Carlton 2nd XI 2015 Fixtures and Results
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Saturday 11th April

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Edinburgh  South
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Carlton 2
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201 for 4

away

202 for 4

Ben Thurman 50*, Paul Kentish 50*

All the ingredients were in place for the Carlton 2's first friendly of the season against Edinburgh South at The Inch - a sudden ten degree drop in temperature, howling gales, the removal of the bails and generally a lot of rustiness.

In the spirit of a friendly, the stand in skipper Brad 'won' the toss without actually tossing the coin (beat that Fantasy Bob!) and elected to bowl first. This was based not on the condition of the artificial wicket or any cunning plan but simply that we'd be warmer running around in the field.

Brad started off, more and more resembling DC as the years progress, with a mixture of good and bad. At the other end, the far more impressive Gregor McIntyre was bowling tight lines and keeping the pressure on. After a fine spell, disaster struck. As Gregor was being placed at a wider fine leg, he tripped and fell on his wrist only to break his arm. We wish Gregor a speedy recovery.

Replacing Gregor was Saif who bowled a good spell, often having the batsman groping outside off stump. However it was Dilip who finally took the first wicket as Simmo completed a sharp stumping.

The runs we're coming thick and fast and the hundred was up at drinks as the Carlton play was rusty. Two home batsmen retired at fifty as agreed.

It improved after drinks with Saif getting a wicket and Dilip another one. A few chances went down and fielding is certainly something to work on as the season approaches.

Ruaridh Main's spell improved after his length was a little short and at the other end, Callum Sibley bowled with a lot of pace and was rewarded by picking up a wicket bowled. Edinburgh South made 200/6 off their 35 overs.

After a nice tea break in a warm pavilion, the Carlton reply commenced with Ruaridh and Tom. Ruaridh played one too many pull shots and was caught but Tom and Arsal made steady progress before both were caught after making 20 or so apiece.

Ben Thurman looked especially fluent as he carried on his good finish to 2014 and raced to an excellent 50 before retiring. At the other end, Paul Kentish, after a slow start, put down the pedal and played some excellent shots to all parts of the ground. In partnership with Dilip, they easily chased down 10 an over for the last 8 overs. In the spirit of a friendly, Paul retired with 50 with 2 runs required which Dougal knocked off with 5 balls remaining. An excellent chase and an ideal (if not chilly) way to commence 2015.

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Saturday 18th April

Friendly
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Carlton 2
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Meigle
 

199 for 7

Arsal Sohail 44, Ben Thurman 44, Rob Thornton 42

home

140 for 6

Brad McKay 2 for 12

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Saturday 25th April, 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Carlton 2
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Grange 2
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164 all out

away

219 for 5

Brad McKay 3 for 36

Scorecard

Photos

Craig Everett reports ...

After overnight rain the chances of a game at Grange Loan were looking slim on Saturday morning. Thanks to the Thurman’s competent use of the super soaker and Moon’s bilge pump the 2nd’s managed to clear the puddles and the first ball was bowled at 1. 

  

Due to Boydy’s ‘sore ankle’ and Steven Alan’s unavailability it was left to the once super-star keeper to take the gloves once again. For those of you who don't know who this is, it was senior Everett. The fact that he is now being referred to as senior Everett concerns him greatly. Moving on.

 

The 2nd’s got off to a strong start. Brad came up the hill and it was left to the newly appointed skipper (Rob Thornton) to steam in down the hill. Year on year Brad becomes ever slower but ever more wily. Thankfully Brad does not need speed to take wickets and picked up 3 for 36 in his 8 overs. Brad as usual peppered the cover region with catchable chances and the boys were more than up to the challenge. Hesky (Elder) has decided this season that the best approach to catch a cricket ball is to use the chest to take the pace off the ball followed by wrapping his arms around it. Unconventional but effective.


Rob as many of you may know is now getting pretty old, so after his 4 overs he moaned about a sore hamstring and passed the ball onto D. Main. Dougal was more than up to the challenge and put in a fantastic shift for the team. Dougal was shortly follow by young Calum Everett who had been shifted up to the 2nd’s late in the week. With a point to prove he didn't disappoint. He steamed in down the hill and put a lot of pressure on the Grange batsman with every ball he bowled looking like it might take a wicket. His bowling efforts were not quite backed up by the elder brother's keeping but that doesn't need to be discussed. Although Everett senior did take a one handed screamer. Well done him. 


The 2nd’s were looking strong when they had Grange 118 for 5. However some clean hitting and clever batting from the Grange skipper put a lot of pressure on the Carlton bowlers and fielders. After being in a dominant position in the 30th over the 2nd’s found themselves having to chase 220 after the Davidson onslaught. 


The excitement has now been building for a fair few weeks. With each training session that goes by, everyone can tell how excited Brad is for another Grange Loan tea. With phrases such as ‘ it’s been a long winter’ and ‘ i cant wait for another Carlton tea’ being flung around on a regular basis. As usual the Grange Loan tea ladies did not disappoint and a spread that was fit for kings was seen once again. I am not completely familiar with the ‘Gavin Rittoo Tea Rating System’ however it must have scored at least a 9. 


However with 220 to be chased down the sights of the Carlton top order quickly moved from delicious scones to juicy half volleys. It was left up to Sohail and Everett to kick off proceedings. Some good bowling from Davidson put a fair bit of pressure on the two and Arsal was bowled in the third over. This brought the in-form Thurman to the crease and there was some promising looking batting until Everett’s eyes lit up at the chance to hit a full toss into the horizon. Unfortunately the idiot he is, meant that he missed, it and was bowled. Idiot. 


This brought Jeremy (Finlay Clarkson) to the crease. Jeremy looked good from the get go and he and Ben began to build a good partnership, working toward drinks. The two made it to drinks but the curse of drinks stuck once again and Ben was dismissed on 45. This brought big Rob Atkin to the crease. Happy Birthday to Rob who was 21 on Wednesday!!  Unfortunately he and Jeremy struggled to get going and were both out; Rob for 27 and Jeremy for 22. 

 

It was left to the Carlton lower order to chase down the 220 set by Grange. Skipper Rob Thornton went to the crease and was looking good until he was out LBW. There was still some hope in the camp as left arm bowler Saif Khan said that he would be able to ‘smash it’. He was promoted up the order and unfortunately the smashing it that he had previously discussed didn't really get off the ground. The remainder of the Carlton men were unable to put up much of a chase and Carlton finished on 167.


There were some promising signs for the 2nds on Saturday, however some strong positions were thrown away due to losing wickets and dropping some catches. Looking to next week the 2nd’s are facing up to their age old enemies Holy Cross. Will be a tough encounter.

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Saturday 2nd May, 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Holy Cross
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Carlton 2
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229 all out
Rob Thornton 3 for 43

away

273 for 8

Ali Shah 114*, Rob Thornton 34, Fin Clarkson 33, Ben Thurman 3

Scorecard

Brad reports ...

On the warmest day of the year (captain's orders not to complain about the weather), the 2's made the short journey across town to face Holy Cross, looking to post the first win of the season.

The respective warm ups reflected two different approaches to the game. Ours was a net session, stretches and fielding drills (and for the second week in a row, not a football or Fraggleball in sight), while the hosts were still counting up to their 11 players as the clocked ticked one. Anyway, this counted for nothing as the Holy Cross bowlers quickly found a good length and line against Kyle and Everett Senior, now freed from the shackles of keeping.

A steady watchful start got us underway as the pair drove nicely on a wicket that was slower than it looked. Kyle then received what was universally accepted as a Jaffa and was bowled for 7 - 15/1. Inform batsman Benny joined Craig and the run rate started to increase. However at 51, having done all the hard work, Craig nicked off for 14.

Ali joined the man with 'the nicest calves in the club' and got on top of the bowling, putting on a 50 run partnership. Ali was watchful but took singles nicely and the good running spread the field. With progress being made serenely, it was a surprise to see Benny caught behind for 31. Meanwhile Rory and Callum were fighting it out in the Masters of rolling the ball at the boundary flags, or whatever it's called.

Fin joined Ali for what turned out to be the key partnership of the innings. As Ali stepped up his scoring rate, Fin played a great support role as the runs started to come at a quick rate. Ali brought up his 50 and was on his way to a big score when Fin, trying to up the rate, was stumped after a well made 31 - 191/4 with 9 overs to go.

