to suppress this information? Ed]

After team re-hydration, and a first class tea, the sun still had his fetching light blue cap on. The wicket still looked true and Carlton felt confident they could get the runs.

Your correspondent reprints here the following review from Movie Review

THE RETURN OF THE BARNACLE

Too long have movie fans lamented the absence of matinee idol Shaun Barrett from the screen. Rumoured to have spent a long period in rehab to cure him of his debilitating addiction to the forward defensive prod, he makes his return in this low budget comedy-horror movie.

As the audience settled in their seats they were shocked to see his second ball smacked for a one bounce four over square leg. But after this brainstorm the Barnacle was soon at his best, terrorising spectators and bowlers alike with a series of singles.

It couldn’t last though and the tension mounted until he swung at the last ball of McGowan’s first over collapsing in a heap only to find himself bowled round his legs for 16.

Rating ***

Shaun had done his job with a steady opening partnership of 57 with Tom Simpson who looks a classier batsman with every appearance. Kevin made sure he played himself in before taking advantage of the fine batting surface. The score had reached 90 off 23. Everything was serene. But things can change quickly. Hooper came on and took 3 quick wickets. Bowling Tom for a top drawer 41, then giving Gregor no chance with a stinking leg cutter before having Ruairidh caught at cover. Mike had also been and gone mistiming a big hit to be caught off Van Uren. 121 for 5 off 28 and suddenly Stirling felt they had a chance. A feeling that must have approached certainty when they saw FB shambling to the crease. And there was drama next over when Kevin went for the big one to see McGowan leap and take what looked like a fine catch above his head. Unfortunately for him, and his team, he landed with his shoulders over the boundary rope (and an agonising spasm of cramp to add to the pain). FB looked Kevin in the eye, ‘Hit it harder next time will you. My nerves can’t stand that.’ There were no more emergencies as Kevin and Bob calmly racked up the required runs. Carlton overtook the total in the 35th over, Kevin 69* Bob 21*.

FB would like to apologise for smacking the bowling of 8 year old D Davidson for a series of 4s. He accepts that there will be an investigation by the appropriate authorities into whether this constitutes undue cruelty to children. The investigators may also note that FB bowled a 12 year old batsman earlier in the day. While FB accepts that he should pick on someone his own age – or at least his own size since there is unlikely to be anyone his own age anywhere near a cricket field, he maintains he was provoked by young Davidson’s evident attempt to spin the ball away from him. It won’t be long before the youngster will all too easily be able to make FB look like a clueless monkey. See previous match reports of FB’s efforts against spin bowling. [Too many to chose from. Ed]

An excellent well paced chase from Carlton with top class knocks from Kevin and Tom.

Thanks to Stirling for a game with ebb and flow which kept the crowd interested, good banter and fine contributions from youngsters (and the not so young) on both sides. See you in Edinburgh for the return. Good luck until then.

Scorecard

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Sunday 16th June ESCA Division Eight
W
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Carlton 4
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Largo 3
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128 for 6

Alan Murray 29*, Calum Everett 25*

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GL

127 for 9

Mike Kennedy 4 for 23

French mathematician and child prodigy Blaize Pascal, despite being named after a tennis surface, was not known as a great sportsman. He was, however, one of the first great thinkers to turn his mind to the idea of calculating the likely outcome of an uncertain event. Most of his predecessors had conceded that these outcomes were controlled by forces outwith their control and had paid them little heed as a result. Pascal’s radical approach helped develop the theory of probability and in return he got a computer language named after him.

The relevance of Pascal to the 4th XIs match against Largo 3s is not the large number of child prodigies on show from the home side, although it might well have been. Instead it relates to the calculation of their chances of winning shorn of the talents of the league’s top batter (Whitaker Snr, otherwise engaged with a small white ball) and top bowler (Irvine very Snr, indisposed by the lurgy). Things looked bleak although Bob’s absence did allow the late call up of young leggie Ruairidh Main which, on the same wicket that Cheeky had bamboozled Grange in the 150th Celebration Match two days earlier, did offer some cause for optimism.

So to the toss, or as it turned out, the tosses. The first attempt was scuppered by the visiting skipper calling once the coin had come to rest. The fact that he’d called incorrectly was deemed insufficient reason not to have another go. This time the call of tails was successful and Largo opted to bat. Play eventually got underway after stand-in skipper Al Murray remembered to get a ball from the cupboard and Angus & Callum bowled accurately giving the Largo openers little chance to use the lightning fast outfield. Eventually the pressure told and Angus picked up the first wicket at the start of the 7th over with only 5 on the board. After an excellent opening spell of 10 overs for the cost of just 14 runs, Calum & Mike were introduced into the attack. Calum plugged away manfully but all the action was happening at the other end. A successful middle stump yorker in his first over put an extra spring into the Kennedy stride. In his 3rd over Mike had the other Largo opener adjudged LBW and followed it up with, in his own words, “the best ball I’ve ever bowled”. Pitching a foot wide of off stump the ball jagged back to clip the top of off leaving the Largo number 5 to realise that of the two types of leave, that was a “bad leave”. The next man in rather spoiled things by successfully defending Mike’s next ball so there would be no hat-trick for the Midmar Malinga.

The Midmar Malinga

Just before drinks Mike picked up his 4th with another LBW decision to see off the dangerous looking Frankland. Spin was the order of the day after the break and Murray struck immediately thanks to a sharp catch from Keshav at short midwicket. Ruairidh was making the most of the rough outside the right-handers' leg stump and bowled a succession of maidens before bowling the Largo number 8, breaking a handy partnership. Angus came back, but Jess & Singh were doing a good job of pushing the score along. Callum & Mike also came back and bowled well but could not prevent the Largo pair bringing up a 50 partnership. In the final over the pressure of the good death bowling eventually told resulting in a couple of run outs and Largo closed on 127 for 9.

Barbara had done her usual sterling effort and a high quality tea was taken. Only 4 empire biscuits were present so clearly news of Bob’s indisposition had filtered out to the residents of South Edinburgh.

Keshav & Shaun strode out to the middle knowing that if we could bat our overs the probability of winning was high. Pascal would have been proud. Unfortunately Keshav chipped one to short cover in the second over and made sure everyone in the ground knew he felt he should have done better. Tom followed him back to the pavilion shortly after, failing to keep out a hooping yorker from Singh. At 5 for 2 things were looking bleak and the odds were lengthening. Keith & Shaun however knuckled down, seeing off the Largo openers, and the score had moved onto 37 when Shaun gloved a rising delivery from McGilvary to the keeper. This brought Calum to the crease and after a watchful start he got the pace of the wicket and played a succession of fine shots. Keith, having dug in well, slapped the Largo 5th bowler straight to point and we were 4 down with half the runs required and 15 overs left. Mike then put paid to any issues over the required rate with a brief but entertaining cameo (does he do any other kind?) and he was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Angus who had made the mistake of getting his pad in front of his bat. Stand in skipper Murray Jnr made his way to the middle with 40 required in 12 overs. Disappointed not to get the opportunity to unleash his trademark cover drive he had to make do with hitting the occasional full toss to leg as he & Calum saw Carlton home by 4 wickets with 3 and a bit overs to spare.

Runs for Calum

All in all a great team performance. Contributions all round, some great death bowling ensuring the total we had to chase did not get out of hand. Good gritty batting from Shaun & Keith and a very mature knock from Calum showing that while Pascal’s work allowed the calculation of probabilities those resulting odds do not determine the outcome. Thanks also to Largo for playing the game in such good spirit. We look forward to the return match at East Drive at the end of August.

Scorecard

Photos

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Saturday 22nd June ESCA Division Eight

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Carlton 4
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Dalgety Bay
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184 for 3 (31 overs)

Kevin Whitaker 53, Shaun Barrett 48*, Eric Edwards 35*

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MATCH ABANDONED

Your correspondent would like to share with his readers this touching vignette he observed at the start of today’s events.  As Fantasy Bob assembled his carefully selected All Stars XI for the day’s vital league encounter with Dalgety Bay CC, he reminded his squad that this was a very important anniversary in the history of cricket.

‘It is the 300th birthday of Lord Sackville, one of the game’s notable early players,’ he said.

