Carlton 2nd XI 2014 Fixtures and Results
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Saturday 26th April Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Glenrothes
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Carlton 2
    away  
RAINED OFF
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Saturday 3rd May Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Freuchie
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Carlton 2
 

223 for 9

Rory Allardice 5 for 71, Dougal Main 2 for 17

away 74 all out

After last Saturday's wash out at Glenrothes, the 2nd XI made their season bow in the new ESCA Championship with a trip to Freuchie to face their 1st XI. It was a young team that took the field but were boosted by the return of Nathan Pietsch who decided to run the risk of his wife giving birth and make the trip north (albeit in his own car so he could make a getaway if necessary).

Stand in captain Brad won the toss (with no mention of any degree of margin) and opted to bowl first on a wicket that was going to give some assistance. We had a bowler heavy line up which we chose to try to make our advantage. Brad and Dougal started off and kept it tight. Dougal make the initial breakthrough inducing a thick edge which was well held by keeper Tom Simpson (sharked in the opinion of first slip). A further wicket followed when the other opener somehow hit a full toss to Gav at fine leg and it was 26/2. Despite a smattering of wides, the score was being kept down by tight bowling from change bowlers Arsal and Tom Z and it was the latter who induced the Freuchie pro to spoon one to Elder and it was 44/3. As Freuchie looked to rebuild, it was tight and at drinks it was 60/3.

After drinks, the key partnership of the innings built between Krishna and Gourlay as they rebuilt and gradually stepped up the scoring rate. The bowling in general was still pretty good but one or two bad balls per over were being hit to the boundary. The introduction of Rory Allardice finally broke a 90 run partnerhsip as Gourlay was bowled. Captain Wallace hit his first ball for 6 and his 26 in 16 balls gave more impetus to the score before he popped a catch to Tom behind the stumps. Rory also picked up Krishna for a well made 59 and when the returning Brad gave Tom his third catch, Freuchie were 187/7. However, the tail wagged and despite Rory's 5/71 (off 10), Freuchie amassed 223/9 off 50 overs. Other than a couple of tough chances, the fielding was good, and special mention goes to Tom, not only for three catches, but his very tidy work behind the stumps. The bowling was generally decent, but the four balls (and 8 sixes) were punished.

With a light on batting line up, the batsmen at the top of the innings had to make a good start, but that didn't happen. Both Ben and Arsal were bowled within the first two overs. Ali hit a big six over the pavillion as he and Nathan tried to rebuild but Ali soon spooned one to cover - 18/3. Tom hung around with Nathan for a little while but he was soon bowled and when Elder and Dougal went within 3 balls of each other, we were 40/6. Top scorer Nathan (19) was bowled by the returning pro Akbar at 48 and all the tail could do was try to bat for as long as possible, which to some degree Rory, Gav and Brad did, taking up another 12 overs as the score crawled to 74 before Brad was last out. 7 batsmen were bowled which was testament to Freuchie's excellent straight bowling but also a sign of inadequate defence while batting.

Well played to Freuchie who were at a different level than we came up against in Division 1 last year. It's back to practice for us this week and look to regroup back at home next week. Having said this, team spirit is high, highlighted by the energetic game of keepy-uppy played afterwards which was followed by a bizarre game of 'Hotass' which involves tanning a football against a wall of your team mates. Elder appeared to be the winner, but he also appeared to be making up the rules at the same time. A special thank you to Rory's dad, Richard, and Dougal's mum, Alison, for assisting with transport and also to Richard for scoring for us.

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 10th May 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Carlton 2
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Murrayfield DAFS
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    home  
RAINED OFF
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Saturday 17th May Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L RH Corstorphine
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Carlton 2
  239 for 2 away

87 all out

Arsal Sohail 33

The Carlton 2nd team travelled to RH Corstorphine for their second game of the season following a washout the previous week at Grange Loan. Chris Paterson and youngsters Calum Everett and Angus Beattie made the step up from the 3’s and Dilup got a last minute call up due to the typical Friday dropouts. This week’s stand in captain was Ali Shah, who skilfully won the toss and elected to bowl on what proved to be a fairly decent batting pitch. Mo wheels welcomed himself back to Carlton opening the bowling with his typical tight lines, good lengths and patience. Dougal opened up at the other end, bowling plenty of good deliveries coupled with the occasional bad ball that was put away. Mo was unfortunate not to take a wicket, beating the bat on many occasions, with a couple of chances going down. Ali threw the ball to the heat of Gav Rittoo who made the breakthrough with patient and tight bowling… and a very very very dirty wicket- a wide ball chased after by the batsmen who proceeded to slice ball up in the air straight to Ali. Rory, bowling at the other end bowled very well and got the second wicket, bowling M.Kelly through his legs, by eliminating the bad balls Rory managed to put pressure on the batsmen in the middle overs ending up with well-deserved figures of 28-1-10. Calum and Rory had a good spell of pressure that was well dealt with by the batsmen who kept the scoreboard ticking over in the middle overs before expanding themselves in the last 15 overs with opening batsmen Ozzie Malik finishing on 96*. The Carlton ground fielding display was fairly tight, however lacked real intensity, noise and encouragement in the field; something that can be easily worked on for next week’s visit of the Grange.

GAV’S TEA REVIEW: As we are all aware half time teas are an extremely important aspect of the modern game. A good tea has the ability to increase team morale, spirit levels and increase motivation whereas a below par tea can leave players feeling depressed, dejected and inconsolable. This year in every match there will be a tea review included in the match report, outlining the general consensus and opinions of the expert panel of food critics. At the end of the season the club that produces the best tea will be awarded a cash prize of £0.00 so plenty to play for. The Corstorphine tea had all the usual standard components (sandwiches, cakes, crisps) however there lacked any real special, stand out, mind-blowing product. The tea received praise from Geordie Chris who enjoyed the inclusion of the tuna wraps; the youngsters just seemed happy to eat anything and had no real complaints. After careful consideration specialist food enthusiasts Mo and Gav gave a final tea rating of 5.72 out of 10.

The scale works like this;
0= Kismet tea, outdoors in the cold wind and rain
10= Carlton tea made by Karen MacPherson on a sunny day at Grange Loan.

The openers came out to bat knowing a good start was necessary in order to chase 239. Unfortunately Chris got bowled second ball welcoming Captain Ali Shah to the crease. Ali and Arsal stuck in for a bit before Ali was caught for 4. Arsal showed great promise with the bat timing the ball very well hitting the ball to the boundary on a very slow outfield, before his patience wore thin and was bowled for 33. Tom batted with patience and a wee bit of class before he was caught on 12. Mo followed suit getting caught at point for just 4. With a team fairly light on batters and packed with juniors Carlton struggled with the bat as Rory went for 3 chipping one up to cover. Gavin stuck around for a bit as the wickets of Everett, Main, Beattie and Punna fell before him for a total of 9 leaving Carlton all out for just 74.

With an average team age of only 17 it was a valiant effort from the Carlton youngsters, gaining valuable experience against a very strong RH Corstorphine 1XI side. Plenty of positives could be taken from the game, great fielding performances from Angus, Rory and Chris in particular and good spells from Rory and Calum Everett in tough situations. Also head coach Pete Steindl did not bat, nor get any wickets and was pumped for a massive single by Gav… all positives to be taken as bragging rights were not lost. Many thanks to Richard Allardice for volunteering to score and onwards and upwards for next week’s visit of the Grange … a must win game for any Carlton side.

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 24th May 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Carlton 2
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Grange 2
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90 for 8

Harris Aslam 32

home

89 all out

Steven Elder 4 for 18, Brad McKay 3 for 25

The Carlton 2nd XI returned to Grange Loan for the first time this season with the small matter of the Grange 2nd team in town. 6 changes were made to the team that lost to RH Corstorphine, with the experience of veteran Carlton players Jamie Kerr and Bryn Lockie joining the side along with previous absentees Brad and Elder, as well as Harris and Ben who dropped down from the 1’s. Captain Brad lost the toss and Carlton took to field in damp, dreary and dull conditions. Mo and Brad opened up and both bowled exceptionally well bowling plenty of dot balls and forcing the batsmen to play big shots. Brad made the first break through doing exactly that, a few dot balls forced the batsmen to try and hit over the top finding the safe hands of Steven Elder. The second wicket was nearly a carbon copy of the first; Brad bowled dots… batsmen’s patience was tested… batsmen found Elder in the field. However this time Elder decided to make the catch a bit more challenging for himself by losing his footing and making it a theatrical diving catch. Brad got his 3rd of the day bowling the no. 4 batsmen by getting one to jag back in and hit middle stump. Brad finished on excellent figures of 3-25 off 10, supported greatly by Mo who built pressure from the other end.