It was around this time that the victorious 1st XI showed up to support the team - a situation made for a well set Ali and a fresh skipper not keen on too much running. Ali cut loose and Rob put away the bad balls in a lightning stand of 67. Ali had played beautifully with barely a chance and, with a boundary down to third man, the crowd rose to acclaim a superb hundred.

Rob was soon adjudged LBW for 34 - 258/5. Ali pushed on and as wickets fell in the final over, remained unbeaten on 114, a superb knock, and a great total of 273/8 off 50 overs. Three big partnerships and a guy getting a hundred - probably couldn't ask for much more.

It has been suggested that your correspondent is a big fan of the cricket tea, although his thin frame and cat like movement would challenge this. The Holy Cross tea is renowned as a special one and this was well up there - a quality mix of sandwiches, cakes, fruit and hot food. Special mention for the Tunnocks Teacakes. On the Gav Rittoo scale, surely a 9.3.

Back on the field, Ahmed and Brad opened up and we were celebrating the first wicket when a sharp piece of work from Rory ran out Fraser with the score on 3. This brought captain Javed to the crease and he set out his intentions by hitting out regularly and successfully. A change of bowling to spin tied down one end and Brad got his man as Javed hit to Rory who took a smart catch - 45/2. New batsman Ul-haq took up the mantle and punished anything that was even remotely short (or not) for a number of maximums as the score rocketed along. In fact, Holy Cross were up at the rate for the entire innings - we just had to stay cool and positive.

After a quick fire 80 run partnership, Rob got Ul-haq well caught behind by Tom for 55 and Rob was in the game again when opener Russell hit an Ali half tracker straight to him - 129/4 and back on top. Rob got Newman with a slow slower ball and at 139/5, it looked like a matter of time.

However, a partnership of close to 50 brought Holy Cross back into the game until skipper Rob trapped Parvez LBW and then caught Ul-Hamadi off Ahmed - 198/7. The runs were still flowing as all bowlers took some stick. The exception was Callum Everett whose 7 overs for 27 were key in keeping one end tied down.

It soon became 198/8 when Ahmed (after a previous failed interpretation of the cry 'keeper's end') did finally throw to the correct end to run out Bonfield. However, Holy Cross rallied again with a 30 run partnership for the ninth wicket before Kyle took an excellent catch off Rory to get rid of Jordan. Then those 'cat like movements' referred to earlier (and a misfield) led to the final wicket being taken via the third run out of the innings - all out 229 and Carlton winners by 44 runs.

Well done to Ali and the batsmen on setting up a big total and despite the runs coming at a fast rate, the bowlers generally stuck to the task well in tough conditions. Great to get a win on the board. Special thanks to the 1's coming down to show their support - we'll return the favour soon. Thanks to Richard for braving 8 hours on the warmest day of the year to score for us.

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Saturday 9th May, 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Carlton 2
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Edinburgh CC
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132 for 5

Ali Shah 84*

home

129 all out

Gavin Rittoo 3 for 11, Steven Elder 2 for 7

Scorecard

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Gav Rittoo reports ...

 

The mighty second eleven had 2 changes from the side that beat Holy Cross away at Arboretum last week. With Drummo declaring himself injured and Kyle MacPherson studying hard, Steven Elder and Gav Rittoo made the step up from the 3s to face newly promoted Edinburgh CC. A flurry of overnight rain had a few players contemplating “ye old rain card” but being the professional side that we are everyone turned up without hangovers … with the exception of Craig.

Some excellent work from Russell, removing all evidence of overnight rain, made the pitch playable and the game went ahead. Some dodgy coin flicking skills from skipper Rob Thorton saw Carlton lose the toss and we were sent out to bowl first. 

Ahmad “El Barrio” Shah (we’ll get to that) opened up with Brad, a mixture of aggression and pace coming down the hill, with precision and patience coming up.  It was Brad’s patience that got the break through finding the outside edge of the bat, smartly taken by Tom Simmo. Brad was at it again the next over trapping the number 3 LBW. Ahmad had less luck in his first spell and was replaced by youngster Calum Everett who also bowled with great patience bowling dot balls in abundance. Rob replaced Brad after his 7 overs; he and Calum continued to chip away at Edinburgh’s steady rebuilding process. With the score at 90 for 2 and the opener approaching 50 Carlton heads began to drop, fearing the possibility of facing 50 overs in the field. Cue inspirational captain to lead by example. A slightly over pitched ball was smacked straight back at Rob, both Gav and Craig at mid off and on were already on their bikes getting ready to chase the ball all the way down to the nets. It would’ve been 4, easily, but Rob had other ideas. He stuck out a right hand and much to the disbelief of everyone bar himself the ball stuck. No celebration, not even a blink of an eyelid, Rob was, as the old cliché goes, as cool as a cucumber acting as though this catch was a formality. To be fair Brad later confirmed he’d seen him pull something like that off on many an occasion.

It was just the lift the boys needed, Ahmad came on and bowled a much better second spell getting two quick wickets, a fast yorker beating the batsmen for pace and a crucial LBW the ball before drinks took the visitors to 5 down with the two key men out.

With 5 to get Elder came on to bowl heat up the hill (or so he tells his missus) and Rittoo came on to also bowl heat down the hill claiming he’d gained an extra 5 yards of pace over the winter… (a blatant lie). Elder bamboozled the batsmen with his hooping grenades, the batsmen unable to hit him off the square. Gav’s first ball back was more eventful than expected, pitching outside off and nipping in to clip the top of middle stump with Gav reeling off in celebration before the bails had even come off.

The batsmen’s patience finally wore thin with Elder, scooping the ball high towards Ahmad at midwicket who gracefully completed two pirouettes before catching the ball. Never in doubt. The rest of Gav’s bowling was filled with a mixtures of leg side wides, offside wides and then one actually pitched in a decent area nipping back and removing off stump… A lovely sight for any bowler.

Elder’s outswing baffled the batsmen again edging to the safe hands of the skipper at first slip, before Gav and Elder combined again to take the final wicket leaving Edinburgh CC all out for 129. A remarkable turnaround from the boys taking 8 wickets for just 39 runs. A great fielding display from Ben, Calum and Fin throwing themselves at everything in the covers saved at least 20 odd runs making a huge difference to the psychology of the chase. Every runs helps.

GAVS TEA REVIEW: With Edinburgh bowled out in just 30 overs there was debate as to whether tea should be taken. The batsmen huffed and puffed (mainly Craig) when the decision to take tea was made, evidently angered by the fact that he couldn’t stuff his face. And understandably angered because tea was incredible. The classic sandwiches were all beautifully hand crafted along with an excellently chosen range of fruit. The “Richard Allardice trademark scone ã” went down a treat with players along with the irresistible victoria sponge, receiving great feedback from veteran bowler Brad Mckay and youngster Max D’Ullise (who wasn’t even playing). BUT, and there is always a but. Not everyone was 100% satisfied and once again it was the picky youngsters who had something negative to say. Junior Everett complaining about the small plate size and “too many tomatoes for my liking” stopped it achieving the impossible full marks. Verdict: a very, very noble 9.5.

 

Tom and Craig opened up with the team knowing that keeping wickets in hand was more essential than scoring runs to begin with. Unfortunately Craig was given out LBW (eventually). He was already at the bowler’s end turning for a second run when the decision was finally made, allowing the umpire to feel the full force of the Everett scowl up close and personal. In form Ben Thurman joined Tom and managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over before disaster struck and he was caught just before the rain came down with the score on 21 for 2.

A key part of Scottish cricket is rain, as it always rains. Naturally it is important for any team to be able to procrastinate effectively. Some people eat, sleep, play one hand one bounce, or sit on their phone. The Carlton 2nd XI however stuck to simply talking, talking about anything in fact. Rob gave his views on the #GeneralElection2015, Ben’s calves were mentioned a lot, and Ahmad Shah told tales of his adventures in ‘El Barrio’ whilst Elder reinacted his dance moves... If you are reading this senior Shah, El Barrio is an authentic Italian restaurant.

Back on the pitch Russell was doing his very best to dry up the square and fork up the run-ups to remove any excess water.

