Carlton Under 15s 2014 Fixtures and Results
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Wednesday 30th April

Lothian League
  Murrayfield DAFS
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v
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Carlton
   

away

 
RAINED OFF
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Sunday 4th May, 9.30 am

ECB Cup Round 1
W Carlton
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v
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Falkland
    home
GL
 
Match conceded by Falkland
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Wednesday 7th May

Lothian League
W Carlton
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v
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SMRH
 

102 for 8

Olly Brown 26 retired

Tom Simpson 25 retired

home
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66 all out

Olly Brown 4 for 2 (including hat-trick)

Maxwell Farrer 2 for 9

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Wednesday 14th May

Lothian League
  Penicuik v
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Carlton
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    away  
POSTPONED at the request of Penicuik
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Sunday 25th May, 9.30 am

Scottish Cup Round 1
  Carlton
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v
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Watsonians
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GL
 
RAINED OFF
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Wednesday 28th May

Lothian League
  Grange
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v
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Carlton
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    away  
RAINED OFF
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Sunday 1st  June, 10.30 am

ECB Cup Round 2
W
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Arbroath
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v
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Carlton
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108 for 1

away

135 for 5

Tom Simpson 50 ret, Gregor Shand 34*

shimCricket matches are all about momentum. The best teams impose themselves on a game from ball one and stay on top.

This is exactly what the Carlton Under 15s did in sunny Arbroath. Batting first, Tom Simpson led the way, placing the fielders under pressure with quick singles, consistently putting away bad balls, turning ones into twos and, on one occasion a three into an all run four.

The key time when momentum can be lost is after losing a wicket(s). The most pleasing aspect of this innings for the coach was to see, even when Murray went to a good straight one, Ruaraidh to an unfortunate run-out after starting well and Tristram next ball, the run rate never dropped. Tom continued to bat positively and was joined by skipper Angus who started calmly and then took over stroke-making responsibility when Tom was forced to retire on 50. Once Angus was caught on 21 really trying to push things along, it was left to Hector, Sam and Gregor, who finished on 34n.o to blast our total up to a very competitive, but not decisive, 135.

What made it decisive was the way Sam started the Arbroath innings, bowling a perfect line and length on a wicket that Arbroath had bowled too short too often, and not conceding a run until his third over. He was ably supported by Angus, and the required run rate quickly accelerated. Even when the momentum could have shifted in Arbroath’s favour some clever bowling from Maxwell, who was very unlucky not to take a wicket and accurate spells from Tom Kujawa and Tristram, showing why it’s great to be an all-rounder, meant Arbroath were never going to get close to our score.
The fact that they were only able to make 108, despite only losing one wicket, a run out thanks to a direct hit from Maxwell, is testament to the accuracy of our bowling, on a wicket that provided nothing, and with a ball that was falling to pieces….and some superb fielding. Fielder of the day goes jointly to Charlie and Tristram who probably saved about 20 runs between them.

On to the semi-final this Sunday in Perth and more positive cricket from our lads.

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Wednesday 4th June Lothian League
  Carlton
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v
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Watsonians
    home
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday 8th June, 11 am ECB Cup Semi Final
  Carlton
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v
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Kinross-shire
    Perth  
RAINED OFF - now June 22
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Wednesday 11th June Lothian League
W Heriot's
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v
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Carlton
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64 all out

Charlie Russell 2 for 1, Broy Blood 2 for 4, Saif Khan 2 for 6, Euan Lister 2 for 14

away

65 for 3

Gregor Shand 27 ret, Calum Everett 24 ret

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Sunday 15th June, 9.30 am

Scottish Cup Round 1
L Watsonians
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v
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Carlton
  175 for 1 away 88 for 7
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Wednesday 18th June Lothian League
W Carlton
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v
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Murrayfield DAFS
 

67 for 3

Maxwell Farrer 20

home
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66 all out

Tom Kujawa 3 for 2, Saif Khan 2 for 6

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Sunday 22nd June, 11 am ECB Cup Semi Final
W
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Carlton
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v
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Kinross-shire
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111 all out

Tom Simpson 36

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66 all out

Saif Khan 3 for 16, Angus Beattie 2 for 2, Tristram Holden 2 for 2

The day might have panned out a lot differently had key batsman Tom Simpson not been dropped on 3 in the third over of the semi-final match against Kinrosshire. 