His younger charges politely absorbed this information.

‘Did you play with him then Bob?’

Fantasy Bob made it clear to the sceptical junior member of the All Stars that he had never played under Lord Sackville as one of the Men of Kent against the All England XI in one of the first games for which a scorecard survives. 

‘Look at that historic scorecard all you will and you will see no mention of Fantasy Bob.’ he intoned.

The youngster wasn’t having that as definitive proof.

‘Maybe you were called something else then.’

The afternoon was wearing on.  The opposition had joined the All Stars at Peffermill’s vast expanses, and unconcerned with the nuances of history, seemed to be indulging in some kind of warm up routine.  It was unconvincing.  The All Stars’ world famous standing around routine looked far better preparation for the tussle ahead.

There was only one thing for it at this stage in the afternoon’s proceedings. [Groan.  Ed] The skippers sauntered towards the middle, eyeing the massing grey clouds in the sky. Rain was forecast.  Interruptions looked likely this afternoon.  But this was their moment.  The rest of the players let them spend it together in peace. The coin went up, and in the way of these things, came down.  The call was made.  The rain held off for the moment.  ‘Heads.’  The skippers bent to look.  Was that a spot of rain?  Should they come off just in case?  [For goodness sake get on with it – you can’t have rain stopped toss.  Just tell us who won.  Ed]  Readers, your correspondent is pained to report that it was man against boy out there.  An overwhelming defeat for Carlton.  FB’s early season form, which brought an unprecedented 3 successful tosses in a row, has deserted him.  A fourth consecutive loss (5 if you count substitute skipper Al Murray’s defeat last week) and Carlton were invited to bat. Only too many precedents for such a dismal run.  More practice needed.   

The toss may not have been interrupted by rain. But the clouds continued to mass. For the first time this season the All Stars would bat first.  Dalgety Bay had opted to take the opportunity to get soaked in the field first.  Ruairidh and Shaun opened and got things past the first rain break of the afternoon.  Your correspondent will remind readers that there being no cover of any sort within a mile of the pitch, the concept of taking shelter from the rain at Peffermill has a different meaning than that they may be used to.  It simply means standing getting wet in a different place than if play were in progress. 

Anyway Ruairidh got himself out LBW for a brisk 14 shortly after.  Kevin joined Shaun.  While the run rate motored along well enough, overs were taking longer and longer as the ball had to be dried after each delivery.  Another couple of rainbreaks. The afternoon is wearing on. Kevin is bowled for 53.  Murray imitates his father but for 49 fewer runs.  Eric, making his first appearance of the season, starts like Mahler’s 3rd symphony in a blaze of brass and percussion, taking boundaries at all points of the compass. 

But still there is only one issue on everyone’s minds.  Could Shaun get to 50 before the black cloud imposes what could be a terminal break on proceedings?  Readers who have only recently taken up these reports may be unfamiliar with the Barrett approach to building an innings.  Such is his skill that he will turn easy twos into fraught singles.  He will only venture a three when he has full medical clearance and the emergency services are standing by.  Time can seem to stand still when he is at the crease.  He certainly is. So can his score.  So it was this afternoon.  The closer he got to 50, the further away he got from it.  When he finally got to 48 even the rainclouds had had enough and a heavy squall drove everyone to the refuge of the distant pavilion.  For want of anything better to do, tea, well up to the usual standard, was taken. 

It was well after 5pm and getting near FB’s bed time.  Although FB made a forlorn attempt to get things moving again, eventually he recognised that there was not time left to get a result and the match was abandoned without a result.  Carlton were 184 for 3 off 31 overs.  Shaun 48*, Eric 35*.  A strong position but, as readers will know from previous years, the All Stars abandon matches only when they are in a strong position.  

Thanks to Dalgety Bay’s players for sharing the attempt to get a result.  The strangeness of the fixture schedule means that the sides face each other next week – if everyone has dried out in time.   

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 29th June ESCA Division Eight
L Dalgety Bay
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Carlton 4
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  81 for 2 away 80 all out

Your correspondent was unable to report on the Massacre of Glen Coe which took place on 13 February 1692. The reasons for this failure are self-evident. The event took place outwith the cricket season.

On that day 38 members of the MacDonald clan died at the hands of government forces under the command of Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. 40 others died of exposure in the following days. The events leading up to the massacre are complicated, but popular understanding likes to attribute it to a long running feud between the MacDonalds and the Campbells. By popular acclaim this feud runs strong today, and no MacDonald will eat Campbell’s tomato soup, nor will a Campbell voluntarily consume Chicken Nuggets.

It is thought [By whom? This looks like you're just making it up again. Ed] that in honour of the solemnity, since the day of the massacre of these tragic historical events there has been no cricket played at Glen Coe.

Since those far off days, your correspondent has had little opportunity to observe and report on such momentous and distressing events. He is therefore grateful to the players of Carlton 4 and Dalgety Bay CC who re-enacted the Glen Coe massacre through the medium of cricket. He acknowledges that this may not have been the intention of the All Stars side as they assembled at Grange Loan for the harrowing journey to the deserted hostile highland wilderness. [Er.... is this an accurate description of Dalgety Bay? Ed]. But once it was evident that this was the purpose of the day’s outing, they committed themselves wholeheartedly to it.

But to the start of the day’s events - it was an inexperienced but enthusiastic squad that came together. The savage virus of holidays had swept through Carlton ranks making availability more than its usual challenge as sufferers of the virus languished in fevered agony on various Mediterranean beaches. The All Stars were therefore honoured with guest appearances by Annette Drummond, whose brother apparently plays cricket, and Phil McIntyre, about whose brother your correspondent knows nothing but whose offspring Gregor, another future star from Carlton’s primary side, made his All Stars debut. So spirits were high as they journeyed through the savage mountains [Er....don’t you mean over the Forth Road Bridge? Ed]

History has shown that at most massacres, the toss is all important. [Oh no, here you go. Readers with things to do today can skip the next bit. Ed] At Glen Coe part of the problem was the unwillingness of the MacDonalds to pledge allegiance properly to King William. This handicapped the MacDonald skipper in that he would not on principle call heads – particularly since many historians suggest that the Government skipper used a 2 headed coin.

The chieftains put these considerations behind them as they met for the toss. They recalled that last week’s events had seen Carlton in a strong position when the match was abandoned and so could not be regarded as the re-enactment through the medium of cricket of any historical event.

The chieftains did not draw attention to the historic parallels in the run up to the Glen Coe events, but these cannot have been far from their minds as the coin went up and the call was made. Carlton’s chieftain looked with affection at the members of his clan, his callow and inexperienced charges cavorting joyfully on the boundary – unaware of the serious business in which he was engaged. They had innocently placed all their trust in his hands. How could he let them down? [Yes, yes, enough of the Sir Walter Scott stuff – just get on with it. Ed].

‘Hah!’ said the Dalgety Bay commander, ‘I warrant I win sir. I will have you be the MacDonalds, prepare to bat for your very lives, you Highland dogs.’ Or words to that effect.

Your correspondent would like to assure readers that Government Statisticians are already examining the remarkable series of toss outcomes in the All Stars this season. Following 3 initial successes there have been 6 straight losses. And not by narrow margins either. Such a run is thought to be unique and beyond the capabilities of a hundred monkeys at a hundred typewriters who would finish delivering the works of Shakespeare and Fantasy Bob before getting such a sequence.

But the Campbells took the field with the secret government orders in their commander’s pocket – ‘fall upon the rebels and show no mercy’. Their purpose was evident from the first. Barnacle MacDonald’s legendary sticking power proved good for 2 balls until he got a full blooded stroke from a claymore and perished [Er......I think you mean an unplayable fast rising delivery which even Boycott would have struggled to get near but which Barnacle showing his supreme skill in these matters nicked it behind. Ed] And from then on it was a sad procession of corpses as the Campbell forces rode roughshod over the piteous MacDonalds, none of whom got to terms with the capricious Campbell-type behaviour of the artificial strip. They showed no mercy. All that was missing was the pibroch. Brief flashes of resistance from Eric Edwards MacDonald (20) and Fantasy Bob MacDonald (19) were ruthlessly suppressed and the massacre was complete within 26 overs in which the slaughtered MacDonalds amassed a mere 80 points of resistance. [Er..don’t you mean runs. Ed]

It may have been a brave total in the circumstances, but was never enough to stave off the massacre. The Campbells lost a couple of Redcoats to Calum Sibley MacDonald and Gregor McIntyre MacDonald but reached the total in the 16th over and brought a sad end to Carlton’s days at the top of the league.