Finally after the best part of two hours the pitch was deemed playable and the first ball was bowled just before 7. With 107 runs needed to win, man of the moment Ali Shah joined Tom in the middle. Unfortunately this partnership didn’t last long as Tom was run out following a mix up. Elder came in at 5 with the intention of smashing a few runs before bailing off to work. The theory was a good one but for the Jaffa he received and he was bowled 3rd ball. Fin Clarkson was next; he and Ali did an excellent job of rebuilding the innings and keeping their wickets.

After a few overs Ali began to excel, timing the ball to every corner of the ground and taking the game away from Edinburgh CC. Fin more than played his part too, rotating the strike, nudging singles around and most importantly staying in. Ali passed 50 and was in his element, clearing the wall and newly built fence on more than one occasion. With just 10 runs needed to get Fin was given out LBW for 11 important runs. After watching every ball carefully from the sidelines Rob finally got his chance. All the analysis from behind the bowlers arm evidently paid of as he struck 4 of the finest winning runs; a nice flick from Rob went straight to square leg, whose eyes lit up as he saw Ali out of his crease at the non strikers end. A wayward throw past the stumps flew straight to the boundary with nobody backing up, one of the best ways to win a game. Ali finished with a match winning 84 not, taking his total for the last two weeks to 198 runs not out. Ali received deserved applause from everyone including the first team who kindly came down to support after their game was cancelled.

Well done to all the bowlers too who set up the win along with a great standard of fielding. Well done to Rob for hitting the winning runs and special thanks to groundsman Russell Weir without whose expertise the game would’ve 100% been cancelled. Oh and well done Ali, giving Gilly and his selection committee a tough decision to make on what XI he should be playing in next week when the terrific Twos travel to Murrayfield Dafs.

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Saturday 16th May

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Murrayfield DAFS
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Carlton 2
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134 all out

Ahmad Shah 3 for 23, Calum Everett 3 for 25

away

174 all out

Kyle Macpherson 43, Craig Everett 35

Scorecard

Gav Rittoo reports ...

Angry. Upset. Cold.

 

These were just some of the emotions and feelings running through Ahmad Shah as he discovered nobody would be hitting up El Barrio with him after the game.

 

Likewise the same feelings were going through the Carlton players’ minds as we stepped out of the changing room into the cold, wind and the rain at Roseburn.

 

Two changes were made to the side that well beat Edinburgh CC. Billy big time Rory Allardice made the step down from 1st XI duty and replaced Steven Elder who was away throwing shapes on a stag do in Malaga, whilst Rob Atkin replaced skipper Rob Thornton as Brad stood in as off field captain, helped on field by Craig.

 

Kyle and Tom opened up. Runs were hard to come by initially due to some tight bowling from the Dafs openers and a tough outfield to score runs. Everything hit along the ground instantly plugged and died before reaching the boundary, sparking a fe w growls from the senior Everett complaining about how many twos he would have to run. After a conservative start Kyle began to kick on, immaculately timing the ball to within meters of the boundary on a number of occasions before the thick grass cramped his style, halving his run total each time. Tom did a good job rotating the strike, picking up singles and allowing Kyle to smack twos all over the park. After seeing off the first four bowlers Murrayfield threw at them and the score on 70 for 0 things looked promising. Kyle even managed to hit a 4, a genuine achievement on that pitch. From the sidelines the rest of the team excitedly forecasted totals of 220…240… even 260, whilst learning some new cricket vocabulary from Yorkshire lad Rob Atkin.

 

Word of the day: ‘Buzzers’

Definition: In cricket, to throw (the ball) inaccurately at the wicket, and so give unearned runs to the opposing batsman.’ AKA overthrows.

 

20 runs later however, things weren’t looking as promising.

 

As Kyle approached his 50 he was bowled for an excellent 43, 70-1. Ben Thurman was then given out LBW and had to walk. 75-2. With the loss of two quick wickets some teams would be worried, however not Carlton with the sight of Ali Shah walking towards the crease on a score of 198* over the last two games. All was still well. 2 balls later, and Ali was walking back towards the pavilion after finding the man at short mid-wicket. It was safe to say; things were not well. 75-3. Craig joined Tom and helped steady the severely rocked ship, before Tom was given out LBW for a hard fought 22. Atkin came and went in quick succession as he tried to sweep a ball that pitched in line, another casualty falling to the LBW curse. 91-5.

 

Calum joined his brother in the middle, with the team in desperate need of some innings consolidation. Thankfully the Everetts delivered, as both Craig and Calum took the game to the Dafs bowlers. Craig used his feet well to hit a couple of beautiful lofted drives over the bowlers head for 4… yes another 4. Before smashing a six to the square leg boundary with some great assistance from our good friend, the wind. Calum more than played his part too as he carved twos all over Roseburn Park.

 

Off the field news came in from the 1s that they had cut through a star studded Forfarshire batting line up including the likes of Wallace, Leask and ex Glenrothes pro Beghin. Kyle kindly reminded Gav that he got Beghin out last year, resulting in Gav bragging about it for the rest of the day and it getting a mention in this week’s match report. Thank you Kyle.

 

Craig was then caught for an important 33, and his brother, evidently lost and lonely without him in the middle joined him soon after in the pavilion after he was bowled for an equally important 22. Rory and Gav failed to reenact their heroics against Grange 2s the previous season, both unable to get started. Gav then tactically got himself out plumb LBW (he claims) to allow the epic 10 &11 partnership between Ahmad and Brad to take place.

 

Ahmad once again took matters into his own hands with the bat and predictably decided to throw the kitchen sink at every ball. After a few unsuccessful attempts he began to catch hold of them carting the ball to cow-corner on more than one occasion. Brad hit some great strokes down the ground and ran many, many twos as the score crept up and up. Ahmad then taught a lesson to the top order batsmen on how to hit boundaries, elegantly top edging the ball high and far towards fine leg for 6. Carlton finished all out for 174 as Brad was courageously run out on the last ball, capping off an invaluable 31 run 10th wicket partnership.

 

GAVS TEA REVIEW: After last weeks exceptional 9.5 it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Dafs to match it. As always there were positives and negatives and in Tom Simpson’s mind, only negatives. He complained religiously about the lack of hot food, lack of sweet treats and the fact it was taken outdoors. Rory also complained about the sandwiches, suggesting everyone should just buy Subways instead. A positive definitely came in the shape of a strawberry tart going down nicely along with the cups of tea which prevented players from getting hypothermia. Final rating: 6.4

 

Carlton went out to field defending a respectable 174 on a pitch hard to score runs on. Ahmad opened up with Brad and made an important breakthrough early on trapping his man LBW. Brad bowled with his usual accuracy and was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket in his 7 overs, only conceding 13 runs. On field captain Craig installed his faith in younger brother Calum to get the crucial wickets needed to win the game. The Dafs batted patiently with opener A Jaffery picking and choosing balls to his liking. Just as the score began to increase Calum picked up his first wicket, a fine reaction stumping from his classmate Tom. Calum then had the dangerman A.Jaffery with a ‘Jaffa-ery’ of his own trapping him LBW (excuse the horrendous attempt at banter). Billy big time Allardice then joined in on the action, picking his first wicket of the day … another LBW.

 

At drinks the game was finely poised, 80 needed with 6 wickets in hand on a bowler friendly outfield. However 2 quick wickets in the first 2 overs swung the pendulum Carlton’s way. Gav somehow managed to replicate his heroics of last week, picking up a wicket in his first over in a slightly less glamorous fashion in comparison to last week’s ‘banana ball’. Rory’s flight then deceived their no.6 batsman; advancing down the track, swinging, missing and stumped by Tom. Rory and Tom combined for the worse this time as a combination of accurate bowling from Rory clipping the top of off and fast reactions from Tom behind the stumps had the umpires doubting whether the batsmen was actually bowled or if the bails had been taken off by the keeper. Verdict: Not Out. Gav had the same man bowled next over much to Rory’s dissatisfaction.

 

A 5 minute break was taken by all as a dog decided to relieve his bowels just next to the square leg umpire. Just whose performance this was a comment on was subject to some debate..


The game finally resumed after the stoppage and it was far from over. As wickets fell from one end only, Dafs captain A. Venkatesh did his best to spoil the party, striking the ball cleanly and posing an evident threat to the Carlton bowlers. On field captain Craig continually rejigged the field in a tactical attempt to starve Venkatesh of the strike with the help of Andy Macpherson offering his expert advice from the sidelines. Craig’s decision to swap precision for pace at both ends proved vital as Ahmad and Calum cleaned up the tail with textbook stump to stump bowling both finishing with match winning 3 wicket hauls as Murrayfield Dafs were bowled out for 134.