Losing the toss and being put into bat, openers Tom and Calum Everett put on a steady 25 over the first 5 overs before Calum played around a straight one for 8.  Lively knocks by Gregor Shand (16) and Angus (9) then followed, and 60-2 after 10 overs seemed like a decent start. Then two quick wickets rocked them back on their heels and it was left to Tom S to hold the innings together with a vital 36 including two sixes, the second lofted high over the long on boundary.  However, more wickets fell and despite rearguard action from Tristram Holden (11) and Saif Khan (7), Carlton were bowled out for 111 with two overs to spare.  Brave faces all round, but with the Kinrosshire batting an unknown quantity it didn’t quite feel enough.

We needn’t have worried, though.  Opening bowlers Sam Marchbank and Saif Khan bowled tightly, with left-hander Saif causing the Kinrosshire batsmen particular problems with the ball slanted across the right handers. He took two wickets in his second over (one caught by Gregor Shand, another by Charlie Russell) leaving Kinrosshire on 7-2. 

With fellow leftie Angus Beattie coming on as first change, we had four consecutive overs of left hand seam and a further three wickets – Saif 3-16, Angus 2-2 and Kinrosshire on 33-5. Further wickets for spinner Maxwell Farrer, one for Calum Everett, two for Tristram Holden and a tidy spell from Ethan Wood wrapped up the innings, and Kinrosshire were bowled out for 63.

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Sunday 22nd June, 2.30 pm ECB Cup Final
W
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Carlton
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v
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Grange
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54 for 6

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53 all out

Calum Everett 4 for 9, Tristram Holden 3 for 4, Angus Beattie 2 for 4

With possibly the finest team performance by any Carlton side this season, the U15s won the ECB Scottish Cup by four wickets, bowling out Grange for 53 in the final, then completing a memorable victory over a nervy 16 overs.  It was a proud moment for the boys, who should gain a huge amount of confidence from the way in which they went about their business – it was an impressive display.

With Grange winning the other semi-final against Clydesdale, it was an all-Edinburgh final between two old rivals.  Coach Fraser Watts assembled the lads on the field and delivered a Churchillian speech, the contents of which cannot be repeated in full but will be remembered long in the minds of those who heard it.  Carlton lost the toss and took to the field with a sense of purpose.

What followed was superb.  Never in the field of Merchiston Castle School [getting carried away now] has a junior team bowled with such accuracy and hunted as a pack in the field.  Every ball went to hand, every fielder was on their toes, and Tom S chirped relentlessly from behind the stumps.

Grange made a solid start against accurate bowling from Sam Marchbank and Saif Khan. Openers Longsmate and Connor seemed content to push the ball into gaps for ones and twos, putting on 23 for the first wicket before Longmate hit a straightforward catch to Angus at mid off off Calum.  Then, two overs later Carlton struck again with two wickets in Angus’ first over – the first an impressive stumping by Tom S, the second caught by Sam at extra cover. And in the next over Calum, bowling just beautifully and moving the ball both ways, bowled Hay-Smith.  Grange were 32-5, with danger batsman Max Hancock still at the crease.

There followed four overs of cat-and-mouse, with captain Angus moving the field in and out to restrict Hancock to singles, and Tom Kujawa and Tristram Holden attacking the new batsmen.  Two more wickets fell, one to a run-out that bounced off Tom’s hands onto the wicket, and another bowled by Tristram. 

Then the key moment, Hancock falling to a superb diving catch by Tom K off Tristram’s naggingly accurate medium pace.  Tristram and Calum then tidied up the tail, leaving them with figures of 3-4 and 4-9 respectively, and Grange bowled out for 53 with almost 4 overs to spare.  A fine display of fielding, with a mention for Broy Blood, who came in as replacement for Ethan who had hurt his hand stopping a four in the Kinrosshire game.

So to the run chase.  Carlton juggled the batting order with Tom S and Angus opening the innings against opening bowlers Hancock and Stewart.   They started steadily, seemingly determined to see off the opening bowlers.

Then Angus, having just hit a four through midwicket, attempted a cut and played on.  Tristram hit a beautiful boundary and then was caught at cover, beating his bat on the crease in frustration.  Tom was lbw to one from spinner West that seemed to surprise the batsman, and Calum was caught at square leg for naught.  Carlton were 23-4 off 8 overs, and Grange were back in the game. 

The tension built, Fraggle retired to the Pavilion and the President was given the scorebook to stop him pacing the boundary in a distracted fashion.  It was nervous stuff.