In the words of Jim Maclean’s ballad as recorded by the Corries and many others -

Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the graves o' Carlton All Stars.
O, cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And knocked them off the top of the league


Early bath. Early beer. Early home. All in all a splendidly accurate re-enactment. Well done to Dalgety Bay who were too strong for the All Stars in all departments of the game – particularly the toss and the wholesale slaughter.

Carlton will bear in mind that the events of Glen Coe became an important element in the myth making and propaganda leading to the Jacobite rebellions. Your correspondent understands that Carlton’s recently formed Committee for the Re-enactment of Historical Events Through the Medium of Cricket is now examining the prospects of a re-enactment through the medium of cricket of Culloden. [You must be making this up. Ed] The skipper had better get the toss right on that one. [Fat chance. Ed]

Scorecard

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Saturday 6th July ESCA Division Eight
W
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Glenrothes 3 shim v
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Carlton 4
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130 for 9

Gregor McIntyre 3 for 29, Bob Irvine 2 for 17

away

131 for 4

Eric Edwards 39, Akeel Aslam 33*

Your correspondent is chastened, if not humbled.  Members of the readership of these columns, who must be numbered in their handfuls, have commented that all this stuff that has appeared this year is fine if you are interested in the outcome of the matches played by the Carlton All Stars 4th XI.  While they do not disparage those who wish to find out this important information, they express disappointment that, in the course of so many words this season, your correspondent has not shed further enlightenment on the pressing subject of the contribution made to the development of Scottish cricket by Gustav Mahler.   

They suggest that Saturday – 6 July 2013 – might be a good occasion to rectify this oversight.  For that day marks the 40th anniversary of the death of legendary orchestral conductor Otto Klemperer.  Klemperer was a good friend of Mahler’s and amongst other things assisted him in the premiere of his 8th symphony, known as the Symphony of a Thousand.  This direct connection with the composer gives Klemperer’s recordings of Mahler a distinct authority.  Although Klemperer, who stood at 6ft 6inches, had the stature to be a decent pace bowler, that potential was never realised as the conducting got in the way of net practice. His contribution to the development of Scottish cricket is therefore negligible, if not non-existent.  

As for Gustav Mahler, it is generally reckoned that he never visited Glenrothes.  Indeed it would have been remarkable if he had for Mahler died in 1911 at least 30 years before the town of Glenrothes was founded in the 1940s.  It was then that a stray roundabout was found in central Fife and planners considered it just the thing to build a new town around.   

Had Mahler visited Glenrothes and had he accompanied the Carlton All Stars on their visit on league business in Saturday, he might have been inspired by the setting at Gilvenbank Park, Glenrothes CC’s prospective new home.  The artificial wicket was inaugurated this year prior to the club moving lock stock and barrel there next season.   Greeting the All Stars as they arrived was an expansive meadow, strewn with daisies.  As the youngest member of Carlton’s party remarked, ‘This is what the second movement of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony evokes – as all Carlton juniors know that movement was originally titled ‘What the flowers in the meadow tell me.’ ‘OK,’ said the second youngest member of the party, ‘what do the flowers in the meadow tell you?’ ‘That Fife Council didn’t cut the outfield yesterday,’ came the answer.   

Further discussion of Mahler by the junior members was put on hold as the team prepared for the coming challenge.  Both sides were much changed from those who contested so memorably the opening encounter of the season at Grange Loan.  The holiday season meant that there were a mere 3 survivors from that chill April Sunday in each team.  Carlton welcomed back Jim MacDonald who attempted to hang up his bat after winning the Fourth XI batting prize 2 years ago ‘Nothing in cricket could top that.’ he is quoted as saying.  Ian Thompson also returned, playing his first match since the earlier encounter with Glenrothes.  Young Pete Gill’s Dad Brian also turned out.  

After discussion in the dressing room, it was agreed that it would have been miraculous had Gustav Mahler visited Glenrothes.  But following yesterday’s enjoyable tussle, religious authorities have been invited to inspect the evidence to allow Glenrothes to be deemed a designated site of miraculous happenings.  The evidence assembled is:

  • FB won the toss – by a mile.  Nothing other than divine intervention can explain this after the recent miserable run of failure. [What?  Is that all you’re saying about the toss this week?  Are you ill?  Ed]
  • FB took a wicket in his first over.  Clear evidence of divine intervention as the ball jagged back from outside off and kept low.  All cricketers know that FB does not posses that level of skill.
  • FB took a catch – even though this was at the second attempt it was a convincing effort and could only have been achieved through divine intervention. It may be the last catch in FB’s career. An application to build a shrine on the site at midwicket has been received by Fife Council.
  • Barnacle took a stumping.  Divine intervention clearly allowing time to stand still while he gathered the ball and demolished the timbers.
  • Akeel took a quick single.  Akeel had never taken even a slow single before.
  • Al Murray hit a six [What?  We don’t believe you. Say that again?  Ed]  Divine intervention – as Al said modestly ‘It would have gone even further if I’d middled it.’
  • The sun shone brightly throughout the match.  Has this ever happened before in Scotland?

While the authorities consider the application, here are the essentials of the match. [Oh you remembered that a match had been played.  Well done.  Ed]   

Having won the toss, Carlton fielded [Surprise.  Ed]. Good opening spells by Callum Sibley and FB soon had Glens in trouble.  Callum finishing his spell with the best ball of the day to take out left hander Morris’s off stump.  Their good work was carried on by Gregor McIntyre, who had opener Sampson caught behind when he looked set to bat all day, and Akeel, the beneficiary of FB’s miraculous catch.   This left Glens at 56 for 5 after 20.  Skipper Gould and Hutchison then rallied themselves and put on a lively stand of 62 before Gregor came back to dismiss Hutchison for 25, attempting a hefty pull to midwicket that resulted in a skied top edge which Gregor  confidently pouched.  Gregor finished with 3 for 29.  He bowled with real maturity – at one point he stopped his run up to return to his mark.  His skipper congratulated him by saying ‘Well done Gregor.  If it doesn’t feel right.  Pull out.’  This remark was met with much hilarity by certain older members of the side, for reasons the skipper fails to understand.  

Gould was out shortly after, stumped off Al Murray for 32.  Pete Gill bowled a nice spell but was unluckily deemed too young to take a wicket. His Dad meanwhile was gamboling in the daisy field like a spring lamb – a great display of energy and commitment in the field, rolling back the 19 years he claimed had passed since he last played.  FB came back to hit the off stump again, he finished with 2 for 17, and then combined with Eric in a smart run out. Glens finished on 130 for 9 off their 40.  

After a relaxed picnic tea in the sunshine, Carlton started the chase confidently with Jim and Eric, until Jim left the gate wide open and was bowled.  Eric had middled just about everything and got to a brisk 39 before he mistimed a drive and Henderson took fine return catch diving to his left.  Ian looked in form until he was snaffled by a great catch by R Gibbs at slip.   Gregor pushed too hard and gave a return catch to Morris who finished with very tight figures of 2-14 off his 8 overs. 62 for 4 was not what the doctor ordered [Doctor ?– what’s he got to do with it?  Ed] but the experienced heads of Akeel and Al Murray saw the match out without further alarm, first steadying things up and then accelerating towards the target.  Akeel was immaculate in defence and dealt with the bad ball.  Al was also chanceless and levelled the scoring with his divinely ordained maximum over square leg.  For the second time in 3 matches, Al was not out at the game’s end – he obviously understands the average enhancing effects of this. Akeel ended 33* and Al 28*.  Well done both.  

Carlton won by 6 wickets in the 30th over.  A great effort from a much changed team to get back on the winning trail after last week’s reverse.  