 

A great effort with the bat from Kyle, Craig and Calum, all emphasising the importance of partnerships in cricket with 135 runs scored in 3 partnerships with one being the heroic 10th wicket partnership. Well done to both Calum and Ahmad, thoroughly deserving of their wickets and credit to the rest of the bowlers who all went about their business in an extremely professional way making for another excellent win for the second XI taking us up to 3rd in the table and into the Champions League qualification spots.

 

Many thanks to Anji for braving the cold and scoring for us and to Richard Allardice for offering his taxi services. Onwards and upwards for next week’s visit of SMRH…

 

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Saturday 23rd May

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
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Carlton 2
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SMRH
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233 for 7

Steve Allen 70, Rob Thornton 46, Mike Raikes 38

home

119 all out

Ahmad Shah 5 for 21

Scorecard

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Rory A reports ...

The in form 2s hosted the unbeaten SMRH at a sun drenched Grange Loan on Saturday and with no threat of the C or R words coming from anywhere it was set for a great day of cricket.

With some changes to the side in the form of returning captain Rob Thornton, playing in place of Rob Atkin, and Steven Allen and Mike Raikes replacing the Everett brothers, another strong 2s side was set to continue the good form of previous weeks.

After losing the toss we were put into bat and Kyle and The Allen walked to the wicket, this week not sporting the trademark black base layer. The pair got off to a positive start scoring well off any wide bowling provided by the two opening bowlers, running hard to any strong hits up the hill and watching the ball race away for boundaries to the wall also. As the score ticked along all was looking well until two quick wickets for just 1 run saw Kyle, with a well made 18, and then Tom walking back both nicking off to the keeper.

Steve remained strong in defence while continuing to be positive, withstanding any chat thrown at him by the opposition, yet Ali was not the one who would stabilise the innings with him as he too was walking back after an lbw decision (below). This saw Raiksey take the wicket with the score at 36 for 3, he and Steve stabilised the innings well, running hard, showing little weakness and putting away any bad balls. Their partnership rose quickly to over 70 as did their scores with Steve reaching 50, Raikes then departed for an assured 38 after edging behind for a third catch to the keeper.

This had set a strong base for the rest of the innings and Steve still set at one end meant a strong total was on the cards.

Ben helped to move the score along with a strong and reasonably quick 19. After his departure the skipper took the crease scoring easily all around the ground from the outset, exploiting even the smallest gaps in the field. Strong hitting from both men pushed the score along greatly and took the team past the 200 mark. Rob's quick fire 46 came to an end and so too did the superb innings of Steve soon after, his 70 acted as the basis for the strong score that could be posted. Playing the situation well and being positive throughout meant he could anchor the innings very well and continually keep the score ticking over.

25 extra runs were added in the closing overs due to good running and striking by Rittoo in particular turning many ones into twos and punishing bad bowling. These extra runs at the end left the 2s with a strong total of 233 to defend in the sun at Grange Loan.

GAV'S TEA REPORT: As expected the Carlton teas were of exceptional standard. Kerry Simpson and co. delivered a lovely spread of grade 1 foodstuffs, a favourite being the cream and jam scones- tried and tested by young food critic in the making, Grace Simpson. It was all set for a perfect 10 but was spoiled 4 hours in advance by captain Rob Thornton losing the toss and leaving us to bat first. This left the bowlers in a state of disgust as they realised they would not be able to stuff their faces to the desired extent. Overall rating: 9.3.

The visitors’ innings started with a pumped up Ahmad Shah steaming down the hill and uprooting off stump in the second ball. This really set the tone, as did his celebration (the finest moment of the match not caught on camera). Brad bowled a great spell up the hill limiting the runs and building pressure very well, this caused a dodgy single through a deliberate fumble by Steve, which was followed by a direct hit at the non-strikers’ end removing their number 3 batsman.

After strong opening spells from both Ahmad and Brad, Raiksey and Rory came on and restricted the runs too backed up by good fielding all around giving them nothing easy. Raikes made the vital break through removing their pro, who had been looking menacing, chipping a catch to Rory at mid wicket.

From then on wickets fell fairly regularly but their opener, Barrett, did a good job of digging in and not giving his wicket away. As more wickets were picked up, many due to the fast and accurate bowling of Ahmad, it fell to Rob to end the gutsy innings of Barrett (below) and expose the tail of the SMRH team.

A tactical drop by Ahmad off the bowling of Rob when trying to claim the last wicket left it open for him to claim it in the last over and complete a thoroughly deserved 5-fer. This final wicket was not accompanied with as imaginative a celebration but was a fitting way to end the innings.

Overall a strong performance from the whole team with key players standing up and playing vital roles when required led to what was in the end a comfortable win over a side that was in the premiership last season. This continues the good form of the 2s so far this season and hopefully more of the same is to come.

Next to Freuchie to extend the winning streak to 5!

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Saturday 30th May, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Freuchie
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v
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Carlton 2
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145 all out
Brad McKay 4 for 16

away

240 all out

Ali Shah 71, Kyle Macpherson 58, Rob Thornton 30

Scorecard

The skipper reports ...

I have now been playing cricket in the east of Scotland for 20 years. One of the first games I played was for Royal High FPs away at Freuchie and Saturday was the first time I have been back, pleased to see the place has not changed one bit – the same clubhouse, the same spectator telling us that we were getting out next ball and the same flat slow wicket.

What has changed, for the better, is the way the game of cricket is played in the East of Scotland, with Carlton leading the way;

  • 1995 - Our pro bowled 26 overs from one end and opened the batting with the overseas amateur at three (yours truly), five players didn’t bat or bowl and the only way a junior got to play was if one of the usual old timers was unavailable, they could come in to bat at 11 and field at fine leg. Oh, and I think we ended up with a losing draw.
  • 2015 - Of our top 6, only Atko and Steve were born when that game was played 20 years ago and they were aged 1 and 2, and nearly 40 of our overs were bowled by teenagers. And no draws in sight.

So me, Brad and the kids made the journey up to sunny Fife. I can’t use the c word, but I can say it was not warm. Despite the threat of disgusted bowlers referred to by Rory in last week’s report, yet again having to hold back on the teas, on winning the toss for the first time this season I was more than happy to bat first.

Steve and Tom went out to the middle knowing they needed to be patient, which they were, steadily accumulating and seeing off the accurate pro. Things changed when Freuchie brought on an offie and a leggie and both of our openers were soon out. Steve still doesn’t know if he hit it. Tom stranded on the crease, knows if he gets the same ball again he will get a massive stride in. Their dismissals brought the stunning duet of Kylie and Alishah to the crease and we were all saying we should be so lucky as Kylie went into locomotion especially for us (only Brad and I will understand any of these references) and played some stunning shots, notably on the off-side which had the Freuchie lads spinning around.

Alishah was strictly putting away the bad balls, and some good ones, and showing Carlton’s got talent. Their partnership took the game away from Freuchie and one of the most pleasing things for the skipper was seeing how angry Kyle was when he got out for 58 instead of 100+. Ali made 71 and RuPaul, oops RuMac got some valuable time in the middle. The Two Robbies put in a couple of cameos and as usual took some really sharp singles and we had 240 on the board, a great total and one we were confident we could defend. Freuchie’s best fielder was a chap called Tom Simpson, subbing in for their pro, who had ‘done a Simon Jones’. 

No time for a Rittoo style tea report, other than confirming the bowlers were even less happy when faced with a massive lasagne, pizza, chicken drumsticks and scones… people may start to suss out why I don’t come on to bowl until after drinks these days.

The kids were then treated to a Brad McKay masterclass, ten straight up the hill 4-16, game over. The rest of us had a go; Ahmo gets special mention, everyone said this wicket didn’t suit him, but he worked his socks off and deserved his wickets, Rory bowled superbly, especially when giving it some air and got a couple (he would have got another one if the skipper had stayed at slip instead of moving to leg slip), Calum, returning from a strong debut with the Ones, was reliable as always, RuPaul, sorry, RuMac started to get his rhythm after a long lay off and Alishah jagged one at the end.