Gregor and Tom K rebuilt with occasional runs, before Tom released the tension with three twos off an over from Stewart. 37-4,17 runs needed off 8 overs – still OK.  Then spinner West took two more wickets, Gregor and Tom K both caught pushing for runs. 37-6 with two new batstmen - less comfortable.

Now neither Sam nor Saif are batting purists, but they do hit the ball hard.  The field came in – all they needed to do was break through the ring and there were runs. Sam hit two off his first ball. Saif watched the first two balls of Max Hancock’s final over, then calmly walked down the wicket and drove through the covers for three.  Good.

Two overs passed, still 14 needed.  The tension went up a notch. A four from nerveless Saif brought the target in range, and Sam hit the winning four with 21 balls to spare.  The team ran onto the pitch, Angus lifted the trophy, and a next round match against a County Durham side awaits.

Credit to Grange, who really made reaching a low total difficult to achieve, and to Kinrosshire for providing strong semi-final opposition.  Big thanks to John Beattie for taking the managerial reins, to Fraggle for motivating the lads in Rob’s absence, and plaudits to the all round team performance from Carlton – it really was rather special.

Photos

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Wednesday 25th June Lothian League
W SMRH
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v
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Carlton
 

95 for 8

Ollie Brown 2 for 7 (+ 3 catches), Calum Everett 2 for 9

away

118 for 9

Tom Simpson 50 ret, Calum Everett 40

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Sunday 13th July, 1pm ECB Cup National Stage Round 1
W
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Carlton
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v
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South Shields
 

84 for 8

home GL

81 all out

Saif Khan 3 for 13, Gregor McIntyre 3 for 6

At about 3.45 on Sunday afternoon I was preparing a speech in my head for the lads (and a match report) that went something like this ‘Well, we lost by nine wickets but I am still very happy, and proud of this performance….better team won…..and probably would have mentioned something about the timing of Scottish school holidays…….’

At about 4.15 on Sunday afternoon, I was running across Grange Loan like an idiot (I was not the only one), having witnessed one of the most amazing finishes I can recall in my long time in cricket, and a performance that anyone who was present will remember for a very, very long time.

So how did it happen?

Here are what I think were the key factors, and why I know this was not a lucky one off - this team will win many games of cricket in the future from any situation.

 

  • Preparation – With the help of Stevie and Freshy, our lads have spent the last few weeks working hard preparing for these scenarios; centre wicket sessions developing tactical awareness, building pressure with bowling and fielding, and making batsmen wonder where the next run is coming from.
  • Inspiration – Before Sunday’s game, first team captain Drummo joined us in the dressing room and his words were almost prescient as he reminded the lads to stay calm and that it’s never over – he has seen senior teams throw away games they looked certain to win.
  • Quality – What an incredible group we have, and holidays and international selection can’t stop us. Here is proof – in the Scottish final versus Grange the wickets were shared between Calum, Angus B and Tristram, and in the semi final there were also wickets for Tom K and Maxwell – from this list only Angus played against South Shields and he didn’t bowl due to injury. Our quality meant we could replace them with international superstars Angus H and Olly, 8 overs between them for 25 runs, and inspirational U13s, including GMac, in the U15s for the first time, who bowled overs 17 and 19 under immense pressure and finished with 3-6!
  • Discipline – Murray and Tom’s partnership was outstanding – full of composure until Tom was stumped playing a half drive/half sweep, a platform for a much bigger total, and, ultimately, the key to our team reaching 84, which turned out to be enough. Angus B’s massive six helped too! The bowling was accurate and the fielding matched South Shields, who are the best fielding team I have seen at this level, no dropped catches from either team, direct hit run-outs, brilliant work in the deep consistently keeping it to singles, incredible composure and a couple of classics from Tom and Olly.
  • Leadership – Tom took his chance to captain the team brilliantly and decisively didn’t let it affect his keeping or batting. He was helped out by the senior team members, particularly Angus H and Olly and the support of willing team-mates. Unfortunately he did not do as well when asked to lead the team song afterwards.
  • Staying calm – Drummo talked about this at the start, and even when the heat was on, we had total faith that our lads would make the right decision, bowl in the right areas and keep their eyes on the ball, and they delivered.
  • Spirit, never ever give up – There were many moments where our lads could be forgiven for throwing in the towel;
  • Our batting and South Shields’ fielding – it is important to recognise that we were in a close match because we didn’t make as many runs as we should have. In the last 10 overs we lost wickets a little too regularly, something we need to improve on this week. Momentum should have been with South Shields, however, not once did any of our players suggest 84 wasn’t enough.
  • 1 wicket in 15 overs – the reaction to Saif taking the second wicket on 67, and the first of his brilliant three (for 13), was not that it was a consolation – the belief was still there. This was because all of our bowlers had been building pressure, the run rate was always rising and we were in the zone.
  • GMac’s two wides – when he turned around to bowl the last ball of the 19th South Shields needed 8 to win, then GMac proved he was human by bowling two consecutive wides. What did he do with the 8th ball of the over? Took another wicket of course….
  • The wicket off the no-ball – super-confident Marchy is passed the ball to bowl the 20th, 6 needed, 7 wickets down, star batsman on 19 on strike. He runs in, great line and length (of course) snick, finger’s up, batsman is walking off, cue wild celebrations – so wild no-one noticed the square leg umpire signalling no-ball – not enough fielders in the circle!!! :-(  now 5 to win off 6 and star batsman still on strike…. :-@ :-@   What was the response? First the number 9 is runout having been called through for the second. Then, as we know, next ball Olly ran around the mid off boundary and took a great catch and then this was followed by the knockout run-out….cue wilder celebrations, this time for real.