Many thanks to Glenrothes for a most enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment.  They did well to lay the sunshine on and the light breeze across the ground added the right level of cooling.  Good luck for the rest of the season.  Carlton look forward to seeing how the big plans at Gilvenbank come about and to visiting the shrine to FB’s catch in future years.   Your correspondent hopes that there was enough about Mahler in this report. [Far too much thanks.  Maybe you should give him a rest for the rest of the season.  Ed]

Scorecard

Photos from Glenrothes CC

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Saturday 13th July ESCA Division Eight
L Kirk Brae
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v
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Carlton 4
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266 for 5

Bob Irvine 2 for 45, Harry Simpson 1 for 18

away

235 for 8

Angus Hinton 59, Bob Irvine 51*, Kevin Whitaker 46

To many of Carlton’s junior members 1968 seems more than a life time away – indeed for some of those who have distinguished themselves by their performances this season in the All Stars Fourth XI it is at least 3, if not 4, lifetimes away.  But to your correspondent it is but an eye blink from the present. 

1968 was nothing if not an eventful year – the world seemed on the point of change.  There were riots in Paris, Czechoslovakia was invaded by Russian troops, the MCC tour to South Africa was cancelled over the D’Oliviera affair.  Protest and rebellion were all around.  It was into this tumultuous world that one of the greatest of all cricket songs was released.  Your correspondent remembers rushing to the record shop to purchase it.  Junior members will find the concept of a record shop alien – it was like i-Tunes but involved a bus journey. 

It is not thought that any of the members of the band Canned Heat were cricketers.  For one thing they were American.  Yet their classic blues track On the Road Again clearly tells of the despair of a medium paced bowler used to green tops being asked to bowl on a dry shiny surface with a rapid outfield, where a batsman has nothing to fear and runs come fast and plenty. ‘I’m so tired of bowlin’, on the road again.....’

Your correspondent was reminded of Canned Heat’s master work yesterday as he viewed the efforts of Carlton’s All Stars to maintain their promotion challenge at the top of Division 8 against fellow table toppers KirkBrae.  

On a week when over 40 Carlton players were unavailable for duty, the skipper had spent long sleepless nights wondering how he could fill his team sheet beyond the 5 names he had on Wednesday.  Little by little the team assembled.  Kevin Whitaker was flown in specially from New York.  Charlie Martin casually visited Grange Loan during net practice on Thursday and was press ganged cruelly into service.  He brought younger son Iain, once a stalwart of the All Stars, back to the fray after a long absence. Scotland u15 batter Angus Hinton, new recruit young Matt Spencer and younger than young Harry Simpson also debuted.  In all, of the XI who tasted victory over KirkBrae earlier in the season only 2 survived.

Double Hedges baked under the sun – uncharacteristically brown and dry and there was a distant haze on Arthur’s Seat.  The possibility of batting on winning the toss even entered the head of the Fours skipper. [Good Lord.  Had he been in the sun too long?  Ed] But no sooner had such a thought entered his head, than it was snatched away.  For the natural order of things asserted itself with a comprehensive defeat in the toss.  [Just stop there.  We don’t need to know any more.  Ed The skipper [You just can’t stop yourself can you?  Ed] thought evidently that on the week that a royal Baby is expected the loyal call of heads would have produced a better outcome. He was confident that the smiling face of Her Majesty, soon to be great grandmother, would turn up.  But evidently KirkBrae’s skipper used a coin with anti-monarchist sentiments.  It may be that something has to be included in ESCA competition rules to discourage such unsporting tactics.

Carlton were asked to field.  The Council Highways Department had just finished preparation of the surface. 

After the first ball of the skipper’s opening over, smashed for 4, Canned Heat’s song began to play, ‘I’m so tired of bowlin’, on the road again.’  Last week’s man of the match Gregor had to pull up after his first over as he strained his back. This also strained Carlton’s bowling resources.  So Iain Martin had his first bowl for a few years.  A run out (Angus and Iain) was Carlton’s only reward in the first 10 overs which yielded 56 runs.  The batsmen were well set and Carlton’s next wicket was a long time coming.  In the meantime Matt Spencer bowled a well flighted spell of leg spin without reward. Very well bowled. 

Angus Hinton and Akeel got the Canned Heat feeling.  It took Harry Simpson to break the stand [Why hadn’t the skipper brought him on earlier then?  Ed] trapping Vincent LBW for an aggressive 68.  Opener Rasheed proceeded to a ton before Akeel drew him out of his crease to be stumped – 13 fours and 3 sixes in his innings.  The skipper came back to close proceedings and while he snapped up 2 wickets he donated a significant number of runs to KirkBrae who finished on 266 for 5.  At one time they looked on for 300 so Carlton did well to hold on to the express train.  There was an all round good effort in the field.  But while lots went in the air as KirkBrae hit out, only 2 very hard chances went anywhere near to hand.  3 balls were lost in the undergrowth.

After cooling off during the most welcome tea interval, Carlton started the chase. There were runs to be had and it was not beyond the team to chase the total down.  Jim and Angus started confidently until Jim was brilliantly caught at point, millimetres off the ground.  Kevin and Angus then worked well together, pushing singles and taking care of the bad ball.  KirkBrae spread the field. Carlton were looking good.  Then just shy of the 100 partnership another fine catch, by KirkBrae skipper Tahir, dismissed Kevin for 46.  Gregor followed soon after and when Angus was caught behind for an excellent 59 Carlton’s chase looked on the rails at 139 for 5 after 28 overs. 

But there was just a glimmer that Akeel and FB could bring off something special.  It had got notably cooler as the haar came down so the outfield slowed. The run rate increased.   They had to take chances and Akeel took one too many - trying to hit over the top he was caught at deep mid on.  But FB was now hearing the second verse of Canned Heat’s tune ‘I’m so fond of batting, on the road again.....’  A couple of really big overs and Carlton might just get there.  Charlie, having been reminded of which bit of the cricket bat was for holding and which bit for hitting tried to support FB.  FB used all the bat – his long handle giving that extra length to toe the ball past the keeper.  But he even middled some.  Charlie and then Harry departed.  Iain had a few lusty hits but the run rate climbed leaving FB to bring up his half century in the final over and Carlton 31 runs short on 235 for 8.  Iain 12* and FB 51* at the end.

A great game with lots of positive contributions on both sides. Thanks to KirkBrae for making it an enjoyable afternoon – and for delaying the start to allow Kevin to race from the airport.   KirkBrae now deservedly climb to the top of the league as Carlton’s promotion challenge stutters.  But lots can happen in the remaining matches of the season.  Carlton will be thinking of another of Canned Heat’s classic tracks

"Together we will stand divided we'll fall

Come on now people let's get on the ball

And work together, come on, come on let's work together, now, now people

Say now together we will stand, every boy, girl, woman, and man..."

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 20th July ESCA Division Eight
L Carlton 4
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SMRH 3
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103 all out

Jim McDonald 28, Angus Hinton 20

away 104 for 2

Following a fine dining experience earlier this week, your correspondent has been musing on the subject of crumble. A subject that has challenged philosophers and cricket administrators through the ages.

Your correspondent is confident that readers of these columns will be aware of how philosophers have developed their crumble thinking over the centuries. Of course they could have been doing something useful, like developing guidance on the use of the DRS system for Australian captains, but to Plato the concept of an Australian, let alone an Australian captain, was far from his world of ideal forms. There were no hot spots on the cave wall. He was therefore of necessity silent.

On the crumble they had more to say. Plato and his followers developed the classical Socratic conception of the crumble in which the fruit layer – typically apple or gooseberry – was topped by the crumble. The Socratic view was that the crumble was simple mixture of flour sugar and butter. Later Enlightenment and Romantic thinkers also ignored the implications of DRS for the batsman’s moral position and, apart from introducing the concept of rhubarb philosophic inquiry, did little to advance the crumble thinking of Plato.

However in the 20th Century there were radical developments, stimulated most significantly by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Socratic concept of the crumble as a layered desert began to change as previous centuries’ ethical certainties broke down. As batsmen declined to walk, the fruit layer and the topping crumble became separated on the plate and are typically presented side by side. In the post-modern crumble mixture evidence has been found of nuts and other grains.