Tom lost a fingernail reaching for one of my wides and Steve took over behind the stumps at drinks - just one of those luxuries we seem to have these days.

Probably the biggest difference between the two teams was the fielding, we caught just about everything, and where there seemed to be twos everywhere in our innings, the intensity from our guys, notably Kyle, Rory and Ru, not letting anything through and chasing down lost causes, really stopped their innings getting any momentum.

We all made the trip back to Edinburgh, the kids to tell their folks about the game, Brad to a sophisticated dinner party discussing politics and interest rates, me to listen to my cassettes of 80s hits and Ahmad to his usual Saturday evening on the sofa drinking tea.

Really loving this season, what a great, well earned run we are on – got to stay at this level at Marchmont this week to keep it going.

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Saturday 6th June, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Marchmont
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v
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Carlton 2
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139 all out

Ahmad Shah 4 for 31

away

140 for 3

Kyle Macpherson 44, Ben Thurman 36

Scorecard

Gav reports ...

Calvary Park was the setting for the next chapter of the Carlton 2nd team’s journey, with a number of new characters re-entering the plot as Elder, Rittoo, Clarkson and Thurman all returned. Thornton, Allardice and Calum Everett were all absent from the day's events due to a number of below par excuses.

With overnight rain, the chance of an uninterrupted day's play seemed unlikely but after stand-in skipper Steven Allen’s motivational text before the game all hope was restored.

Allen won the toss and elected to field hoping to skittle the day’s opposition – MCC - Marchmont Cricket Club.

Ahmad and Brad opened up and got us off to the perfect start, with a triple wicket maiden from Mr El Barrio himself sending Carlton into dreamland. The first courtesy of some excellent chest control from Fin at second slip, immaculately diverting the ball back round to Elder at first slip who caught the ball inches above the ground - later skilfully re acted by Gav and Elder. Ahmad had the other opener clean bowled 2 balls later, before trapping the no. 4 batsmen the next ball - setting himself up for a hat trick. Allen, who had obviously been watching too much Test cricket on the TV, set an according field for the ball: 3 slips, 2 gullies and 2 catchers. Unfortunately, despite the skip’s best effort to cram as many round the bat as possible Ahmad didn't get his hat trick.

Brad continued to fight the fierce wind and got his reward getting one to nip back and bowl batsmen number 5. With the score at 23-4, the odds of being home by 4pm looked increasingly likely. But credit to the Marchmont batsmen 3 and 6, who protected their wickets very well, and did a sturdy job of rebuilding their innings. Gav, Brad, Elder and Ahmad all had a pop at breaking the partnership but to no avail. Heads began to drop in the demoralising wind and r**n before DJ Ru Mac re-energised the team getting the dangerous number 3 LBW. Ali Shah followed in the footsteps of his brother bowling batsmen number 7 as Marchmont slipped to 94 for 6, yet still posing a threat with V Jalagandeeswala still at the crease and playing well through the cover region. Ru Mac picked up another before man of the moment Ahmed Shah got Jalagandeeswala as he approached 50.

Carlton then had to deal with some Craig Everett style "1 in 21 overs" batting from the Marchmont lower order. Gav battled the wind and rain, doing his best to reach the wicket without being blown over. He and Ali bowled many dots to the tail but failed to take the necessary wickets. Notorious net bowler Ben Thurman had evidently had enough of standing around in the cold and took matters into his own hands. He took out his mop from his kit bag and did a very thorough job of mopping up the tail getting two wickets in his first over. One bowled, deceiving the batsmen with the flight, the other caught behind to the safe hands of Elder at first slip. Marchmount were all out for 139 with Ben Thurman left stranded on a hat trick.

Gav's tea review: There was much excitement for tea since the decision to field first was made. The stop start nature of the first innings combined with the atrocious weather conditions meant a good tea was a necessity. Thankfully Marchmont didn't disappoint. Some jipaty type things went down a treat, along with some a variety of sandwiches. Savoury selection - strong. Sweet selection - not so strong. Overall rating 7.8.

Allen and Kyle opened up, knowing that if we batted the 50 overs we'd win the game. Allen and Kyle got off to a solid start on a pitch very difficult to score runs on. They kept the scoreboard ticking over running hard between the wickets and putting pressure on the fielders.

Off the field the rest of the Twos players managed to keep themselves entertained by having an evil laugh competition .... Yes an evil laugh competition (Elder’s idea )
The results were as follows:

Best - Elder
Worst - Ru Mac
Darkest - Ben Thurman
Most improved - Finlay Clarkson

Back on the field Steve was caught for 12 so Ben joined Kyle in the middle. Kyle and Ben went about their business in a professional way, seeing off some dangerous Marchmont bowlers and putting away the bad balls. A few catches were put down cueing a Steven Elder evil laugh. Kyle got a Jaffa and was bowled for 44, Ben followed in almost identical fashion for 36. With two new men at the crease the opposition’s tails were up, but Ali Shah and Tom Simpson had other ideas not giving them a sniff and knocking off the runs with over 12 overs left taking us to a 7 wicket win.

Credit to all the lads who stuck to the task in less than ideal conditions. The Carlton 2s’ win clock ticks on...

Days since last lost: 42 days....

Same again next week.

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Saturday 13th June, 1pm

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Carlton 2
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v
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Penicuik
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206 all out

Ali Shah 74, Olly Brown 47, Ben Thurman 38

home 207 for 8

Scorecard

Tom reports ...

Carlton 2’s returned to Grange Loan after 2 successful weeks on the road looking to claim their 7th consecutive victory.

With Kylo and The Allen gaining well-earned promotions to the 1’s and Fin, Elder and Gav unavailable, 5 changes were made to the side.  Craig, Rory and Rob returned, with Angus Beattie and Olly Brown making their first appearances of the season.

Having won the toss, the visitors put Carlton into bat hoping to take advantage of the overcast conditions.

Craig and Tom made their way to the crease and both hastily returned after playing poor shots to get out to each of the opening bowlers.   At 3-2, things were not looking too good. Ben and Ali came together and were watchful against some accurate bowling.  After surviving a couple of scares both began punishing the bad balls, Ali hitting some large sixes over the legside boundary. 

Having built a strong partnership Ben was unlucky to be given out LBW for a well-made 34.  After RuMac came and went after drinks the 2s again needed some rebuilding courtesy of Rob and Ali.  The score was progressing along nicely as Ali brought up his 4th 50 of the season.  When Ali and Rob both lost their wickets for 74 & 24, Angus and Olly had a job to do to build up the score.  Olly set about playing positively from the start while Gus did well to rotate the strike.  Olly was timing the ball superbly especially through the covers and helped keep the team entertained without the need for an ‘Evil Laugh Competition 2.0’.  After Angus was given out in a debatable run out decision and Olly caught on the verge of his fifty, Brad helped the 2s end on a respectable 206 all out with a thunderous cover drive. 

Tea was taken and again was of a very high standard, something to be expected for visitors to Grange Loan. With a wide range and high standard of sandwiches, wraps and cakes on offer the tea was surely worth a 9.2 on the Gav Rittoo scale.

As rain decended over Grange Loan during the innings break the umpire made a number of decisions over how the game was going to continue… Eventually, he decided that the game would remain a 50 over game with the second innings commencing almost 2 hours after tea had been taken.

After the extended delay, play resumed with the Penicuik batsmen looking to play as positively as possible.  They started well, however suffered 3 quick wickets courtesy of Brad McKay and an Ali Shah run out.  As Penicuik began to rebuild skipper Rob felt we needed a breakthrough and brought on Olly to try and take a wicket.  Olly hit the spot with a lot of good balls however a couple of chances were put down and the Penicuik batsmen put away the bad balls very convincingly.  From then on Rob felt the best way to get wickets was by giving the bowlers short sharp spells.  This worked well with Rory, RuMac and himself all picking up important wickets.  The new batsmen did well and were helped by uncharacteristically poor fielding from the 2s to help relieve pressure.  The 2s were kept in the game by some very good bowling, in difficult conditions.  This resulted in Penicuik needing 7 off Olly Brown’s last over.  Olly bowled some very good yorkers and was unlucky that some streaky batting and poor fielding resulted in Penicuik getting over the line with 1 ball to go. 