Gav replaced Mo wheels from the pavilion end and continued where Mo left off bowling patiently with good line and length. Gav got his first wicket with the last ball of his 3rd over bowling Mike Powell, who looked in good shape with a ball that pitched outside off, cut back in and literally just about clipped the top of off, the bails taking what felt like years to actually come off. Elder took over from Brad and had Duncan Player, another Grange batsmen who looked in good form, caught at mid-on by Gav; dramatically diving forward and taking the ball inches above the ground. Gav then had danger man Stu Davidson caught first ball by Rory off what was rightfully described as a ‘dirty wide one’ on the Grange twitter page. This meant that a team and Rittoo hat-trick were both on the cards with Gav picking up wickets on the last ball of his 3rd and first ball of his 4th with Elder also picking up a wicket on his last ball in-between these overs.

The hat-trick ball was full, pitched in line, and struck the batsmen in line… the only problem being the batsmen pretty much middled the ball into his pad, this did not stop everyone going up in appeal but the umpire shook his head and made the correct decision. Elder got the 7th wicket finding the edge of Crawley and the ball found its way into the safe hands of Bryn Lockie at first slip. Harris picked up a wicket clean bowling batsmen no. 9 before Steven ‘ the dyson’ Elder cleaned up the tail adding another 2 wickets to his collection and finishing on excellent figures of 4 for 18 off 6.3 as Grange were bowled out for 89.

GAVS TEA REVIEW: After the best fielding and bowling performance of the season the players were treated to an excellent tea, with a great variety of sandwiches, some hot food, sweet treats and fruit- a highly underrated food group when it comes to cricket teas. Achieving a rating of 8.9 Brad summed up the food as “a typically high standard Carlton tea” as he crammed food into every last inch of available plate space.

Carlton openers Bryn and Ali came out to bat knowing that if they batted long and patiently the game would be won easily. At the score of 12 Bryn was bowled, bringing Harris Aslam to the crease. Both Ali and Harris looked in great shape from the start, defending the good balls and showing real aggression in their shots as they both raced into double figures and then into their twenties. Ali was then caught for 23, which brought Jamie Kerr to the crease who lost his wicket in the next over playing a paddle sweep and was caught. Ben stuck around with Harris, helping the score to 62 before Powell claimed his 3rd wicket. This sparked a slight miniature collapse as with only 21 needed to win and 6 wickets left Harris lost his wicket nicking off to slip. Wicket keeper Tom Simpson, who had looked in great form in the nets, was then out LBW for naught playing a pull shot. Elder and Mo put on 5 runs before Elder chipped one back to the bowler and Mo was bowled. 15 to win and suddenly there were only two wickets left, with teenagers Allardice in and Rittoo walking to the crease. As Gav walked out to the crease he heard a shout from former junior convenor and Carlton god John Boyd, “a not out and a win and you’ll get a follow on twitter” … if the chance of beating Grange wasn’t enough motivation then a follow a on twitter certainly was.

The Grange players all of a sudden believed they could win and the game was theirs, thankfully for Carlton fans they hadn’t taken into consideration the Carlton youths’ capabilities of blocking the ball. And block the ball they did. Rory and Gavin were more than happy to see out maidens, picking up extras and nicking the occasional single every over as the score crept cautiously forward run by run. Rory hit a big 3 to square leg up the hill and a 2 through cover from Gav saw the score reach 86 with only 4 needed. 4 turned to 3 and 3 turned to 2… with only two needed Rory hit one square of the wicket to cover point and set off. It was a very close call and the ball was well picked up and delivered to the wicket keeper, the bails were off in a flash and the whole Grange team went up in appeal. The square leg umpire must’ve really admired Gav’s full length dive as he shook his head and said not out… much to the disbelief of the Grange. With one to win Gav drove a single through cover earning himself a follow from the sacred Carlton CC twitter page….. and taking Carlton to a 2 wicket win.

Plenty of positives can be taken from that game as it was the first win of the season for the 2’s and beating Grange made it even more special. There was also a real buzz around the field, mainly thanks to Harris who kept everyone going, a great improvement from last week. There were excellent bowling performances from all 5 bowlers, building pressure with dot balls and most importantly eliminating the bad balls. Strong knocks from Ali and Harris scored over half the side’s runs and a cool, calm, composed head from Rory led Carlton to a 2 wicket win with some help from Gav. Many thanks to the tea ladies, scorers, umpires and Grange who played their part in what proved to be a very nail biting game.

PS- Thanks to John Boyd for what he described as “one of the greatest motivational tactics in cricket history”.

Scorecard

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Saturday 31st May Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Penicuik
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Carlton 2
 

226 all out

Rory Allardice 4 for 48, Gavin Rittoo 3 for 55

away

175 all out

Mo Ahmed 40, Tom Simpson 31

The Carlton 2nd XI travelled south to Penicuik looking to build on their previous derby win over Grange. Dougal, Ahmad and Neil Kirk were the only additions to the side as a late night trip from Ali Evans saw Harris slide up into the 1s and Dougal jump up to the 2s.

Brad lost the toss and once again.... We were bowling (4th time in a row). Cricket conditions were perfect; sun, blue sky and warmth. In-form spinner Rory Allardice describing it as a "tiday day". Ahmad opened with Brad in his first game of the season, and wasn't quite on the money, with a couple of deliveries straying wide, understandably. Brad bowled the usual, patient line and length and had the batsmen playing and missing on occasion. Mo replaced Ahmed and bowled really well, beating the bat countless numbers of times and with tight line and length. Mo made the first breakthrough with the score on 72 as the batsmen finally edged one, much to the surprise of the catching master Stevie Elder who had been so used to the batsmen playing and missing, it came as a shock as he saw the ball fly off the bat into his grateful grasp.


Elder then joined the bowling attack and immediately created plenty of wicket taking opportunities with the batsmen eying up the straight short boundaries. However luck did not ride Carlton's way as the ball seemed to always be escaping the fielding; one yard too short, one foot too high, one inch too wide, nothing was going to hand. This became a fairly recurring theme throughout the day. Gav suffered similar treatment as the batsmen went after him as well before the opener finally hauled one to Neil Kirk who made no mistake in taking the catch.


Rory came on from the other end, hungry for wickets after not being needed to bowl the previous week. Rory tempted the batsmen into playing him over the top and he got his reward picking up the wicket of Chris Cash for 33. Rory and Gavin began to tighten the squeeze, Rory picking up 3 more wickets courtesy of good catching from Neil, Elder and a good piece of work behind the stumps from Tom.


Tom was again involved when the batsmen nicked one off Gav, however great awareness from the young man allowed him to unselfishly deflect the ball into the hands of Brad at slip. Yes... Brad at slip. A wonder catch from Ahmad Shah saw E.Potts go for a quick fire 33. As Potts smoked a lofted straight drive straight down Ahmad's throat, Ahmad decided to run towards the ball and suddenly realised he had over compensated, in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation he threw up his right hand up and miraculously the catch stuck, much to the disbelief of the players, supporters and himself. The openers returned and cleaned up the tail, both Brad and Ahmad picking up a wicket apiece leaving Penicuik finishing on 226 all out.

GAV'S TEA REVIEW
The tea was magnificent, a great selection of warmed cooked foods went down well along with plenty of baked goods. Mo told stories about all his favourite meals and decided that anything above a 9 had to be really, really special. With that insightful knowledge on board I decided the tea merited a rating of 8.7.

Ali Shah opened the batting with man of the moment Rory Allardice and the pair started off well, playing some excellent shots and timing the ball really well but straight to the fielders. Some great fielding put Carlton under scoreboard pressure and Rory eventually hit one in the air to cover and was caught. Neil stuck in with Ali as they attempt to form a much needed batting partnership. Neil eventually went LBW and Ben was out first ball as the umpire said he nicked it. Ali was next to go chipping one up to mid wicket for 20. This brought Dougal and Elder to the crease, Dougal batted well with confidence, dispatching the bad balls for 4 and playing out the good ones whilst Elder was caught in two minds as he edged behind to first slip.