All in all it is a challenge for an umpire, and philosophers have rather abandoned their inquiries into the subject leaving the field free for computer reconstructions and molecular gastronomists. In that context therefore the crumble that was delivered to your correspondent’s table earlier this week would have been recognised by Plato but would have caused Wittgenstein to have raised a sceptical eyebrow. ‘Whereof we cannot speak we must be silent’, Wittgenstein famously said, before launching into a 3 hour monologue to explain himself.

There was much therefore on your correspondent’s mind as he joined the crowds who thronged in the sunshine to Grange Loan to witness the efforts yesterday of Carlton’s valiant All Star Fourth XI to get their promotion challenge back on track against fellow challengers SMRH3.

The possibility of crumble on the tea table was at the back of his mind as he watched the skippers walk to the middle for the toss. [Oh no. Here we go. Ed] Wittgenstein [Groan. Ed] in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus suggested that ‘Each item can be the case or not the case while everything else remains the same.’ In formulating this axiom Wittgenstein failed to take into account the evidence from the Carlton Fourth XI’s skippers attempts to win the toss. In such events only one item can be the case and that is that the toss is lost. Carlton’s older players watched the latest re-enactment of this ritual knowing the outcome, long having given up on Wittgenstein. Younger players felt for the first time the first stirrings of disenchantment with the Austrian Logical thinker.

Another season and they would show all the maturity in contesting his positions. But for now they were silent. The skipper’s report came ‘Toss lost by a narrow Wittgenstein. We’ve been asked to bat.’ They shrugged their shoulders. ‘If this is logical positivism’, they said to each other, ‘give us X-Box anyday.’

Crumble was still on your correspondent’s mind when Carlton’s openers took position. For a few overs things looked OK as Angus Hinton found early boundaries and Jim found the fielders. But then Angus on 20 chased a wide one and was caught behind. At that point your correspondent had noticed the wicket dusting at the impact of the ball and was wondering what dialogue Plato might have with Doughty Groundsmen facing the challenge of preparing a stable playing surface in a prolonged hot and dry spell. How would Socrates deal with the risk of crumbling? He did not have time to dwell on the subject for wickets began to tumble in rapid succession. It seemed that Carlton’s batters were gamely engaged in a representation of the dish that pre-occupied your correspondent. When you’ve only 4 batsmen and 2 of them score 0, a high quality crumble is on offer. Only Jim (below) with 28 and Shuaib with a valiant late flourish of 16 could make any impact as they crumbled to 103. Not very good, as Plato might have said.


There was no crumble for tea. And there was no crumble after tea either as SMRH reached the total easily losing only 2 wickets. The first of those wickets fell to Adam McDonald to what the Carlton Twitterer reports as the catch of the season from Fantasy Bob. Your correspondent can only agree with that assessment. FB was at extra cover [What was he doing there that’s a proper fielder’s position? Ed] The ball was skied to his right and beyond him. Rather than lithely move back to place himself under it, FB shuffled a bit, then a bit more, then, eyes firmly closed, launched himself off the ground arching behind him. When he opened his eyes again he found himself grounded with the unfamiliar object of the ball grasped in his hand.



The juniors gasped in amazement if not admiration. ‘He’s still got it.’

‘Don’t be daft, he never had it.’

Whereof we cannot speak we must be silent – but FB will be dining out on that one for some time.

Murray Whitaker took Carlton’s other wicket. The Roman poet Juvenal, who had little to say about crumble or about the DRS, famously asked, quis custodiet iipsos custodes, frequently translated as who wicket-keeps the wicket-keepers. This was a question which had not occurred to Carlton’s selectors assembling the side for this match. No keeper had been identified. Shuaib volunteered to wicket-keep and did so with Dhoni-like aplomb, letting only 1 bye through. A new career beckons?

A disappointing outcome for Carlton. Your correspondent’s mid-week crumble was matched by a triple helping - a crumbling wicket, a crumbling batting order and a crumbling league campaign. The risk of promotion successfully averted for another year.

Well done to SMRH who consolidate their position near the top of the league and look good for promotion. As long as they don’t get fancy ideas about fruit based deserts. or read too much Wittgenstein.

Scorecard

Photos

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Saturday 27th July ESCA Division Eight
L Dunnikier 2
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Carlton 4
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194 for 9

Bob Irvine 3 for 26, Dave Carter 2 for 27, Tom Kujawa 2 for 28

away

113 all out

Kevin Whitaker 49

Your correspondent fears that readers of these columns may find that the name Adam Mickiewicz is new to them. [Groan – here we go again. Ed] They may glance up with interest at hearing the name. They may ask themselves, ‘What is his bowling action?’ Or, ‘Isn’t he the man to strengthen the fragile Aussie batting line up and make a contest of the Ashes?’ Or, ‘Can he play on Saturday?

In uttering such questions readers reveal only their surprising unfamiliarity with classic Polish poetry. For Mickiewicz is widely regarded as Poland’s greatest poet – the equal in Poland of Byron, Goethe or even Shakespeare. He died in 1855, which suggests that, notwithstanding his bowling action, he would not have been available for Carlton All Stars Fourth XI on Saturday, far less the Ashes team.

Your correspondent mentions Mickiewicz only because the vast administrative engine that is the selection committee of Carlton CC has been greatly exercised for the last few weeks about the number 44. With 4 teams to put out, 44 is the magic number above all others. 44 having been reached, the committee can rest, its work done. But until that total is found, nights are sleepless, phone wires are hot and no stone is unturned.

This week, 44 proved more elusive than usual. Several times the committee sighed with relief considering that its work was done and the number had been achieved, only for some cataclysm to steal a player away and reignite the frantic search.

It is at these times that those in the committee whose familiarity with Polish poetry is at an acceptable level recall that in his great dramatic poem Dziady (Forefathers), Mickiewicz has a character announce that the saviour of the lost freedom of Poland will be:

Born from a foreign mother, his blood of ancient heroes,

And his name will be forty and four.

This is a pretty peculiar name, even in Polish terms. [Fascinating though all this may be, are you going to get round to talking about the cricket match soon? Ed]

What Carlton’s selection committee would not give for a saviour like that, for 44 had proved even more of an unattainable total than in recent weeks. But as prophesied, a saviour came aptly fitting the description, in the form of Angus Beattie’s Dad.

But he was assigned to the 3rd XI where his mystical properties proved overwhelming in turning the luck of that team (see relevant report elsewhere). The All Stars Fourth XI meanwhile were left to make the journey to Dunnikier in an attempt to arrest the declining fortunes of recent weeks without an inspirational figure foretold by a Polish or indeed any other national bard. For your correspondent has spent many long nights researching the greatest works of European poetry and failed to identify any reference to Fantasy Bob anywhere.

Dunnikier Cricket Ground sits beside Dunnikier House Hotel, the house being a mansion constructed in 1790 by James Oswald, MP for the surrounding area. The ground has been revived as a cricket venue this year following the merger of Kismet and Dunnikier clubs. And it is a fine place to play cricket with a compelling vista of Parkland and trees spread out over the town of Kirkcaldy down to the Forth and Edinburgh beyond………..[Yes, yes just get on with it will you. Ed]

What could the skipper do at the toss? A national hero as envisaged by Mickiewizc would strut to the middle. Would confidently stand with his arms crossed. Would demand his opponent flip the coin without more ado. Would firmly call, ‘Heads’. Would inspect the coin on the ground. Would look up. His conviction confirmed. ‘We shall ask you to bat,’ he would say in his national hero voice. And that would be that. Poets would set themselves a scribbling to record the event.

Readers of these columns will be familiar with the agonizing loss of form in the skipper’s tossing in recent weeks. They will think the designation national hero is wearing a bit thin. But they will be heartened to know that the above description is an accurate recount of what happened yesterday. [You don’t mean that you won the toss do you? why don’t you just say that like other reports? Ed]

Carlton took to the field in bright sunlight. While Calum and Adam each made an early breakthrough, runs came quickly for Dunnikier as untidy bowling undermined the good balls that were bowled. This was the story throughout the innings. Tom got a couple of wickets. DC returning from injury took a time to get his arm back into service but picked up a couple too. Still Dunnikier kept the scoreboard moving. FB came on and took 2 in his first over and a third to a fine overhead catch by Murray.