 Although it was a disappointing result for the 2s we know what we have to do better to next week against Glenrothes to get back to winning ways.

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Saturday 20th June, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Glenrothes
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v
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Carlton 2
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156 all out

away

139 all out

Tom Simpson 30

Scorecard

Brad reports ...

After eight weeks of rubbish weather, the 2's had to travel to the far reaches of Glenrothes for a warm(ish) sunny day for our top of the table clash against the local team. In the confines of our shipping container dressing room located two miles from the ground, we welcomed new recruit Cam Shoebridge and reacquainted with old heads Matt Wells and Nick Martin. Wellsy was free from the shackles of wicket keeping but his display in prematch warm ups suggested he really does need gloves to catch.

Anyway, we fielded first with the extra man advantage of a long lush outfield - thanks Fife Council. Ahmed made the perfect start as Wells grasped onto a sharp one in the gully - 1/1. Local captain Greaves is the outstanding batsman in the league and with some accurate bowling, we had him frustrated and soon enough, Cam had the big wicket with an edge onto the stumps. At the other end, Brad was giving nothing away and was rewarded with the wicket of Robinson - 35/4 and on top.

Five and six consolidated in a fast paced 50 run partnership. Spin was introduced and Rory made the breakthrough picking up Reddy and then Dodds spooned one to Cam on drinks - 99/6.

After drinks, Carlton ran through the visitors with Rob (2/20) getting an edge for Tom to catch before bowling and completing a great spell by bowling Gosse. Gav then bowled a tight spell and picked up Lucas - 116/9 job done, or maybe not.

Akbar and Davies then frustrated Carlton with a 40 run final wicket stand as Carlton strived for the last breakthrough. Eventually Brad was summoned from the boundary and picked up Akbar - 156 all out. A good performance and we'd have taken that at the start.

Tea was good - fine selection all round and with the sun out, taken al fresco style by the boys, 8 out of 10.

The Carlton reply begun badly with Craig lbw to Wright with the score on 1. The bowling was tight with nothing given away. Ben then was adjusted lbw and Cam followed unluckily the same way - 17/3 and in trouble. Wells and Martin started the long rebuild in a 20 run partnership and just as things we're getting going, Wells was caught for 25. Next another hard earned partnership between Nick and Tom, both solid but really difficult to score. Nick fell on 67 but 30 overs had passed.

Rob hit 18 off one over but then hit a return catch and when Rory went one run later, at 87/7, we needed 70 runs in 12 overs. Tom, who'd been stuck on not many for a long while, suddenly took the long handle and with Gav, runs began to flow. These guys batted awesomely and ran well, so much so that with three overs remaining, we needed 17 to win. Gav was then run out, Brad was caught and Tom was bowled for 30, all within 3 balls to end it, 139 all out and 17 short. No disgrace to lose to a team top of the league but after two losses, it's Grange next week.

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Saturday 27th June, Noon Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Grange 2
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v
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Carlton 2
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  140 for 6 away

139 all out

Ali Shah 64

Scorecard

Cameron reports ...

After two narrow defeats in a row against Penicuik CC and Glenrothes CC the 2s were looking to get back to winning ways against our friends from Grange. Now I haven't been in Edinburgh for all that long but one of the things that I have learnt very quickly is that a victory against the lads from Raeburn Place is a highly valued commodity.

After several days of rain it was a pleasant surprise to wake up on Saturday morning to glorious sunshine and some proper cricket weather. The skipper lost the toss and Carlton were invited to have a bat by our hosts. It was slow going against some decent Grange bowling and when Kyle nicked off early, Steve and Ben looked to consolidate the innings. Steve played some nice shots before he edged one onto his stumps. This brought  Ali to the crease and he proceeded to play Carlton's outstanding innings of the day demonstrating a wide range of shots together with a determination not to give his wicket away. Ben gave Ali solid support until he picked the wrong ball to sweep and was given LBW. There was some good late order hitting from Olly but the rest of us fell to a mixture of poor shot selection and some bad luck. Ali was eventually bowled by a good slower ball and the Carlton innings finished on a disappointing 139 all out with 4 overs not used.

It was clearly going to take a very special bowling and fielding performance to manufacture a win from the "half time" position but for a while it looked a real possibility. Brad and Ahmad both took early wickets and at 27 for 3 Grange knew that getting to 140 probably wasn't going to be the stroll they had hoped for. When Cameron took the 4th wicket they had only reached 36 and a famous victory looked on the cards. The skipper continued to rotate his bowlers and we continued to chip away at their batting. As much as we tried though we just couldn't shift their No 3 who held the innings together and went onto make a superb 72 not out which eventually took Grange to victory by 4 wickets having been at one stage on a precarious 100 for 6. There were 2 wickets each for Brad McKay and Cameron Shoebridge and one a piece for Ahmad Shah and Rory Allardice.

A decent effort from all the lads but we know that next week we need to get back to winning ways and get our season back on track.

 

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Saturday 4th July, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
  Carlton 2
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Holy Cross
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    home  
RAINED OFF
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Saturday 11th July, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Edinburgh CC
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v
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Carlton 2
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178 all out

Brad McKay 3 for 22

away 89 all out

Scorecard

Photos

Steven Allen reports...

Rob Thornton's men suffered their fourth successive loss on Saturday at the hands of Edinburgh CC, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the ESCA Championship title race.

With the weather set fair, Carlton travelled to glorious Campbell Park and were immediately absorbed by the contented hum synonymous with many great cricket grounds, albeit provided by The City of Edinburgh Bypass. Edinburgh won the toss and elected to bat.

Ahmad Shah and Brad McKay (below) took early wickets for the visitors, giving them the upper hand. Indeed when Carlton reduced Edinburgh to 87-7 and then 92-8, they were firm favourites. However, a combination of some wayward bowling and resolute batting allowed Edinburgh to reach an above par total of 178.

Particularly notable was a quality innings from dogged number three Qasim Ashraf, who established several key partnerships - none was more important than with number ten Haider (42). For Carlton, McKay was the pick of the bowlers with 9 overs 3-22, while Allardice brothers Fraser (0-22) and Rory (2-28) provided decent support. Macpherson and Shoebridge picked up a wicket apiece.

Special mention must go to 15-year old Angus Beattie who impressed with the accuracy and control of his left arm seamers, returning figures of 2-16 from his 6 overs.

In reply, Carlton got off to the worst possible start with openers Allen and Shoebridge removed by deliveries of the highest quality and the ensuing innings never really got going. Ruairi Macpherson (26, below) and Tom Simpson (14) made a valiant effort of rebuilding but succumbed to Edinburgh CC's unerring line and length on the slow, testing wicket. Ahmed achieved four dismissals, with the miserley Imran, Majeed and that man Ashraf deserving much credit.

Carlton were all out for 89, achieving exactly half the required score, to leave them third in the league.

Whilst heart will be taken from good individual performances in the field, the Grange Loan men will reflect on disappointingly surrendering a commanding position and seek to re-capture the winning instinct which characterised early season success.

Next up Carlton lock horns with acronymic rivals MDAFS and SMRH, which are now must win games if they are to keep in touch with runaway leaders Glenrothes.

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Sunday 19th July, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Carlton 2
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v
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Murrayfield DAFS
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93 for 3

Matt Wells 40, Ben Thurman 33*

home

Merch

92 all out
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Saturday 25th July, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
SMRH
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v
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Carlton 2
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  227 for 5 away 119 all out

Scorecard

Carlton made the short trip to Inverleith Park on the back of a resounding victory against Murrayfield DAFS, which looked to have got the season back on track. A win against high-flying SMRH would set up the side well for a strong finish to the season.

The 2’s welcomed back Kyle and Cam from 1st XI duty, with Rob the notable absentee from the side that put in such a strong performance at Merchiston. Brad, leading the side in the absence of the skipper, won the toss and, detecting a tinge of green that could be exploited by his wobbly seamers, elected to bowl.

Taking to the field in atypical Scottish sunshine, Carlton got off to the perfect start, with Cam trapping the SMRH opener LBW in the first over. Then followed an increasingly frustrating partnership, as McCallum and Barrett put on 60, playing shots all round the legside of the wicket. Raikes finally got the breakthrough, Kyle taking a steepler at cover, and Carlton were then able to apply dot-ball pressure, with Mo bowling particularly well without reward.