So this week we are off across the border to play the Northumberland champions Tynedale CC – a new experience for most. Yet again there will be personnel changes, but as we know by now – these don’t make us underdogs, they just give someone else the opportunity to shine.

And hopefully for the sake of us parents and coaches, there will be a little less drama this time...

 

Scorecard

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Sunday 20th July, 2pm ECB Cup National Stage Round 2
W
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Tynedale
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v
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Carlton
 

121 for 8

Saif Khan 3 for 15

 

away

121 for 7

Tom Simpson 46

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Tuesday 29th July, 10.30 am ECB Cup National Stage Round 3
L Plumtree
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v
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Carlton
 

77 for 0

away 76 all out
Tuesday 29th July, 2 pm ECB Cup Play Off
L Clitheroe
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Carlton
 

106 for 3

away

104 for 7

Gregor Shand 39*, Angus Hinton 27

As the U15s squad and entourage set off by trains and automobiles to York to play the best teams from Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, it was with a genuine sense of expectation and confidence. After all, as we have come to expect, although we didn’t quite have our full line-up available, this was probably the closest we had been to having our best team, and we knew our batting line-up had two more chances to turn good starts into big scores.

When we returned to Edinburgh in the evening it was with a genuine realisation that we have the talent and team spirit, and can compete at this level…but if we want to win consistently, each of us needs to take individual responsibility for making it happen.

What this means is that everyone has a role in the team; whether this is opening the batting, coming in during the middle overs, or towards the end, bowling to a plan, holding catches, being part of a tight fielding unit, being the captain or helping the captain. These roles can change and each player needs to realise what this is and make sure they are ready to deliver by understanding the match situation. This includes observing how the pitch is playing and the strengths and styles of opposition players.

During this report I will highlight the lessons we have learned over the two games and will take into the rest of our careers. Lesson for the coach – no mobile phones during the game!

Over the season Tom Simpson and Murray Whitaker have been the epitome of taking responsibility, starting each innings positively and then accelerating nicely to give the middle order a foundation to build on. Unfortunately in the semi-final v Plumtree CC they were both gone after two overs – Tom to the first ball of the match. Lesson 1 – This is an unfortunate symptom of taking responsibility for opening the batting, not an indication that you suddenly can’t bat!

In 20/20 cricket this is only a minor setback, especially with a batting line-up as long as ours, and provides an opportunity for others to put their hand up and take on the responsibility mentioned earlier. Angus Hinton was the first to do this and in both games took it on serenely. The problem is he is too good a batsman for this 20/20 nonsense – in both games he had the opportunity to get in and set, and played some immaculate drives straight and through the covers. If these were 50 over games he would have gone on to make 100+ not out. Unfortunately, in 20/20, as shown by the Plumtree opener, who started smashing it over the top from ball one, at some point you think you need to step on the gas, and lose your shape - this was Angus’ downfall in both games. Lesson 2 – When you have someone like Angus or Tom at one end it is up to the others to step on the gas and allow him to bat through.