Mo joined Dougal with the score at 53-5 and formed a good partnership , the pair of them playing sensibly in a tough situation. After a 33 run partnership Dougal was caught out for 20. Wicket keeper Tom Simpson joined Mo as Mo began to express himself, hitting boundaries for fun including 2 sixes one of which smashed the clubhouse window (left), much to the delight of Mo.


Simmo did well to rotate the strike and play his way in and began to attack the bowlers when Mo was bowled for a much needed 40 runs. This brought Gav to the crease who played himself in well before stupidly getting himself out, trying to walk across his stumps and play " the Drummo shot ". At this point Tom was flying, playing with no fear and lots of confidence. The score had dramatically reached 159 when Tom was eventually bowled for a professional 31. A great cameo from Brad and some boundary bashing from Ahmad saw the score reach 175 before Ahmad was bowled and the game was wrapped up, Carlton losing by 51 runs.

Some good positives to take from the game with Rory's hoovering skills being put into practice. However in the field luck did not go our way, catches didn't go to hand and the ball seemed to continually find the gaps in the field. 25 wides were bowled, something which can be easily improved on as that is 25 extra runs and 25 extra deliveries for the batsmen to score runs. The lower batting performance was good with great knocks from Tom, Dougal and Mo. This was the first time the 2s had reached 100 with the last 5 wickets putting on 122 runs, scores that need to be mirrored in the next 3 weeks with 3 must win games starting with the visit of Edinburgh South ...

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 7th June 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Carlton 2
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Edinburgh South
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87 for 3

Kyle Macpherson 34*

home  

MATCH ABANDONED

Brad won the toss and elected to bat with rain scheduled for 3pm and out walked Kyle and Rory. Both teenagers got off to good starts, defending their wicket, putting away the bad balls and pushing the singles. Carlton were in a commanding position and just when it looked like a wicket couldn’t fall, it did – Rory going back to a good length ball and being bowled. This brought Ali Shah to the crease and next ball later he was walking back to the pavilion after being given out LBW rather unfairly in his eyes. Ben came in at 4 and managed to rebuild the innings well with Kyle, before he began to attack and really get on top of the bowlers.

With Ben (below) timing the ball through the gaps and to the boundary and Kyle pushing the singles the pressure was really on Edinburgh South as Carlton looked in a position to go on and post a good score. With rain imminent and dark clouds looming large overhead Ben decided enough was enough and was out caught for an excellent 29 and most importantly missing the rain. This left Chris to come in and block three balls in tough conditions which he did immaculately. The umpires then decided that enough was enough and on came the covers as the rain began to pour down.

As it turned out that was the last bit of cricket that was going to be played that day with the rain falling heavier and heavier as the day went on. With play being suspended this allowed for some team bonding time allowing team jokers Chris and Elder to enter their prime. Many YouTube videos were watched and played in the changing room before tea was called early.

Scorecard

GAV'S TEA REVIEW: With play looking increasingly unlikely to continue all players proceeded to stuff their faces. Once again the Carlton teas failed to disappoint with a huge variety of food being offered. The two showstoppers for me were the two cakes baked by Dougal’s mum; one classic Victoria sponge, the other a coffee cake type thing – not entirely sure what it was called or what was in it but it tasted superb. A rating of 8.95 was achieved, just edging it over the previous Grange Loan tea a fortnight ago.

With the game inevitably being called off after tea, the Carlton players saw this as a great chance to sharpen up their footie skills with an old school game of 5 aside. Ben declined the invitation to play due to a slight injury picked up in a pre-season friendly (5 aside warm up), and Brad ruled himself out as he preferred to sit and watch from the warm comfort of the clubhouse, a wise choice in the long term. To fill up the numbers Tom Simpson’s younger brother Harry joined in. The teams lined up as follows:

OLDIES (ENGLAND)
Ali & Ahmed Shah - (Gary and Phil Neville)
Kyle Macpherson- Frank Lampard
Steven Elder – Steven Gerrard
Chris Patterson- Peter Crouch

YOUNGSTERS (Rest of the world) - ROW
Dougal Main - Van Der Sar
Tom & Harry Simpson – Yaya and Kolo Toure
Rory Allardice – Ryan Giggs
Gavin Rittoo – Darren Fletcher

The rules; first to 10 anything goes.

England got off to the dream start, an early penalty courtesy of who else but Phil Neville (Ahmed). They had more determination, passion and desire after the first ten minutes and cruised into a 3-1 lead. England used typical stereotypical tactics; punt it high and long. Many of their goals came from Stevie G whipping in a ball looking for the huge figure of Crouch hanging at the back post to nod home. The rest of the world managed to desperately claw their way back into the game with Kolo Toure (Harry Simpson) scoring a few good goals. At the half way stage the score read England 5-3 Rest of the World. 3 quick goals after the break courtesy of Gerrard and Gary Neville and a consolation from Giggsy left the score at 8-4 with Rest of the World having it all to do. Tempers began to flair, the Toures began to fight, Fletcher and Giggsy failed to get in the game and Van Der Sar was quite frankly all over the place. An inspired change brought Van Der Sar outfield and Yaya hit the sticks. Dougal’s physical presence slowed the scoring rate of England and allowed Giggsy and Fletcher to get more of the ball and dictate the play. A brilliant passing move finished off by Fletcher got the comeback started and as England began to tire, the ROW began to capitalise. Giggsy did Lampard for pace and whipped in a number of good deliveries… and before you knew it the score became 8-8. 8 all became 9 all as Lampard found the net for England and Yaya equalised. Next goal the winner… England corner. Who wants to be the hero? “Lampard with the corner, in-swinging looking for Crouch at the back post, he finds him. Crouch nods down to GERRRRRRRRAAAAAAARRRRDDDD!!!! Oh would you believe it?!?!? England win, post and in. Heart break for Rest of the World, jubilation for England”.

Credit to England, they fought through tiredness and deserved the win. A great physical performance from the Neville’s with Lampard sweeping up in front proved to be too good a defence to crack. A great partnership upfront of Crouchy and match winner Stevie Gerrard, who, in the words of the depressed Newcastle fan “just scored so many goals”. (One of the many videos watched in the changing room).

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Saturday 14th June 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Carlton 2
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West Lothian
 

122 all out

Kyle Macpherson 35

home 123 for 1

Pre match chat focused on the previous night's prom where usual match reporter Gav was regaling his team mates with stories of deeds done and, as we're in the 21st century, was able to prove such deeds via the wonders (or horrors) of Facebook. It's a shame he never wrote the match report before his lads' trip to Malia as he'll never remember the day's activities (or presumably his own name).

Pre match stretching brought about the first injury of the day as a stretching Ben managed to spike the skipper right through the knee. Despite this, the toss was won and Carlton would bat first looking to build on the good start washed out last week. Unfortunately, Ali steered the fourth ball of the match to gully and the returning Huntsman was cleaned up in the third over - 5/2. Kyle and Ben began a rebuilding exercise and just as things were getting back on track, Ben was caught for 16. As has been a problem this season, wickets fell in a clatter as top scorer Kyle was bowled for 35 and Chris edged to slip for 0, leaving us in a hole at 55/5 at drinks.

In the face of some excellent West Lothian bowling and fielding, runs were very difficult to come by, but Tom and Calum showed patience and control to gradually advance the total to 79 before Tom was bowled. The tail hung around for as long as possible and stuck with Calum who made an excellent 29 but the relentless pressure saw us bowled out for just 122 in 47.1 overs.

Gav's tea review:
It's a Grange Loan tea, an excellent reason to continue living. An excellent spread of sandwiches, cakes and fruit. Given how quickly the second innings finished, the lads took the opportunity to finish it off, so it must have been good - 8.5/10.

Defending such a small total was going to require early wickets, but that didn't happen as the impressive Denby, assisted by Strachan, put away the good and bad balls as the total came down alarmingly. Gav bowled a tidy spell and Calum took the only wicket when Strachan hit one to Gav at mid off. Overall, we bowled and fielded okay but with the field up the whole time, the outfield was bare and runs came easily. Denby's 80 not out was a fine innings as West Lothian deserved their 9 wicket win with 30 overs to spare.