Post-drinks, Brad introduced the two Allardi, who bowled well in tandem, the elder variety picking up a timely wicket. But Carlton were ultimately unable to shift the opposition pro, who compiled a controlled 70* to see his side through to a competitive total. However, thanks to some tight death bowling from paceman Rittoo, the 2’s managed to restrict SMRH to a chaseable 227.

Tea was taken amid a brief but heavy downpour, which may have livened up the wicket a touch, as SMRH came out firing and were able to beat the bat on a regular basis. Kyle’s was the first wicket to fall with the score on 15, bowled as he attempted to pull a ball that didn’t get up as much as anticipated. Four runs later, the Carlton chase was stopped in its tracks: first Wells nicked Bisset to slip and, next ball, Raikes was trapped in front and left the pitch cursing the lack of hot spot technology in the East League Championship. Having survived the hatrick ball, Cam fell to the second LBW of the innings – few complaints about this one as he used his bat to strike his foot rather than the ball – and Carlton were creaking at 20 for 4.

A partnership of 30 between Beattie and Thurman – facilitated by a temptingly vacant cover region and some erratic bowling from the change bowlers – steadied the innings, before the latter was bowled by Bisset for 20. The opener had returned figures of 5 for 19 from his ten overs, a spell of bowling that had swung the match irrevocably in his side’s favour.

Gus continued to show good application against some hostile bowling, compiling a decent partnership with Fraser who hit a combative 20. But once the stand was broken wickets fell in quick succession to leave Carlton 87 for 9. Brad and Rory seemed in the mood and took the fight to the opposition in a resilient tenth wicket partnership, frustrating the opposition as the rain began to fall. Rory was finally out for 20, bottom-edging a sweep with the ball ‘bouncing off his boot’ to first slip. It appeared that umpires as well as fielders were glad to bring Carlton’s innings to a conclusion on 119.

Carlton will regret a couple of tough dropped catches at key moments which could have checked the opposition innings; but ultimately the game was lost when the top order were blown away by a spell of seam bowling of rare quality. The 2’s return to Grange Loan next week after a long absence, seeking to recapture the confidence and conviction of the first half of the season, with four big games remaining to ensure the season ends on a high note.

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Saturday 1st August, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Carlton 2
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Freuchie
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219 for 8 (50 overs)

Rob Thornton 51, Angus Hinton 49

home 197 for 8 (39.2 overs) Target 197 in 40 overs

Scorecard

Photos

For the first time in 7 weeks the Carlton 2s were back in the cricket ground of dreams: Grange Loan. A number of absentees meant that 5 changes were made to the side that lost to SMRH. Mo and Cam moved up to the 1s and despite being only 19 years of age both Fraser Allardice and Wellsy were on girlfriend duty. IN: the skipper, Spencer, Simpson, Hinton and Ahmad Shah.

Rob lost the toss and we were put into bat. Angus Beattie was sent out to open, hoping to cash in on his excellent recent run of form. Kyle partnered him and they both looked in good nick early on, playing percentage cricket – blocking out the good balls and putting away the bad. After making a solid start Kyle left one that nipped back and was bowled for 22. This brought the man with the best cover drive at the club to the crease – Ben Thurman. Ben and Beattie scratched around and ran well between the wickets including a 4 off a cover drive from Ben (what else) before frustration overcame Angus and he holed out to mid off for 16. Ben followed shortly after welcoming Angus Hinton and Rob to the crease

These two rebuilt the innings playing patiently and waiting for the right ball they each gave themselves a chance to go on to make a big score. Rob’s wrist seemed to be causing him no problems, punishing some wayward bowling from the second and third change bowlers taking him to 50 just after drinks. Unfortunately he was unable to kick on from there nicking behind to the keeper shortly after.

Tom joined Hinton who was striking the ball immaculately at this point. The trustworthy BBC weather had scheduled rain for 3 and sure enough it arrived punctually. Both batsmen dug in during a period of light drizzle before the raindrops thickened and the umpires made the collective decision to bring the players off. With heavy rain overnight it looked like the pitch couldn’t take much more water and the chances of returning to play were looking slimmer by the droplet. The decision to take tea was welcomed by all.

GAV’S TEA REVIEW:
With Tea coming 15 overs earlier than expect head chefs Caroline Allardice and Jill Hinton and kitchen porter Richard Allardice had their work cut out. Thankfully they didn’t panic and managed to deliver one of, if not, the best tea ever seen at 180 Grange Loan. All the classic sandwiches featured along with the traditional other cold foodstuffs. But what really took the biscuit was the constant ongoing hot food that just kept emerging out of the oven; sausage rolls, samosas, pizza, pakoras you name it- they’d made it. As always the strawberry cream scones went down a treat along with a further selection of baked goods from the Hinton household. Sadly some foul play and match fixing tarnished this unbelievable feed. Both Caroline and Jill did offer bribes to your critic in an attempt to beat fierce rival Kerry Simpson. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that Kerry swung by the ground just in time to have a look at her competition as she prepares for next week. Overall rating: 9.75.

The sky had cleared and brightened up and the umpires decided it was game on. Both Tom and Angus seemed to be slightly recovering from a food coma and initially struggled to score as frequently. Angus holed out to cover just one short of his 50. He was joined in the changing room minutes later when Tom hit one straight to midwicket. Rory Allardice and the rest of the tail did their best to score off some tight death bowling, finishing on a total of 219 off 50 overs.

As the clock chimed 5 times Carlton took to the field defending a revised target of 197 in 40 overs due to the limited number of hours left in the day. Brad and Rob got us off to a dream start: 10 overs in, 2 wickets down and only 7 runs on the board. Brad getting the batsmen to play slightly early on one and finding Ben at short cover who took a good catch at his ankles. Ahmed replaced Rob after he casually bowled 4 back-to-back maidens and got a breakthrough in his first over – clean bowled. With Freuchie needing 190 off 30 overs things looked promising for us.

Unfortunately for us although the runs were kept to a minimum the batsmen had been allowed to get in and give themselves a platform to build from. Beattie came on in place of Brad after a great spell of 1-15 of his 8 overs. Despite beating the bat and bowling dot balls Carton failed to take crucial wickets and a few catches went down which on another day would’ve been taken. Batsmen R. Birrell and K.Daud, who were both dropped in single figures, made Carlton pay the price as they began to accelerate after the drinks break. Some big hitting from this pair and quick running between the wickets pressuring the fielders saw the game begin to swing to an even pendulum.

Rob opted to spin to break the partnership in the form of Rory Allardice and Matt Spencer. Rory bravely gave the ball some flight and got his reward with the wicket of Daud - skying it to Kyle at long on just after he passed 50. Next ball Rory got another getting the new batsman to mistime the ball upwards and into the hands of Matt after some fine juggling work. Matt then got a wicket of his own bowling the opener R. Birrell. With around 8 an over needed in the last 10 overs it was anyone’s game. But a match winning innings from the Freuchie number 6 I. Stonebridge saw Freuchie creep closer and closer to the target. Ahmad and Rob came back on to try and beat the bat for pace. Ahmad got the wicket of Stonebridge (another good catch from Kyle) but not before he made a valuable 55. Rory got a good run out from out in the deep but the Freuchie lower middle order managed to complete a well crafted run chase with 4 balls to spare.

The atmosphere in the changing room was not a happy one. The boys ruing a few dropped catches and letting the foot off the gas after such a dominant start. Much to be learned from the game but we put this one behind us and we go again next week.

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Saturday 8th August, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Carlton 2
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v
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Marchmont
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292 for 7

Kyle Macpherson 130*, Angus Beattie 54, Rob Thornton 39

home

270 all out

Mo Ahmed 4 for 35

Scorecard

Team mascot Finlay Thornton reports ...

It was a typical Saturday morning in our house; as usual dad was leaving it to the last minute to get ready for cricket, while I asked him every two minutes whether FB had phoned yet to ask if I could fill in for the All Star 4th XI.

Once I had finally given up and we were in the car my thoughts (and new topic for constant badgering of my dad) turned to which of my mates would spend the next 8 hours bowling to me in the nets.

When we arrived the 2s who had were there on time were already working hard, my dad didn't want to do this so we played a bit of youngies vs oldies football as a 'warm up'. My dad and I both scored two goals, he is still going on about his 'world class volley'.