A promising partnership between Olly and Calum developed. This included some very intelligent quick singles – pressuring Plumtree’s weaker fielders, but ended with a very un-intelligent piece of running, Calum out by half the pitch, having smashed a square cut to their best fielder at point. This was the same fielder who caught Olly off the next ball and later ran Shandy out by a similar distance, going for a second run, having smashed the previous ball for four. Even during our warm up this player had picked up one of our wayward throws and fired it in to Tom and already pulled off some exceptional pieces of fielding during the game. Lesson 3 - Quick singles are an important part of our game and the best momentum builder, but good players observe what is happening and make sure they know who not to take on!

The next promising partnership was between Angus B and Ruaraidh – great running and positive shots against the spinners, but they were also out to soft dismissals just as we had momentum, and it was left to Saif, Tom K and Pete to try and get us to a competitive total, which ended up being 74. Lesson 4 – When you make a good start, don’t throw it away by getting out easily. You are just handing momentum back to the opposition and putting pressure on your team-mates.

In game two, the 3rd and 4th play off v Clitheroe from Lancashire, Angus H and Shandy formed the backbone of an innings that looked like it could have been 150+. Shandy was particularly brutal on short pitched bowling and easy to read slower balls. However, unfortunate ducks to Calum, Tom and Olly, and some expert death bowling from the opposition meant we used up too many dot balls and ended up with 104. Lesson 5 – Even in 20/20 cricket, you can’t always smash it from ball 1 – you need get in, accumulate runs and at some stage, may need to put the brakes on, reduce your target score, re-group and make sure you have wickets in hand for a big push in the last 5 or 6 overs.

In both games, we had total faith in our legendary bowling and fielding, which time after time have made up for similar batting performances by building pressure and forcing mistakes. Unfortunately, in the semi-final a dropped catch in the first over, the slow, low pitch which offered no assistance to Saif and Calum, and their big hitting opener was able smashing a few over mid on very quickly took the game away from us. In the second game we were a lot better at building pressure, but, again, there was a crucial dropped catch just when we were right on top, and in both games body language showed the spirit we have built our reputation around had quickly drained. Lesson 6 – Catches really do win matches – especially against top quality opposition when you only get one chance.

In both matches, Angus H was forced to push too hard with the ball trying to make things happen, and without Olly or Angus B at the other end, was not able to build pressure. Our best bowlers v Clitheroe were Murray, who is becoming an intelligent, accurate off-spinner, and Tom K, who just needs to cut out the occasional short ball.

So, in the end it wasn’t to be – Carlton U15s won’t be the ECB Cup Champions. A big thanks to everyone in our squad – I haven’t counted, but I am sure we will have had at least two whole teams take part since Arbroath – and all have played a part. Thanks to all players and parents for buying in to this adventure. We took a squad of 13 to York, so this meant Pete, Ruaraidh, Ethan and Hector only played once and never grumbled. Tom S and Angus B showed great leadership skills and were well supported by everyone.

You could not pay for the experience our lads have gained - we have benefitted from incredible facilities in York and Hexham, played on different wickets and outfields, and played against some future first class players, and not looked out of place.

Most importantly, we have enhanced the reputation of Carlton and Scottish cricket on and off the field. South Shields and Clitheroe are very keen to host us in future tours (as long as we can schedule this around going all the way in this competition next year) and we should all be extremely proud of our achievement in making the finals day.

Lesson 6 – As the organiser said at the presentation (don’t worry we can’t remember HIS name either), you learn more from losing than you do from winning. Every player should put these lessons in the memory bank, not repeat mistakes and use training sessions and league matches to eliminate weaknesses and improve strengths.

Scorecard v Plumtree

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Wednesday 30th July

Lothian League
  Carlton
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v
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Penicuik
    home
GL
 
Match conceded by Penicuik
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Monday 4th August Tour Match
W
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Arbroath United
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v
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Carlton
 

155 for 6

away

175 for 6

Calum Everett 72*, Ruairidh Main 42

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Tuesday 5th August Tour Match
L Forfarshire
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v
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Carlton
 

187 for 6

away

186 for 9

Calum Everett 64, Tom Kujawa 36*

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Wednesday 13th August Lothian League
W
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Watsonians
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v
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Carlton
 

69 for 5

Hector McKechnie 2 for 10

away

160 for 3

Tom Simpson 53 ret, Tom Kujawa 29*

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Wednesday 20th August

Lothian League
W
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Carlton
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v
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Grange
 

103 all out

Angus Hinton 33

home
GL

85 for 6

Gregor McIntyre 3 for 5

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Wednesday 27th August

Lothian League
W
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Carlton
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v
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Heriot's
   

home

GL

 
Match conceded by Heriot's as they couldn't raise a side
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