 

Scorecard

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Sunday 15th June 1pm

President's Trophy Round 1
  Musselburgh
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Carlton 2
    away  
MATCH CONCEDED BY MUSSELBURGH
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Saturday 21st June 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Holy Cross
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Carlton 2
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143 for 7

Steven Elder 3 for 26

away

139 all out

Ali Shah 52, Charles Legget 50

With usual match reporter Gav away taking in the sites on his cultural tour of Malia, Greece, match reporting duties have been handed back to the captain. Fresh from not having to spend Friday night on the phone with Drummo, the skipper's chosen XI made the short trip across town to Holy Cross, welcoming back former fist arrow, Charles Leggett as well as Wellsie, having survived all that first year Manchester University could throw at him.

Brad lost the toss and the 2's were asked to bat first on a hard wicket on a fine afternoon. As is always the case at the Arboretum micro climate, a brisk wind blew across the ground, but not enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the gent commentating at the adjacent Stewart's Melville sports day. Wells and Kyle opened up and after Wells guided the third ball of the game for four, promptly lost his middle stump on the fifth ball. Worse was to follow in the third over when one from constant tormentor Bonfield nipped back and took Kyle's stumps - 10/2. What followed was an excellent rebuilding job from Ali and Legs with Legs putting away anything wide amongst stout defence and Ali waiting for the right balls to put away. Legs brought up his 50 off only 60 balls and at 85/2 off 20 overs, things were looking good.

Then followed an unforeseen break in play when umpire Blackshaw was taken seriously ill, requiring an ambulance to be called. We are glad to hear that Mike is okay. Drinks were taken early and after an hour delay, Legs edged the third ball after resumption to slip for a well made 50. Ali and Ben kept the score going until Ben missed a straight one from Ellis for 12. Then the wheels fell off with Mo hitting a return catch for 0, Dougal being run out and Elder being bowled for 3. At the other end, Ali showed a welcome return to form to reach his 50 but was shortly out caught on the leg side boundary for a well made 52. The tail didn't last much longer with Rory and Brad both being bowled and from a strong position, it had all fallen apart very quickly to be all out for 138. On a good wicket and fast outfield, it was too few and Holy Cross' simple tactic of bowling stump to stump yielded six out bowled.

Gav's tea review:
With Gav away on the ouzo, he missed a cracking tea as is par for the course at Holy Cross. A fine selection of sandwiches, pizza, fruit and cake had the bowlers complaining that they couldn't eat more. The quality spread even had the team silent for more than sixty seconds, surely a good sign. 8.5 out of ten.

Early wickets and tight overs were the key to any success out of the game. Holy Cross' pinch hitting openers had other ideas and at 30/0 off 3 overs, a swift end looked possible. As the captain dragged himself, Mo and Ahmed pulled things back, a swift piece of fielding from Kyle ran out Kachodi and then Javed hit one high in the air off Mo and Kyle took a good catch. Runs became harder to come by as Ellis and McOscar waited for the bad balls to put away. After Mo's spell, the introduction of Elder (after a customary half tracker to start with) caused McOscar to spoon one to Ali. Rory kept things tight from the other end and was rewarded with Jordan LBW and then the prize wicket of Ellis caught and bowled. At 5 down and 35 to get, it was game on. A tough chance went down with 30 to get and despite Elder taking another two wickets (including a spectacular Dougal catch - see pic below courtesy of Mark Brown) and a tough fight for every run, Holy Cross completed the run chase with 3 wickets to spare.

Another 20 runs might have made a difference but the fight shown in the second innings should give us some confidence as we return home next week to face table topping Glenrothes.

Scorecard

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Saturday 28th June 1pm Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Carlton 2
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Glenrothes
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208 all out

Kyle Macpherson 62, Keshav Arvind 57

home

294 for 8

Gavin Rittoo 4 for 42

League leaders Glenrothes visited the fortress of Grange Loan to face an ever struggling Carlton 2s side. A number of changes were made to the side that lost narrowly to Holy Cross; Ali, Elder, Leggs, Ben and Mo were all unavailable, allowing 2nd team debuts for Rhuairidh Main, Keshav Arvind and u15 left arm bowler Saif Khan. The right arm wheels of Gavin Rittoo also returned in one piece following a quiet, relaxing vacation in Malia. Former captain Nathan Pietsch also made another cameo appearance.

Brad won the toss and opted to bowl on a good wicket at the Loan. Much to the excitement of the Carlton players Glenrothes had brought their camera equipment and were streaming the game live on the internet for anyone to watch! This claim to fame sparked many theatrical dives from fielders in the opening spells of Brad and Ahmad. Unfortunately Carlton failed to get off to a good start as too many bad balls were punished and sent to the boundary despite some flashing dives from the fielders.

As the scores rocketed up in the first 10 overs Brad made his first bowling change of the game introducing Gav. Gav jumped at the chance to be on camera and started off from where he left in previous weeks bowling a good length, staying patient and showing little signs of a Malia hangover. Gav was rewarded for his troubles picking up the first wicket of the day as Alec Davies holed out to Ahmad at mid off. Next over Gav had another one; this time finding the outside edge of Graeme Beghin, the ball flying into the hands of Pietchsy at first slip. Brad bowled tightly from the other end but got little rewards for his efforts.

Gav celebrates Beghin's wicket - as caught in all its glory by Glenrothes TV

Dougal Main replaced Brad and was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket in his first over as a catch in the slips went down. However Dougal's injury problems got the better of him meaning young spinner Rory Allardice was given the ball to work some of his own magic. Rory and Gav formed a solid partnership, slowing the run rate down and bowling plenty of dot balls making it hard for Glenrothes to score helped by some great Carlton fielding. Nathan Pietsch entered the frame and after the usual spiel of "I've not bowled in 2 years, this could go anywhere" he had the middle stump out the ground and cartwheeling in his first over. Granted he did bowl a couple of loose wides but overall he bowled a good spell. Young left armer Saif Khan was trusted with the ball and stood up to the challenge, bowling 3 solid overs and holding his own at a very high standard of cricket.

Ahmad and Gavin came back on and both took a wicket courtesy of two very good catches from Saif. Rittz then got his 4th, a customary dirty wicket, shortish ball top edged to Brad at mid on, the commentator describing it as having a bit of extra pace - shockingly yes, those words were actually uttered. Brad joined the party removing one of their danger men for 42 and Peach got his second in his final over as Glenrothes reached 294 off their 50 overs. A fairly good standard was set in the field but for the last 8 or so overs in which this standard was dropped and Glenrothes capitalised putting on an extra 50/60 off runs which should've been stopped if catches had been held. Rory was unlucky not to pick up a wicket, a number of catches being dropped off his bowling consequently costing him 6 lucky bags in the process due to his ludicrous in play betting with Wellsy and Peach. Ahmad dropped a chance in Gav’s last over costing him his 5 wickets and a further 65 fantasy league points but the less said about that the better.

Gav's tea review:

The food was unbelievable. Karen Macpherson and Co stood, cooked and delivered as they filled the tables with heaps and heaps of various foods. The personal favourite being the strawberry jam scone. A huge improvement on the diet of dirty fry ups, slimey chippys and greasy burgers consumed on holiday and scoring a well deserved 9.6. The highest score of the season so far. Why wasn't it a 10? The weather wasn't quite sunny enough (see scale ).

Carlton openers Wellsy and Kyle came out to bat knowing a good start was pivotal in order to chase down the mammoth total set by Glenrothes. Unfortunately Wellsy went early for just 10 which brought Keshav to the crease. Both Keshav and Kyle batted extremely well, timing the ball well and batting with real class getting on top of the Glenrothes bowlers and putting up a real fight. The 50 partnership became a 100 partnership and before you knew it both players had scored 50 and were set with the score on 140 for just the loss of one wicket. Disaster then struck as both Kyle and Keshav were undone by two great pieces of work from the Glenrothes wicket keeper Alec Davies - two leg side stumpings. Then came the rain.

Play was halted for an hour or so as the heavens opened and the game looked unlikely to continue, the esca rain calculator card predictor thing said Carlton were 20 runs or so short so Glenrothes would win if play was not resumed. Thankfully the rain stopped and play was resumed at about 7.30 with light fading badly. R. Main and Pietsch were at the cease. Main was given out LBW much to his disagreement as he made his views clear to the press that the umpire had made the wrong decision. The score had suddenly shot from 140-1 to 140-4.

Brother Dougal joined Pietschy and they both stuck around for a bit, playing some sensible cricket and doing their bit to push the score board along up to 200 (the target needed to secure another batting point). Dougs was then caught for a valiant 21 and Pietsch was given out LBW for 24. Allardice and Rittoo came in and saw the team over the 200 mark before both getting out. The tail failed to wag in tough conditions as Ahmad Shah was bowled and Carlton were all out for 208. (Saif left during the rain so DNB).