Anyway, while he was losing the toss (again) and getting sent in to bat, I was also padding up to face Jamie Beattie in the nets.

Unfortunately I didn't get to face many in the first hour or so as he kept stopping to watch his brother, Angus, who was opening the batting with Kyle in a partnership that my dad keeps referring to as 'the highlight of the 2s season so far', because every week he tells the top four that if one or two of them stay in and make a big score we will win the game.

The Marchmont opening bowlers were really good and Jamie and I couldn't believe how calmly Angus dealt with them, and then started to hit boundaries, including three in a row off their captain, and brought up his first senior 50.

We were all surprised when he was out for 54, bowled trying to smash their spinner and then big Angus was bowled for 2, but Kyle was still there and started to play some brilliant shots while Ali, Raikesy, Tom and my dad could be positive at the other end (my dad calls these cameos).

My dad hit the ball nearly as hard as I do, and then got out playing a stupid shot (well that's what he calls it if I try and lap a fast bowler).

Kyle hit some brilliant sixes and fours, including an all run 4 (obviously not with my dad). My favourite shot was his straight drive for four to bring up his century. He finished not out on 130 and while I was eating all the awesome cakes the team had left, under my dad's instructions as 'they had eaten too much at tea last week' (I know he did, as usual), I was thinking about how easy 292 will be to defend......for the first time in my life I was wrong about something.

The Marchmont batsmen made a good start, apart from Mo getting a diving caught and bowled, the number 3 was really good and ended up with 100 before somehow getting out to my dad, and there were a few partnerships where they kept up with the run rate and it started to feel a bit like last week (my dad was still angry about that until around Thursday).

We all breathed a sigh of relief when their dangerous left hander hit one of my dad's wide half volleys straight to the guy my dad refers to as the greatest, most reliable fielder in the history of cricket in the East of Scotland, Jonty Allardice....and he dropped it.

It didn't matter because Mo and Raikesy came back on to, in my dad's words 'steal the glory' and we won by 22.

I finally gave someone else a bat in the nets and thought about what an exciting game that was and how my dad won't be happy they let them get that close (like mum says, he should just be happy getting to play at his age and physical condition).

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Saturday 15th August, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
W
Penicuik
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v
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Carlton 2
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181 all out

Olly Brown 3 for 33

away

182 for 6

Kyle Macpherson 87*

Scorecard

Brad reports ...

After last weeks win over Marchmont in a Grange Loan runfest, the 2s made the trip to Penicuik safe in the knowledge that a fourth place finish was all but wrapped up. Our opponents on the other hand, were placed second bottom and would be desperate for a win.

Consequently, our warm up was a relaxed affair with football. Skipper Rob also joined in the relaxed atmosphere by promising not to yell at anyone all day (unsuccessfully). As for the football, some sublime skill from the oldies registered a comfortable win.

Rob comfortably lost the toss and we fielded first. The wicket was hard and looked pretty true. Mo Wheels and Brad opened up and immediately settled on a good line with chances created. A sharp chance went down before Mo skittled the opener. The first ten overs yielded 30 runs but the runs really dried up with the introduction of Omes and Rory. Omes always looks like he's going through the motions, slowly, but he was landing it on a perfect length and was rewarded with the wicket of Steel LBW. At the other end, Roars picked up skipper Foulds also LBW. With runs at a premium, pressure led to a mix up with both batsmen at one end. Fraser's throw missed the keeper but found Rob at slip who completed the bonus run out of Chalmers - 40/4.

Ashforth and Cash then combined for a 50 run partnership through some positive batting, although Raikes was the unlucky bowler finding the edge on numerous occasions for no reward. Mo was recalled to the attack and picked up Ashforth caught by Omes at gully.

At the other end, the introduction of Olly Brown turned the game fully in our direction. Fine bowler and nice guy he is, Olly finds new ways to confound us each week. Not only does he refuse to practise bowling before a game, he also doesn't like cricket teas which in this team of vultures makes him weirdo numero uno. This week, his after match comment that he loves being sweaty has really got us scratching our heads. It's lucky he can bowl as he skittled out the Penicuik middle and lower order with straight fast bowling. 3/33 and Penicuik were reduced to ruins. Hafiz swung hard for 32 and Brad returned to bowl the 50th over and was rewarded with his wicket. 181 all out - a pretty good effort all around.

Tea was smashing and the bowlers stuffed themselves. Particularly popular were the home made cakes - top notch. 9 out of ten.

All that was required for the win was for one of the top four to get a big score. Like last week, that man was Kyle Mac who must now be seeing it like a volleyball. He and Raikes opened up on a pitch now keeping a bit low. Raikes chopped on one and Hinton was LBW - 20/2. Kyle stayed calm and was supported by Ollie in a 50 run stand to get things back on track before Ollie was LBW in a spell of 20 straight overs of spin.

Kyle found the gaps brilliantly, ticking the scoreboard over and putting the occasional bad ball away. Tom came and went before Fraser joined Kyle in another 50 plus stand to effectively win the game. Fraser batted smart and was only out trying to go over the top. Mo tried to re break the window he smashed last year but only succeeded in skating one, so it was left to the skipper to accompany Kyle to the finish line. Kyle an excellent 87 not out for 217 undefeated runs in the last two weeks. The boys home by 4 wickets with 4 overs to spare - an excellent win.

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Saturday 22nd August, Noon

Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship
L
Carlton 2
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v
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Glenrothes
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114 all out

Rob Thornton 36

home

284 for 9

Ruari Macpherson 4 for 55

Rory reports ...

The last day of the season arrived at Grange Loan on a sunny but not all together warm day and with the unbeaten league winners Glenrothes visiting a tough day was in store. The 2s were looking to make it 3 wins in a row to finish the season on a high and ruin Glenrothes' unbeaten season.

 

After the visitors won the toss and elected to bat on a green wicket there was still confidence in the home dressing room that early breakthroughs could be made. The all new, young opening partnership of Everett and Brown got off to an impressive start bowling many balls simply too good for either opener to touch. This was until a jaffa from Ollie took appeared to take the outside edge of the leagues' leading run scorer, Greaves', bat and found the gloves of Tom. The whole team went up in jubilation, as did some around the boundary, but this soon turned to anguish as the umpire and batsmen were both unmoved. This was not the first lifeline that he would be given as the innings progressed.

 

The openers continued to bowl well and Calum got his reward sneaking one under the bat of Culley, this brought no. 3 to the crease for a brief cameo ended by a simple caught and bowled from a fired up Ollie Brown. He followed this up with a quick yorker cannoning in to the middle stump of the captain, Wright, only to be denied by a front foot no ball (below). Wright was removed without any real damage though with the two Robs working in tandem with a smart catch at first slip from the younger variety, this was after putting Greaves down in the skipper's previous over.

 

After this the scoring rate rose as Greaves accelerated to his hundred coming in just 99 balls ably accompanied by Reddy who too scored quickly. The scoring rate continued quickly but wickets were also taken, a strong direct hit running down the hill by Fraser to dismiss the well set Munro and great control shown by Rumac in taking 4 wickets, including the main man Greaves for 162  helped to stem the flow of runs somewhat, at the end of the innings.

 

A well played innings by Greaves taking any and all chances he was given was the basis for a strong score of 284/9 at the end of 50 overs. A difficult chase was ahead and with the league’s leading wicket taker steaming down the hill there was a tough job for the top order.

 

The innings didn't begin well however losing Angus in the first over to a quick ball from Akbar wrapping him on the pads and then Ruari in the next after playing the wrong line and getting bowled. Ollie then chanced his arm for a few balls but was removed quickly too.

 

This left Ben (below) and Fraser at the crease who put up a strong partnership playing positively and running well, with boundaries coming also. Ben then fell for a well made 28 and from then on wickets fell at regular intervals. A degree of good bowling and some careless batting also meant that the pressure was continually built on the batters to come next.

 

A strong bowling and fielding performance from Glenrothes meant the batters were not given any second chances and wickets could be taken regularly. This was to be expected from the unbeaten league winners possessing the weapons of the highest run scorer and highest wicket taker.

 

All together a convincing victory for the visitors capping off an impressive unbeaten league season. This was not the desired end to what has been a very positive and enjoyable 2s season yet there is still much to improve to climb the league rankings and hopefully make even greater inroads next year!

 

Scorecard

Photos

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