But as is a familiar story this season Carlton having got to 126-6, couldn’t finish the innings off and Dunniker accelerated in the last 10 overs to leave them 194 for 9. A Ahmed, 60* in a fine display of aggressive hitting and stealing the strike from the lesser batters. Shuaib did well to pouch 3 catches – his first in his new career behind the stumps and is now looking at the Argos Catalogues to see if he can single-handedly stimulate the flagging Scottish economy through the purchase of keeping kit.

Carlton would have to bat well to get near that total. The weather had changed as drizzle had made things difficult for the bowlers at the end of Carlton’s spell in the field. While the rain had ceased the sky was now overcast and more rain was not far off as Shaun and Ruairidh opened for Carlton. As is traditional Shaun got an unplayable delivery which popped off a length, ran up the bat onto the gloves, up his manly chest and off his shoulder to give a simple catch. Ruairidh, still exhausted from his 93* midweek in Shrewsbury, was bowled by a booming inswinger. Kevin set about repairing the damage, but no one could stay with him. Junior batsmen may have been unduly terrified by the mask adopted by the wicket keeper – a full face cover with eye slots. It looked like a purchase from the Hammer film prop store rather than Cricket Warehouse. FB tried a new tactic of tiring the bowler out by stepping back just as they entered their delivery stride for people kept popping up behind the bowler’s arm. Time and time again he did it, but far from exhausting the bowler all he got from that tactic (dubbed by Shaun and DC as the Irvine Manoeuvre) was a groin strain. As the rain came and got heavier, wickets fell and Carlton were left to seek the refuge of additional batting points and a big six by Adam secured a third point shortly before the innings closed on 113.

All in all a disappointing performance by the All Stars who never quite rose above the mundane. Romantic poets turned away in sadness, knowing that they had no stirring events to versify. They will look forward to next week for the All Stars to get back on the winning trail.

Well done to worthy winners Dunnikier and thanks for a most enjoyable match played in good humour and the best of spirits. Good luck for the rest of the season.

Scorecard

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Saturday 3rd August ESCA Division Eight
W
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Carlton 4
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Morton 2
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153 for 6

Mike Kennedy 56, Kevin Whitaker 35*, Ian Thompson 31

home
GL

151 all out

Bob Irvine 2 for 9, Arpit Garg 2 for 13, Maxwell Farrer 2 for 13, Murray Whitaker 2 for 2

Your correspondent notes from the pages of the popular press that there is confusion in the general population’s knowledge of World War 1 and World War 2. Some think that the German invasion of Poland began WW1; some think that Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister in 1914; a small minority wonder what popular Scottish beat combo Franz Ferdinand were doing in Sarajevo; some think that Bruce Willis starred in both events and there was doubt among some of those surveyed as to whether the bodyline tactic was first introduced in World War 1 or 2. This confusion over historical events is not helped by reports that the Battle of Flodden was re-enacted by enthusiasts this weekend – with the surprise result that the Scottish army won. Apparently the Scots’ use of the controversial DRS innovation was superior to their opponents and a number of close decapitations, dismemberments and disembowellings were reversed. [Er........ has this anything at all to do with the cricket match you are meant to be telling us about? Ed]

As an historical event, the encounter between Carlton’s All Star 4th XI and Morton’s 2s might not seem of similar status to events in Sarajevo or Flodden. But something special might be on offer. something that will stir in the memories of future generations. That will long be sung about by troubadours and poets. [Oh no – just remembered you did the report of the previous match between these two in verse – you’re not going there again are you? Ed] The players making their way from the changing rooms to the battlefield at Peffermill may not have felt they were entering the grand stage of history. But your correspondent is confident that in the long sweep of history’s hand across the clock-face of time [Eh? Ed] the encounter will be seen in its proper context as an epoch changing event in which the course of history was stemmed and reversed.

Carlton were looking to reverse a string of defeats which had taken the wind out of their promotion push. Morton’s season had gained momentum and they were looking to consolidate their place near the top of the table. An intriguing encounter was keenly anticipated by the flock of doughty seagulls who were carefully preparing the playing surface.


Groundstaff at Peffermill preparing the wicket


Carlton’s skipper may look outwardly strong and noble [Oh come on. Ed] But inwardly the exhaustion of long and lonely nights assembling 11 players to turn out is taking its toll. Weakly drooping he asked Kevin Whitaker to take charge on the field. Kevin readily agreed – on condition that he was given a coin to do the toss with. After a lengthy search a pound coin was handed over. A whole pound. It was never seen again. But it was the lucky coin for Kevin who won the toss easily and in the time honoured tradition of the All Stars inserted the opposition. ‘Easy stuff this tossing.’ he said when he came back. ‘Where’s my pound?’ ‘What pound?’

Mike Kennedy and Gregor Shand [Wait a minute – is that all you’re saying about the toss? What are we going to do for the rest of the morning? Ed] As your correspondent was saying....Mike Kennedy and Gregor Shand opened the bowling against experienced Mortonites Bell and Hogg. A strong cross wind was blowing - Meteorologists have recently confirmed that whatever the weather conditions elsewhere there is always a gale force cross wind blowing at Peffermill. They think it may be something to do with hot air in the University philosophy department.

Runs were hard to come by. The outfield was lush – to the extent that even FB caught one drive before it hit the rope. [Don’t believe you. Ed] Mike got through Bell’s defence to bowl him. Gregor was giving nothing away, and was unlucky not to get a wicket - 5 overs for 13 is a great effort confirming how he has developed this season. After 10 Morton were 25 for 1.

Then Kevin, still with the lucky pound in his pocket, effected an inspirational bowling change. FB’s first ball took Hogg’s off stump right out of the ground, cartwheeling past the keeper. Or it would have if the game wasn’t being played on an artificial wicket with spring stumps. FB struck 2 overs later, taking Saha’s middle stump out of the ground cartwheeling past the keeper [Oh for goodness’ sake. Ed] At the other end Max Farrer was finding his range and got 2 wickets in rapid succession – one to a smart catch at short third man by Arpit. More inspiration from Kevin brought Arpit on to replace FB. After a loosener which threatened the footballers on the adjoining pitch his first over got 2 wickets – his first for the club. Well done Arpit. So at drinks Morton were in some trouble at 59-7.

Play was interrupted as a parade of footballers passed behind the bowler’s arm. They were followed shortly after by a couple of policemen. It is good to see that Lothian and Borders police take the offence of walking behind the bowler’s arm seriously. A report is apparently on its way to the Procurator Fiscal.

As has been the case in most of the All Star’s matches this season, the second 20 overs were more productive for the batting side. Morton skipper Adil played an effective foil to first Prasad and then Navgen as they set about restoring the damage. There was some suggestion that the batting order may have been reversed but Navgen in particular hit the ball cleanly and the scoreboard rattled along. Credit to Murray who kept his head against the onslaught bowling straight and keeping it pitched up getting a fair reward of 2 wickets. Tom Kujawa too produced a jaffa to bowl Prasad when he looked well set on 30. Morton ended 151 ao, the final wicket falling to a father and son stumping in the final over.

A fair total, particularly given the half way position and Carlton would need to bat well to get there. Things did not look bright when a tight spell by Prasad (only 1 run off his first 4 overs) and 2 wickets from the off cutters of Kinghorn saw Shaun, Ruaridh and Murray all back in the hutch leaving Carlton 24 for 3 after 12. Gulp.

The runner may have been discontinued in top level cricket. However there is general agreement that the entertainment value it adds in lower level cricket means that it has to be retained. So it was yesterday. Ian Thompson had twanged something in the field and Morton sportingly allowed a runner to be deployed. Step forward Ruairidh. ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ ‘No.’ ‘All right then, that’ll be fine.’

Mike had now joined Ian and presented an interesting contrast in batting styles. Ian playing very correctly, as if he was in a Test match and Mike not quite so correctly, as if he was in the final over of the IPL final. But it proved effective and the score kept ticking along. More runs might have been taken had the runner not confused everyone. ‘do you think there’s a run there?’ ‘No. Do you?’ ‘Not sure. What does he think at square leg?’ ‘What me? Well maybe. But maybe not.’ ‘OK we’ll just stay here then.’ ‘Yes, seems best.’