A great effort from one of the youngest Twos teams Carlton has ever seen, putting up a real fight against the unbeaten league leaders. Plenty of positives to be taken from the game with two great knocks from Kyle and Keshav as well as some good bowling figures for Gavin. Fielding and game awareness could be improved for next week and just the general belief that we CAN beat these teams. Freuchie visit next week on Gav’s 18th birthday, unfortunately... without cameras.

Scorecard

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Saturday 5th July Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Carlton 2
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Freuchie
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123 all out

Rob Thornton 40

home

124 for 8

Ahmad Shah 4 for 18

The Carlton 2nd team hosted travelling side Freuchie on an absolutely beautiful day at the Loan. 4 changes were made to the side that lost against Glenrothes; OUT - Wells, Saif, Ruairidh Main and Pietschy. IN – Elder, Ben, Ali Shah and fellow veteran Rob Thornton.

Captain Brad won the toss and opted to bat, sending in openers Kyle and Ali hoping to mimic the solid start that was made the previous week against Glenrothes. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite to plan (a fairly recurring theme this season) as Kyle lost his middle stump for just 2. Top wicket taker in the league and Freuchie pro M Akbar soon stamped his authority on the game picking up crucial early wickets of Ali and Keshav. Ben went LBW to the other opener and Carlton were 4 down after just 10 overs. Rob and Dougal started the revival, getting in behind the bowlers and most importantly not losing their wickets, Rob then began to take the fight to the Freuchie bowlers dispatching the bad balls over the wall and putting a little pressure on the Freuchie bowlers. Dougal edged one behind and in came Rory who batted sensibly rotating the strike as much as possible and not getting out. Rob and Rory put on the highest Carlton partnership of the day (26) and just as Carlton looked in good shape to go on a post a respectable total Rory was out caught behind.

Gav walked to the crease with the score on 78-7. With a good 30 overs still to bat the game plan was just to stay in, a batting plan that for once Gav could adhere too. A solid few overs of blocking from Gav and bashing from Rob saw us through to drinks, after which they brought on their demon fast pro again, much to the disappointment and disgust of the Carlton tail-end. Akbar got the big wicket of Rob for 40; a short ball cut upwards by Rob and caught out on the third man boundary, fair to say a wicket that’s not seen every day in Scottish cricket. Brad came in and showed good fight against the pro however was undone at the other end – chipping a good length ball to mid-off. That left Ahmad and Gav to scrap it out, Ahmad found himself in a personal battle with the Freuchie pro as he dispatched him effortlessly with immaculate technique (swinging from the hip) for 3 fours. Gav got a bouncer, then a yorker and his middle stump was out of the ground with Carlton finishing on 123 all out off just 33.2 overs.

GAV'S TEA REVIEW: Batting first in cricket has both its positives and negatives; one huge negative for the bowlers is you cannot stuff your face at tea unless you are prepared to be sick all over the pitch. In saying that this was another fabulous display from the Carlton tea ladies and it was almost impossible not to go wild. Fruit, sandwiches, and much to Gav’s embarrassment his mum brought a cake for after the game all combined to give a score of a solid 9.1.

With a small total to defend Carlton knew that a positive start would be crucial and that it was vital to make Freuchie scrap for every run. Rob opened up aggressively with Brad looking to pick up early wickets and pressurise the Freuchie batsmen. Rob got the first breakthrough of the day courtesy of a piece of sheer magic from Steven Elder; an edge flew off the bat and looked to be heading for 4 but for Elder who threw his right hand out at full stretch catching the ball just inches off the ground, leaving everyone speechless.

Ahmad Shah came onto bowl in an unfamiliar position at first change, evidently this had no effect on him as he proceeded to bowl his best spell of the season. Ahmad bowled the other opener and began tearing through the middle order. Rory came on from the other end and really helped build pressure by bowling dot ball after dot ball. As the game seemed to be getting away from us with the score at 57-2 Ahmad struck again uprooting the no.3 middle stump. 20 runs later as the game began to slide away from us Ahmad struck again, Akbar edging to Rob in the slips who made no mistake, another personal battle won for Ahmad.

Elder replaced Rory and bowled brilliantly, beating the bat on a number of occasions and finally getting his reward of the 5th Freuchie wicket – plumb LBW. At 88 for 5 Carlton had a chance. Ahmad picked up an important 4th wicket, bowling McMurdo for 24 finishing on exceptional figures of 4 for 18 off 10. With 4 wickets remaining 30 runs required the Freuchie players began to squirm. Birthday boy Gav replaced Ahmad, the score crept over 100, closer and closer to the target of 124. At the score on 106 Gav picked up the wicket of A Hussain edging behind to Elder at slip. Gav had another one in his next over - a full toss hit straight down Ali’s throat at mid-off. Rob came back on from the bottom end and piled the pressure on the two Freuchie batsmen but neither Rob nor Gav could claim the last two wickets as Freuchie edged over the line securing a two wicket win.

A great fight was shown by Carlton finishing just short again, with 20 runs or so more and the game would’ve been ours. With plenty of positives to be taken including a great knock from Rob and exceptional bowling from Ahmad along with a solid fielding performance all round. Carlton visit the beautiful, scenic, picturesque Leith Academy next week looking to get a much needed win against Murrayfield Dafs.

 

Scorecard

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Saturday 12th July Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Murrayfield DAFS
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Carlton 2
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228 all out

Rory Allardice 4 for 42

away

88 all out

Tom Simpson 28

Leith Academy was the venue for the Carlton 2nd XI match against an inconsistent Murrayfield Dafs side. Mo made a guest appearance and Tom Simpson also returned following Wellsy’s absence - partying hard at his Grandad’s 90th. 

With rain scheduled, Brad won the toss and elected to bowl, hoping to skittle the Dafs then knock off the total before the rain came. At first the plan worked with Carlton getting off to an excellent start having Dafs 2 down for 17 - a wicket apiece for Brad and Rory. The batting side managed to slowly rebuild the innings and claw their way back into the game, heads began to drop as a partnership began to build before Mo got a slice of luck- the batsmen playing onto his own stumps. This brought the Dafs pro to the crease at the score of 88 for 3. The Carlton fielders knew he was a good player from his previous scores and his form at Carlton nets... Yes, Carlton practice. His wicket was crucial but unfortunately hard to get. Ahmed replaced Brad and had no luck, despite the odd ball that Khurshid (the pro) swung at. Elder attempted to replicate his remarkable slip catch the previous week however he dislocated his finger in the process and after clicking it back in on the pitch he went to A & E to get it checked out.

Mo continued to bowl patiently and for few runs as Gav tried and failed to bowl on the wicket let alone the stumps. Mo picked up another wicket as he finished on good figures of 2 for 39. The focus switched to spin as Ali Shah and Rory came on from either end. Rory had an immediate impact, getting the ball to turn and putting the pressure back on the batsmen. He claimed the fifth wicket courtesy of a good catch from Keshav then had the big wicket of the pro for 73. At the score of 167-6 Carlton were through the majority of the batting, Ali Shah got in on the action; taking his first 2nd XI wicket for Carlton - caught out on the boundary by Kyle. Rory picked up his 4th in his last over bowling the number 7 batsmen and finishing with excellent figures of 4 for 42. Ali doubled his Twos wicket tally and Brad made light work of the tail - another good catch by Rory on the boundary, an easy catch for most but harder for Rory due to his certain lack of height. Dafs finished on 228 all out. 

Gav's Tea Review: 

The tea was substantial, yet the quantities were not. Potential was definitely shown from the Murrayfield Dafs team with some excellent donut/bun type things and samosas/pakora rolls. However larger stock quantities needed to be ordered to pose any kind of threat to the Carlton tea ladies. 7.6 /10

Brad sent Rory out to open with Kyle hoping to get the most out of Rory's current ability. Unfortunately Rory's luck ran out as he was caught at short leg for a duck. Keshav joined Kyle and played some lovely shots before he was bowled. The Dafs then decided it was time to bring on their pro, bowling left arm spin and in his first over he had Ali out for a duck. From the other end Kyle went after a half tracker sending it straight down mid-on’s throat before Ben was out stumped  in the unluckiest of fashions to the pro. Not the dream start by any means as the top 5 was all out for 34. 

Mo wheels and Tom knocked it around for a bit, the Murrayfield Dafs pro then got bored and decided to bowl right arm heat, which he proved to be very good at. He was on a hat-trick in his first over of pace, Mo edging one to slip and "one hand" Elder getting bowled. Gav faced and blocked the hat-trick ball and managed to stick around with Tom for a while as Tom played some great shots, showing excellent fight against the pro. Gav edged one behind for a hard fought one allowing Brad to join Tom. The pro finally got the better of Simmo with an unplayable ball hitting Tom’s middle stump. A great innings coming to an end finishing on a score of 28. Ahmed creamed a massive 6 over square leg then proceeded to block out full tosses and was finally out lbw to who else but Khurshid who finished with figures of 6-27 ( 2 spin, 4 pace) leaving Carlton all out for just 88. 

Some positives can be taken- an excellent spell from Rory and a courageous fight with the bat from Tom. However, once again Carlton were undone by another club with a pro. Questions still arise as to what he was doing at Carlton training. Without the pro, strictly speaking Dafs would've finished on 155 and Carlton would be on 88-4... Thus proving that in retrospect we are not far off...

Scorecard

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Saturday 19th July Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Carlton 2
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RH Corstorphine
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    home 54 for 4

MATCH ABANDONED

A much changed 2's line up assembled at Grange Loan for the visit of high flying RH Corstorphine.  Gone was the captain (partying hard in deepest darkest Lanarkshire) as were Ali and Kyle (both called up to the 1's).  In came Scotland Under 17 star Angus Hinton and a promising all rounder by the name of Gordon Drummond - big things expected of these two.

Stand in captain Elder lost the toss and on a damp morning, RHC elected to bat.  Ahmad opened up with heat down the hill and Rory opened up with a lot less heat but more guile up the hill.  Ahmad made the first breakthrough bowling opener Saithiy with the score on 6.  The enthusiasm was good and the bowling nice and tight and after the first 12 overs yielded only 20 runs, Elder brought himself on immediately striking twice to remove Malik and Kelly, both with the score on 24.  Despite a wayward first over, Hinton soon hit good areas and was rewarded with the wicket of Thompson (36/4) as he hit a catch to 'hot hands' Wells (not keeping as he had inadvertently picked up a soldering iron during the week ... it just happened to be on).

Opposing skipper Leeder and Yellowlees slowly rebuilt the innings against some tight bowling and fielding and at a delicately poised 58/4 in 24 overs, the rains came and never let up, a shame as the team was in a strong position.

As the rain came tumbling down, the opposition sank pints in the bar and the home team played football, clearly showing different priorities in post match warm down.

Scorecard

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Thursday 24th July 6pm

President's Trophy Round 2
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Leith FAB
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Carlton 2
  23 all out away 183 for 3 (20 overs)
After two previous attempts to play this third round match failed due to the rain, it was agreed that a 20 over a side match on a Thursday night would have to do.  A strong Carlton XI made the short trip down to a gloriously sunny Leith Links to face Leith FAB.  The rule in these matches seems to be that if you win the toss, you bat, if only to ensure you don't bat in the dark.

The skipper duly won the toss and elected to bat.  Kyle played out a maiden over to start off and then, in partnership with Ali, set about building a total picking off the bad balls and running well between wickets.  With serene progress being made, it was a surprise when Kyle nicked off to one that jumped off a length for a well made 28.  Keshav joined Ali as Ali looked to really ramp up the scoring, which he did, but was dropped a number of times.  Keshav made 20 or so before Ali skied one and was caught for 62.  Ben and Craig ensured a successful end to the innings with some fine shotmaking and running as Carlton racked up 183/3 off 20 overs.

As Carlton took to the field, the haar came down to make life more difficult for the Leith batsmen.  Brad and Ahmad opened up and Ahmad found success in the first over with a ball that was too quick for the batsman.  Brad picked up another when an edge was taken by Ben in the gully.  Ahmad followed up with two more wickets, one to a good catch from Keshav.  With Carlton well on top, it was time to unleash the legspin of Adeel and Ben.  Adeel was too good for the batsmen and soon picked up 3 wickets.  Ben picked up the last two and in 11 overs, Leith were all out for a measly 23. 

Onto the next round - a semi final match against Gala.
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Saturday 26th July Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L Grange 2
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Carlton 2
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180 for 9

Ali Shah 4 for 17, Harris Aslam 3 for 18

away

178 all out

Kyle Macpherson 51

Fresh from a mid week win in the President's Trophy, a strong 2's team made the short trip to Raeburn Place to face old rivals Grange 2.  With 5 matches left in the season, a win was key here to start the long road to league safety.  A solid pre match warm up was enjoyed by all except Gav who was having a job interview with a trendy George Street retailer (his words, not mine), which, should he get the job, will ensure that he's the best dressed guy in the team.

Skipper Brad won yet another toss and elected to bat first on a hard, good looking wicket.  Kyle and Ali opened up but before the rest of the team had taken up places in front of the pavillion, Ali was on his way back, adjudged LBW for 3.  Keshav and Kyle started to build a solid partnership, being especially effective against fast bowler Allan.  A change of bowling deceived Keshav and he was bowled for 17.  Harris came in at four and played some lovely shots and with Kyle, the score fairly raced along.  Kyle brought up an excellent 50 with a drive for four but was adjudged LBW to the spin of young Appleton for a well made 51.  Wells joined Harris and got us through to the drinks break at a well placed 105/3. 

Captain's orders at the drinks break were to knock the ball around, take the singles and set it up for the full 50 overs.  Well, it didn't really happen.  Harris scooped a ball (successfully this time - see West Lothian game) which went for four but was shortly after bowled for a well made 31 and Wells hit a return catch for a quick fire 20 - 140/5.  Tom Simpson was next to go, bowled by Dickinson for 5, leaving Elder to bat with the tail, a tail which had wagged most of the season.  Unfortunately it didn't today.  Rory hung around for a little while as Elder looked the goods but the last four wickets fell for not many, including Ahmad stumped off the first ball he faced, leaving Stevie 15 not out and Carlton at a below par 178 all out with more than 6 overs to bat.  A decent total, but it should have been much higher.

An excellent tea was made even longer by the rain delay so lucky there was extra to eat.  Once restarted, Brad and Ahmad shared new ball duty in a fairly tight spell where wickets felt like they were coming.  Eventually they did, as Brad bowled young Davidson and then induced Crawley to edge to Wells - 40/2 in 13 overs.  Rory had just started his spell when rain forced the game to halt and the players were off for 40 minutes, during which an intense game of 'one hand one bounce' took place in the away dressing room.  With more rain forecast and the umpires wanting to at least get to 20 overs, it was decided to bring Harris on with Elder.  With the intensity ramped up for the following 6 overs, wickets fell straight away.  Harris trapped the older Crawley, bowled Pyne-James and induced Dickinson to edge to Elder who took a smart slip catch.  Momentum was with Carlton and if the rain had come at 20 overs, Carlton would have won.

Of course, banking on the Scottish weather is stupid at best so the game went on.  Grange captain Davidson was now well set and punished Elder and Rittoo's spells, so, with Harris' final overs saved, the ball was thrown to Ali who nabbed Davidson first ball for a well made 64.  Momentum now back with Carlton at 140/6.  Ali then produced some wonderful pressure bowling and followed up with three further wickets (one LBW and 2 bowled) to leave Grange on the brink at 158/9.  Harris was brought back on to finish the job but Deboulay and a very assured Appleton at number 11 began to pick off the bowling and pick up runs in a straight forward manner.  With Ali bowling well at one end and Harris now finished, Ahmad and then Rory were thrown the ball in an attempt to break this last partnership, but to no avail.  Some chanceless batting had got Grange over the line by one wicket.

An excellent effort with the ball and in the field but if we had batted for a few overs more, we may have got home.  A wrenching defeat that makes the next few games must win.

Scorecard

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Saturday 2nd August Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Carlton 2
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Penicuik
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RAINED OFF
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Saturday 9th August Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Edinburgh  South
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Carlton 2
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97 all out

Fraser Allardice 3 for 24, Harris Aslam 3 for 26

away

131 all out

Ben Thurman 48*

Following the previous week's wash out against Penicuik, the 2's reached the last chance saloon with a trip to near neighbours Edinburgh South where the loser would undoubtedly be relegated. However, there was none of that 'R' talk as a solid looking team headed down the road. We were finally able to give a debut to Irishman Steven Allen and with a dry wicket, the four pronged spin attack of Aslam, Ali and two Allardices would be key.