Ruaridh developed an innovative tactic of running from square leg to the stumps – which demonstrated amongst other things that he still hasn’t quite got hold of Pythagoras’ theorem yet – he should know that the hypotenuse is the longest side of the triangle. ‘But I couldn’t see where the line was out at square leg.’ he said.

Mike put one in the lateral water hazard behind the bowler. He smacked a huge home run against the wind. Ian pushed one here and there. A short shower produced a rainbow above Mike – which must mean something. ‘It’s a sign! It’s a sign!’ ‘ No it isn’t, its the splitting of light into its component colours by raindrops.’ said one of the juniors who has been taking his S1 science course very seriously.


A rainbow for Mike


But crucially the asked for rate never got above 6 an over. There was an inevitability in the fact that Ian was run out. But he contributed a fine 31 and a match winning partnership of 70 with Mike. 25 for 3 had become 98 for 4. There were 10 overs left and 54 required. Kevin came in and although Mike departed for an excellent 56 shortly after, the result was never in doubt as the skipper for the day reeled off a string of boundaries. Carlton got to the total in the 39th over, Kevin 35* – ‘Nothing to this skippering stuff.’ Where’s my pound?’ ‘What pound?’

So a good effort from Carlton – with great contributions all round. Another greatly enjoyable closely fought match with old friends and rivals Morton, played in good spirits throughout. Epoch making and a reversal of the course of history. Maybe too late to reignite Carlton’s promotion push and not enough to prevent the outbreak of war in 1914, but a good victory nevertheless.

Scorecard

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Saturday 10th August ESCA Division Eight
L Carlton 4
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Leith FAB 2
 

164 all out

Alan Murray 43, Kevin Whitaker 33, Ruairidh Main 22

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Leith L

177 for 9

Maxwell Farrer 5 for 23

In a week where the marketing machine of the BBC unveiled some old Scottish bloke as the 12th Doctor in a 30 minute TV special, the Carlton Selection Illuminati attempted an even greater PR masterstroke by fielding a side comprising a Dickensian trio of captains: “The Captain of Seasons Past”; “The Captain of Seasons Present”; “The Captain of Seasons Yet to Come”. 

“Who will be the one to lead us” asked Tiny Tom Kujawa?    “Will it be one of the nice ones or will it be the grumpy one?” “Should we wake Ruairidh and ask him?” asked the others.  Soon all was revealed as “Captain of Seasons Past” Murray showed he had not lost any of his coin skills, winning the toss by the biggest margin of any season so far and electing to bowl on a bouncy castle pitch amid the sunshine of Leith.

Murray was merciless in his treatment of the other two pretenders to the throne. “Captain Yet to Come” Whitaker, like General Zod in Superman 2 was exiled to the phantom zone (initially first slip and latterly cow corner) to deny him any adult contact for 40 overs.  Rumour has it, Murray was also instrumental in purchasing opera tickets for “Captain of Seasons Present” to ensure FB would have to leave at 18:00 thereby missing the dénouement of the game. 

The Leith batters progressed quickly against Carlton’s opening attack, accumulating 50 plus until FB snaffled Wilson caught by Zod at first slip…..no-one was allowed to celebrate.   Maxwell Farrer entered the attack in the 16th over and bowled through.  Showing great control and patience he took his first five wicket haul (8-1-23-5) for the All Star 4th XI and more importantly in combination with FB (8-3-10-1) pulled in the reins on the Leith run-fest.  R Mann from Belfast was the mainstay of the Leith Innings.  He started slowly but became progressively more belligerent, clubbing boundaries at will in the last few overs, until he was run out for 73 in the penultimate over.  The late rally from UlsterMann ensured the Leith Innings ended on a very healthy 177 for 9 off their 40 overs.

Carlton’s reply saw them reach 50 without loss but three wickets in quick succession put Leith in control.  With the sound of the shipping forecast in the background FB departed for his night at the opera and Carlton’s Barmy Army of supporters dropped by 25% at a stroke.   The boys recognising this was a pivotal moment in the game headed into the neighbouring allotments and found a replacement to bolster support from the boundary:

Murray (43) led the recovery with a series of important partnerships with Murray Whitaker, Gregor McIntyre, Tom Kujawa and Kevin Whitaker, but eventually he fell, popping up a catch to fine leg off Gav Fisher.  Kevin (33) looked like bringing Carlton home until he too departed in the 37th over with 15 needed.  Fraser bowled a top spell (8-1-11-2) and an EVEN beardier Gav Fisher bowling EVEN slower but EVEN straighter than usual (7-0-26-4) took bowling honours for Leith.

Cricket is a simple game “bowl accurately, bat sensibly and field sharply” but on the day, collectively, Carlton failed to do these simple things.  There were some good individual performances from Maxwell & Bob with the ball, Alan, Ruairidh & Kevin with the bat and a solid debut behind the stumps from Finley Giles-Book but overall it was a tired, end of season performance.  Leith played with more energy and deservedly won a close contest.  Congratulations & good luck to them for the rest of the season and next – a good bunch of guys, a good venue for cricket and the best “between innings” cup of tea in Scotland.

 

Scorecard

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Sunday 18th August

ESCA Division Eight
W
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Carlton 4
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Stirling County 4
 

113 for 6

Keith Murray 37

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GL

112 all out

Murray Whitaker 5 for 15, Tom Kujawa 4 for 26

The following is reprinted from the review pages of the FESTIVAL TIMES

Carlton 4 v Stirling Co 4

Grange Loan Theatre

*****

Site-specific theatre is new to the programme of the Edinburgh Festival and there have been mixed reviews of Scottish company Gridiron’s production at the Ratho Climbing Centre.  So the audience assembling at the latest venue to be designated a theatre – Grange Loan cricket ground – may have been anxious that they would be subject to the usual load of pretentious twaddle, bad language and self-regarding jokes which too often passes for theatrical entertainment these days.

But they were soon put at ease by this triumphant show by the Fantasy Bob Theatre Company in a co-production with the Stirling Cillier Players.  This thrill-a-minute show will surely transfer to the West End, once the tramworks get out of the way.

The stage lies open, carefully presented by legendary stage designer Doughty Groundsman.  Six slim timbers engage the audience’s attention.  What are they?  Did they symbolise a virgin forest?  Or opposing armies in some mythical battle? Or lost children huddled together in the post nuclear holocaust?  [For goodness sake. They are the stumps you plonker.  Ed]

In a theatrical coup de main, director FB cast former teenage idol Barnacle Barrett in the key role of Tosser.  Setting the hearts of the ladies in the audience a-flutter, Barnacle duly performed with brio.  The enthusiastic applause told of the wide margin of his success and Carlton would bowl.

Showing his versatility, Barnacle then took the role of Skipper for the Day.  He placed the actors carefully around the symbolic timbers and the play’s action began.  Stirling’s openers commanded the first scenes until Tom Kujawa (playing the role of Tom Kujawa) got 2 quick wickets.  The audience wondered whether Tom might be representing a young FB as he bounded up the hill against the wind.  But by taking wickets he dispelled that illusion.  Gregor McIntyre put some good pace on the ball down the hill but luck was not on his side. 

A comic interlude then delighted the audience when FB came on up the hill against the wind.  FB performed all his own stunts without a body double.  The batsmen joined the hilarity by denying him any hint of a wicket.  How the audience roared.

Then Barnacle called on Murray Whitaker (playing the role of Murray Whitaker, appealing manfully below).  The drama intensified as Murray looped the ball up. Caught and bowled; caught behind by Shuaib; caught by Gregor………the audience held its breath.  How far could he go?  Time stood still.  Caught by Dougal……….was a five-fer in prospect? Or would the hero fall at the last hurdle? Murray twirled the ball at the end of his run. He ran up.  The ball looped up. It bit the turf. The batter swung.  He missed.  Murray hit.  Bowled. The audience was on its feet.  FIVE FOR  15! A star is born.

And Tom came back to take another 2 wickets but denied himself a five-fer by a smart bit of fielding to take Stirling’s 10th wicket.  Tom 4 for 26.