On a breezy day, skipper Brad won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry wicket that would get lower and slower as the day would go on. Going was slow to begin with against some tight bowling but the first ten overs were navigated with no loss before Kyle was caught on 17. Ali and Steven Allen slowly rebuilt the innings and took the score to 37 before Ali was caught behind. Craig was in and then straight out, playing across a straight one to be LBW and we were now in trouble at 37/3 off 18 overs. Stevie was looking good, hitting some nice shots but not being rewarded on the lush outfield. He was next to go for 28 when he played back to a spinner and was LBW - 53/4, just before drinks. Ben Thurman came in at 6 and immediately set about the bowling, finding the gaps regularly and generally playing a completely different game to the rest of us. His innings now formed the backbone of the innings and with the way the wicket was playing, every single run would count. He put on partnerships of 20 ish with each of Harris, Fraser and Brad as the innings made progress and the tail wagged. Ahmad was last out in the 47th over with the score 131 all out and Ben left stranded on an excellently made 48, his best batting for the season.

The feeling, as walked the mile or two back to the pavilion for tea, was that a good solid start, nabbing the pro and then unleashing the spin force would set us in good stead. It was now make or break time. After an early wide, Ahmad gave us the dream start by bowling pro Hendricks with a cracking yorker for 0 in the first over. Amazing start and it gave us the confidence to go on. Ahmad and Brad bowling a solid, tight start, making the ball move and extracting some extravagant lack of bounce in the wicket. After 11 overs and the shine off the new ball, it was time for spin with the score on 23/1. Fraser replaced Brad and soon had the wicket of the other opener Reddish - 26/2. Two more LBW's were won by Fraser in the next three overs to put Edinburgh South on the back foot at 38/4 as we were well on top. Harris was keeping it very tight at the other end, having Shukla caught by Allen and then Kettlewell nicely stumped by Wells - 42/6. It is always expected that there will be a partnership to break at some point and now was the time as Singh and Aasim dug in, seeing off Fraser's excellent spell (3/24) and almost seeing off Harris (3/26), but in his last over, Aasim hit one to the skipper - 65/7. If Edinburgh South thought that seeing off Fraser and Harris would bring back pace, we had Rory and Ali. Rory was hit for a maximum into the nearby burn which required a change of ball but soon took Singh's wicket with a catch to Fraser and then followed it up with Afridi's wicket. It was left to Ali to take the final wicket, thanks to a diving catch (yes that's right) to the skipper at mid wicket. Edinburgh South all out for 97 and a long overdue win for Carlton by 34 runs.

An excellent win in tough conditions and now a bit of momentum going into the last key matches.

Scorecard

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Saturday 16th August Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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West Lothian
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Carlton 2
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195 all out

Rory Allardice 4 for 51

away

199 for 9

Ali Shah 50, Craig Everett 48, Ben Thurman 33

After the previous week's heroics in beating Edinburgh South, the 2nd XI made the trip to Linlithgow to face a West Lothian team one place above us. Rob Atkin and Keshav Arvind took the places of Steven Allan and Fraser Allardice, both moving up to the 1's, which again brought the average age of the team down and lessened the potential cost of post match drinks.

Skipper Brad lost his first toss in two months and the 2's were asked to bat first on a dry wicket. Craig and Kyle opened against some very accurate bowling and the pressure got too much for Craig as he called Kyle through for a single that not even Kyle could make and was run out. Harris replaced him and in an attempt to break the shackles, attempted to scoop the opening bowler and was bowled (but that's okay as we were told that it was the right shot, just lacking in execution). This left us 12/2 in the 9th over and in big trouble.

The mood could do with a bit of lightening so as resident joker Steven Elder was on holiday, you can always rely on Ahmad Shah to break the tension. Each week, safe in the knowledge he'll bat 11, Ahmad excuses himself to go to the shop, usually to get paracetamol, but always coming back with tonnes of unhealthy food. This week was no different. He came back with bags of doughnuts but also with a packet of Nurofen in an unusually bright pink packet - for period pain. He hadn't read the label nor picked up on the strange looks he must have been given by the shop assistant. In any case, it cracked us up.

Meanwhile, Craig and Ali were rebuilding the innings in an almost century stand. Ali played attacker and Craig with solid defence. Just before drinks, Ali reached a well deserved 50 and then skied Denby's first ball bouncer to the keeper - 109/3. Ben joined Craig and just as another partnership was building, Craig jumped down the wicket to Raven and was stumped for a well made 48 - 129/4 with 15 to go. Ben became the key player as he played some lovely drives and regularly pierced the field against some tight bowling. Rob came and went LBW and then Wells joined Ben for a useful 28 run stand before Wells was caught. Ben fell for a well made 33 shortly after and at 172/7, there was still some work to be done. After Keshav fell at 178, Ahmad and Rory ran hard, swung hard and played some nice shots in a hugely useful 9th wicket stand of 21 which was broken when Rory was run out off the last ball of the innings - 199/9 off 50 overs. Finally, we'd built an innings over 50 overs and had wickets in hand to lash hard in the last few overs.

After a sumptuous tea, the team gathered for a few final words - line and length, bowl maidens, chase everything and keep the chat up. Oh, and Ahmad, it would be useful if you could get the pro out again for 0. One ball later, he'd done it, yorking pro Denby with a swinging thunderbolt - 0/1 - a massive wicket. Three overs later, Ahmed induced Miller to play one to backward point where Kyle took a good catch - 17/2. Meanwhile, up the other end, skipper Brad, fresh from not having to bat, was bowling line and length up hill into a hurricane. Eventually, he was rewarded with Drylie's wicket when Rory took the catch and bowled ten overs straight through for 2/21. Harris had replaced Ahmad and bowled well without getting the breakthrough. At this point, both West Lothian batsmen had runners which made for chaotic scenes but never did produce the run out we expected. Ali replaced Brad and removed Black when Keshav took a superb diving catch at mid on - 84/4. At the other end, Dixon was scoring freely, dealing harshly with good and bad balls, most notably from Rory. He deposited Rory for two consecutive sixes, but Rory had the last laugh and showed a lot of guts to bowl Dixon with a quicker ball for a well made 80 - 145/5.

The threatening rain soon arrived and sent the players running for cover and for the rain chart (behind by 7 runs). After a short delay, we were back on and the delay worked well for us as Ali took the wicket of the dangerous Thomson for 29 - 157/6. Six balls later, we were off again (behind by 1 run). After a longer delay, we were back out and the tension was there. Another wicket fell when Smith hit Rory to Keshav again - 161/7 and we were on top. The scoring slowed considerably as the pressure built. Bowlers were rotated regularly and Rory, it was, who made a double breakthrough, bowling Vorster and having Heath caught behind both with the score on 171. Number 11 Miller strode to the wicket and immediately picked out the gaps and with Raven, started to make headway into the target - it was the Grange game all over again. Haris and Ahmad bowled out, leaving Rory and Ali to bowl the remaining overs. The pressure got to the fielders too with a couple of overthrows, but Brad produced a full length stop to save a boundary. With Ali to bowl the last over, 7 were needed.

Three out on leg side and everybody else up. Two singles at the start of the over before a dot ball - 5 off 3 needed. Another dot. Then Ali bowls a half tracker, Raven's eyes light up but he can only hit it to a running Harris at mid off who takes the winning catch - Carlton win by 4 runs. Cue massive celebrations. Huge credit to all, especially Rory (4/51) and Ali (3/27) who bowled at the end.

A superb win in a really good game of cricket with so many swings and roundabouts. We held our nerve really well and live to fight to the last day of the season.

Scorecard

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Sunday 17th August

President's Trophy Semi Final
L Gala
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Carlton 2
  137 for 3 away

134 for 6

Keshav Arvind 51

While there are obvious downsides to playing with eight men, such as huge gaps in the field, lack of depth and transport issues, there are some upsides - more space in the change rooms, more tea and a rare chance for tailenders to bat in the middle order.  These were the dilemmas that the Carlton team faced for the trip south to face Gala in the President's Trophy semi final, for the third time of asking.  Other match commitments and general apathy had conspired to put us in that position.  But what an eight it was with all bases covered in the batting and bowling departments, and even someone willing to keep wicket.

With the Everett-mobile still making it down the road, the contrived coin toss resulted in Carlton batting first.  A good start was key, if only to ensure that we were still batting when the Everett's arrived.  Ali and Rory opened against an accurate attack.  Rory was first to go when he spooned a catch.  Keshav joined Ali and between the two of them, developed a fine partnership.  Keshav was particularly fluent with shots all around the wicket and soon pushed the score over 50.  Ali was brutal in putting away the bad ball and had moved to 29 when he too was caught.  At 60/2 at 20 overs, we were in decent shape.  Craig Everett didn't last long but Dougal joined Keshav in another decent partnership.  Keshav brought up a fine 50 with a nice drive but perished soon after.  Johnny Everett joined Dougal with a request for 'no quick singles' which Dougal ignored, putting pressure on the field and on Johnny's not yet warmed up muscles.  With only a few overs to go, the batting became more expansive and the innings was finished off by Brad and DC, the latter smoking a number of boundaries down the hill as Carlton finished on a respectable 134/6 off the 40 overs.

A sumptuous tea was enjoyed as the Carlton eight plotted plans for the field.  Brad opened up with a 6:1 field bowling into a hurricane and bowled a tight opening spell.  Rory opened at the other end and was generally tight but the slow wicket punished any short ball which were quickly despatched.  Brad took an early wicket, inducing the Gala skipper to spoon one to DC at mid off.  However further breakthroughs were difficult to come by as the Gala pair of Halls and Miller were stout in defence and expertly worked the balls into gaps.  The bowling was good and the fielding very good for a team with so few fieldsmen.  Neither Dougal nor DC could make the breakthrough but Ali was rewarded for a fine spell with a wicket and a returning Brad picked up a second wicket when Craig held a good catch.  An excellent effort in the field ensured that Gala had to face 30 overs to reach their target which they did with 7 wickets in hand but excellent batting on their part was worth the win.

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Saturday 23rd August Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
T
Carlton 2
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Holy Cross
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189 for 8

Matt Wells 46, Ali Shah 42, Fraser Allardice 36*

home 189 for 8

Thanks to two wins in a row and some other results going our way, the 2's reached the last day of the season in with a mathematical chance of escaping the automatic relegation. The skipper had done the research during the week and was fully aware (or so he thought) of all the permutations for the final day. Essentially, we had to beat Holy Cross and hope West Lothian lost to near neighbours Edinburgh South. Faith was kept with the previous week's heroes and it was all down to us.

Of course, you plan for last days of the season at your peril and heavy overnight rain had resulted in a phone call from Russell to Brad suggesting he get down earlier, and bring some team mates. The ground was wet so with the assistance of the already present Keshav and Rory, work was done on drying the ground so thanks to Russell and others for all their help. This worked so well that we started on time at 12 noon.

Skipper Brad won his thousandth toss of the summer and elected to bowl first, making the most of the damp air. Everyone was fired up, final words were said and in keeping with previous weeks, we asked Ahmad to knock over a wicket in his first over, notwithstanding Holy Cross' lack of a pro. In steams Ahmad and opening batsman Kachodi absolutely smokes him back over his head for a stunning boundary first ball. This briefly knocked the wind out of our sails but Ahmad soon delivered, knocking out middle stump two balls later - 4/1. A great start. However, Holy Cross are not in the top five for no reason and batsmen McOscar and Javed rebuilt the innings, seeing off the decent but unthreatening opening spells of Ahmad and Brad, causing the introduction of spin. The score was taken to 53 before McOscar hit one from Fraser to Harris at midwicket. At the other end, Javed was making easy progress, hitting the ball hard and regularly to the boundary as the bowling struggled to contain. Fraser dropped a difficult caught and bowled off Ellis but soon had his man, hitting to Harris again at mid wicket - 82/3, and a good spell of 2/27. Mahzar joined Javed and the score started to rattle along as Harris was withdrawn in favour of Ali but no breakthrough was forthcoming.

Just after drinks, the sky turned black and heavy rain soon fell forcing the players from the field for a considerable period, seemingly washing away any remaining hope of a result. Tea was taken and as the rain stopped, more work was required to dry the sodden ground. However, both teams were keen to play so it was decided to play on with the unknown of number of overs in the second innings. The rain break helped the team as, in sight of a century, Javed hit one straight back to Rory for 83 who clung on - 143/4. Even better came in the next over as confusion between the batsman saw Kyle run out Russell (below) - 148/5.

Rory picked up Mahzar shortly after, bowling him for 30 - 158/6. Despite taking some tap, Rory had picked up the two key wickets in his 2/50, showing excellent composure. Harris returned to bowl the other McOscar around his legs and Brad bowled the final over to pick up Newman for 24 - final score 189/9, a good fightback from us and a gettable target. With 39 overs of spin bowled, we had bowled the 50 overs in an amazing 2 hours 36 minutes, which was key in that we would have a good chance of having 50 overs to chase the target. Test match captains, take note at that over rate!!

With tea already taken, it was a quick turnaround for the chase. A good start was what we needed, but we didn't get it in the face of some excellent, tight bowling from Bonfield and Ellis. We crawled to 14 off 10 overs before Kyle was bowled. Worse was to follow when Craig was LBW with the score on 23. Keshav and Ali looked to rebuild and were playing well when Keshav was caught for 12 (below) - 44/3. We were soon in deep trouble when Harris top edged one and was caught for 0 - 46/4. However, Ali was staying strong and was joined by Rob in a key partnership as bat finally got on top of the batting. Drinks were taken with the score 60/4 and the game in the balance. Rain threatened again and all eyes on the boundary started to turn to the ESCA rain calculator. Ali and Rob pushed the score to 97 when an excellent partnership came to an end when Ali was caught for 42. Rob and Wells continued to push the score along until Rob was caught on a well made 26 - 116/6 and back in trouble.

At 116/6, 84 runs were needed in 15 overs. Now was the time for someone to stand up and, in the key partnership of the match/season/lifetime, Wells and Fraser did that, putting away the bad ball and running very well between the wickets. Seeing off Bonfield's spell was key and every run was greeted with big cheers on the boundary in fading light. The threat of rain had disappeared but the rain calculator was checked to ensure we were up with the rate. Consistently, 5 or 6 runs were scored each over as a bit of panic spread between the fieldsmen and as an excellent partnership continued, it appeared that these two heroes would take us all the way to a wonderful victory. However, Wells' luck ran out on the last ball of the 49th over as he was caught for an excellent 45. With one over remaining, we needed 3 to tie and 4 to win, with Fraser on strike. Fraser took the strike for the first ball and ran a single, bringing Rory on strike. Second ball was a dot, as was the third and Rory was bowled by Russell on the fourth - 187/8. Two balls to go and the skipper walks to the wicket, in pretty much darkness.

Even though he's writing this report, we might as well get his words (rather than this third person garbage) for the remaining two balls. "So, I walk to the wicket thinking that after playing cricket for 32 years, this could be my chance to win a game of cricket with the bat. No pressure. It really is pretty dark out here. I hope Fraser has a plan. As I approach Fraser out of the dark, he gets in first and asks me what my plan is. As he was on 38 not out, I was hoping he'd have one. Anyway, I said that I'd try to get bat on ball and get him on strike for the final ball. So I took guard as Russell runs in and bowls and I didn't see it. It wasn't fast, but it was dark (did I mention that?). Luckily it didn't bowl me. So, now we're down to one ball to go in the season, 2 to tie (which I thought might help), but 3 to win. Fraser and I didn't speak between balls. Russell runs in and I see this one but I'm pretty sure my foot movement was minimal. Anyway, contact is made, hitting it back over the bowler's head. It's not going for four despite the fieldsman not seeing it. So we run, hard, and make two but a third is not possible. 189/8 and it's a tie. There is no audible sound from the boundary and the overwhelming feeling is that a tie is not good enough and despite an amazing chase, we're probably relegated. We shake hands and walk off."

The team gathers in the change room and it's a pretty sombre atmosphere however, word filters in that, because West Lothian's match was washed out, a tie is enough and once a few calculations are done, and then redone, confirmation is received that it is enough, and the place goes mental. We've somehow climbed to third bottom in an incredible match and an incredible end to the season. Everybody played their part in getting us to this position and in a really tough league, made it through. Well done all.

The post script to this is that us finishing third bottom did not guarantee relegation. We would have to wait until the following Saturday for the Premier Division playoff and thankfully, RH Corstorphine's win ensured that the 2's would play in the Championship again next year.

Scorecard

Photos

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