Stirling all out for 112 – with a fine captain’s innings by action hero Bruce Cillier (playing the role of Bruce Cillier) who carried his bat for 45.

During the interval the audience was able to catch its breath.  They could see Barnacle sucking his pencil in between bites of empire biscuit as he worked with the production team on his batting order.   They anticipated something radical. 

But things started conventionally.  Jim and Ruaridh opened confidently but both fell to the classically trained David Bentley (playing the role of Outswinging Avenger) to leave Carlton on 25 for 2.  Mohammad was then brought to the mountain and without much ado put the Avenger over the Lover’s Lane Wall in the biggest hit ever recorded by an All Stars batter, living or dead.  The audience sat back for more fireworks but groaned with disappointment as he was cruelly triggered shortly after. How could that be in the script?  Carlton were now uneasy at 47 for 4.  Edge of the seat drama looked likely.

Keith Murray (playing the role of Keith Murray, below) had however settled in well and he and Tom Kujawa got to 67 before Tom hit his wicket in an extravagant follow through to give veteran character actor Macgowan his third wicket.  Macgowan finished his spell and announced his retirement from the stage.  This was raw emotion for the audience.  There was not a dry eye in the house as FB strode to the wicket.  Tragedy loomed. 

But confounding the conventional story line, he and Keith pushed things along.  Sixteen wanted.  Lots of overs.  It looked comfortable.  Too comfortable.  The audience could feel a sense of dread.  Something terrible was going to happen.  Keith attempted to sweep.  He missed.  Out - chest before wicket.  Not a cricketing master stroke, [Or any kind of stroke to be honest, Ed] but certainly a theatrical tour de force – the audience blinked in astonishment at such daring.  And there was a standing ovation for Keith as he made his way to the wings for an invaluable 38. As a coda, Shuaib 13* and FB 18* quickly got the remaining runs for Carlton to win by 4 wickets. Barnacle triumphans!

What a show!  This one will run and run…..except it was one performance only.

Fantasy Bob theatre company would like to thank the Stirling Cillier Players for their commitment to making this co-production so enjoyable for all concerned.  They would in particular like to wish Doug Macgowan well for his post theatrical career.

Scorecard

Photos

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Saturday 24th August

ESCA Division Eight
L Largo 3
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Carlton 4
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223 for 5

Gregor Shand 2 for 35

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132 for 6

Shaun Barrett 52*, Alan Murray 26*

The 4s made the long trip north in good spirits once they’d recovered from the shock of DC turning up early.  Clearly Portobello’s favourite rapper was adjusting well to life as a full time cricketer.  As the travel arrangements were finalised it transpired that the Carter-mobile was not required and the troops set forth in vehicles built in the current century.  With Kevin collecting Murray & Gregor from school rugby commitments and Tom going direct the rest of the team separated down age lines with Shuaib firmly nailing his colours to the mast with the younger generation taking the school-age contingent while the stand-in skipper took the more mature elements.  The chat in senior car revolved around England’s bizarre selection policy and what can be done about Simon Kerrigan’s shattered confidence – we assume that Shuaib had to put up with chat about computer games, YouTube and the latest internet memes.

 

Having already had confirmation from Largo that the pitch was fit to play the skipper was surprised to field a phone call from his opposite number as they approached Glenrothes that there had been a mix up with the pitch booking and not one, but two rugby matches were scheduled to be played on our pitch.  Reluctantly he agreed to call off the game and set about turning round the Carlton cars that were now closing in on St Andrews.  No sooner had the last car been contacted and recall orders issued than another call came in from the Largo skipper.  The rugby players had admitted their error and had moved to an adjacent pitch so the game was back on.  Cue more phone calls and the un-uing of u-turns and the All Stars were back en route for St Andrews

 

With one car still struggling with the traffic bottleneck that is Cupar the toss was made and Al Murray continued the winning streak of not being FB.  The margin of victory was substantial, but sadly that was about the only time the visitors were on top in this contest.  With the conditions damp, Murray elected to field first and the All Stars repaired to one of the “small” changing rooms to get ready.  While it might have been a struggle to fit in 15 burly rugby players it was at least twice as big as anything available at the Meadows. 

 

Now at full compliment Shafay & Adam opened the bowling and were unlucky not to pick up early wickets as both Largo openers rode their luck with airborne shots.  Shafay eventually got some reward for his efforts with Adam pouching a well struck shot off Naismith at mid on.  In retrospect we would have done well to keep the opening partnership intact as Dodds Snr, in at 3, brought considerably more aggression to the Largo innings.  This also coincided with Shafay damaging his foot which limited his promising 4th team debut.  With a break from tradition, stand in skipper Murray bowled the juniors in spells of 5 rather than his usual 4 confident that his counting skills would handle this new deviation – the fact that 5 is both a Fermat prime and a Fibonacci number gave him comfort with this position.  Tom & Gregor then came on and bowled well, taking us to drinks with Largo looking handily placed on 78 for 1.  78 is not only a sphenic number, being the product of 3 distinct prime numbers, but also an abundant number.  Faced with this information the skipper then decided that pace off and being called Murray was the order of the day as he & Whitaker Jnr strived for the breakthrough.  This duly arrived in Murray the younger’s 2nd over as opposition skipper Coates was bowled for an adventurous 20 – also an abundant number.

 

Galloway entered the fray and moved the score on with Dodds Snr, the latter bringing up his 50 shortly before holing out to another good catch from Adam off Murray (no, not the skipper – it was the younger, talented one).  Dodds Jnr replaced Dodds Snr and picked up where Snr had left off and he and Galloway rattled the score along seeing the Murrays off after 7 overs by bludgeoning their final overs for double figures – the number 7 is not only a prime but also a happy number although after today’s performance Carlton officials will be petitioning the relevant authorities for it to be reclassified as an unhappy number.  Adam & Gregor came back and bowled well at the death but the Largo men were well set and the runs continued to flow.  In the final over Gregor got some reward for his good bowling with a couple of wickets – the first a regulation wicketkeeper’s catch (as long as that regulation involves the keeper sprinting 20 yards past point and diving full length to take a spectacular catch) and the second a regulation catch at mid on (which really was just regulation).  Largo finished on 233 for 5 with Galloway top scoring with 67 – 233, 5 & 67 are all prime numbers with 233 being sexy, 5 safe and 67 a lucky one.

 

After a grand tea, including homemade scones (although news of FB’s unavailability due to festival commitments must have reached the Kingdom as empire biscuits were noticeable by their absence), the All Stars set about chasing the imposing, and very prime, Largo total down.  Shaun did his best to get out first ball of the second over by edging the diminutive Eglinton to the keeper, but clearly enthralled by his chat about the new era at Old Trafford the Largo keeper grassed it so he could continue the conversation about what David Moyes should do next.  Unfortunately later that over Ruaraidh didn’t give any Largo players the chance to reprieve him as he missed a straight one.  This brought Kevin to the crease and despite clubbing one legside ball to the fence he too was bowled by Eglinton.  Shuaib and Shaun then combined to take the score up to 40 (not a prime number) before a mix up saw Shuaib run out for 19 (a Mersenne prime) when he was looking reasonably well set.  Largo then brought on Brown Jnr & Dodds Jnr who both bowled with pace and accuracy.  Whitaker Jnr was the victim of a “bad” leave but Gregor supported Shaun well until he too was run out – this time by Whitaker Snr now subbing for Largo after Galloway had pulled something in the field.  Adam was watchful and saw Carlton to a batting point before he too was bowled, this time by Mathews.  Skipper Al Murray (26*) then joined Shaun (52*) and secured another few batting points (including a third 6 of the season for Murray – clearing the short town side boundary by several inches) as Carlton finished on 132 for 6, well short of the Largo total and completely devoid of any prime numbers.

 

All in all a comprehensive victory for Largo and apart from the contrast in the teams approach to Number Theory it is interesting to note that the modes of dismissal were 1 bowled & 4 caught for Largo while Carlton were 4 bowled & 2 run outs.  Your correspondent is sure it must mean something but we will have to wait until next season to find out for sure…

Scorecard

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Venues key: GL=Grange Loan; P1=Peffermill grass; P2=Peffermill artificial