Carlton Chargers Under 11s 2016 Fixtures and Results
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Friday 29th April

Lothian League
  Carlton Chargers
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v
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Carlton Knights
    home  
RAINED OFF
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Friday 6th May

Lothian League
W SMRH
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v
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Carlton Chargers
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  54 away 110
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Friday 13th May

Lothian League
L Carlton Chargers
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v
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Grange 1
  258 home 262
Mark McKay 2 wickets
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Friday 20th May

Lothian League
W Grange 2 v
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Carlton Chargers
 

265

Charlie 8 for 2

away

295

Freddie 23, Toby 21

Friday 20 May was a busy day for the Carlton Chargers.  A combination of holidays, general unavailability and injury saw the squad depleted to just four active players.  Luckily for us, the Carlton Knights' match was cancelled, so four Knights rode to our rescue (although what they rode on, given the lack of Chargers, is a matter for historical conjecture).

It will come as a huge relief to regular readers to discover that I was not present at the toss, and neglected to find out a single basic fact about this seminal event.  So whilst I can as usual speculate on the effect that climatic conditions may or may not have had on the coin's rotations, I haven't a clue who called what, or which way the coin ended up.  Which, perhaps not surprisingly, makes no difference to either the number of words devoted to a discussion of the toss, or the number of facts involved in that discussion.  As usual, only one fact is to be treated with anything other than complete distrust: Grange batted first. 

Grange's innings started slowly, opening bowlers Charlie and Captain Gabriel bowling a tight line & length.  The match was drifting into test match run-rates, when Charlie woke us all up by taking two wickets with his last two balls.  He'll face a nervous wait until next Friday to see if he can complete his hat-trick, and his team-mates will face an anxious wait to see if they get their free beer.  No, wait, they're under-11s.  His coaches will face an anxious wait ...  Our other bowlers kept the batsmen in check, so that after 12 overs Grange had scored just 232 runs (don't forget to subtract 200 for the actual number of runs scored), for the loss of 5 wickets.  The highlight was a steepling catch in the deep by Captain Gabriel, off Freddie's bowling.  Grange's last pair moved the score along with the help of a few extras, and they ended on 265-6.

Our reply started carefully.  Toby took two dot balls to get himself in … and that was more-or-less the last dot ball that he and Freddie faced in four overs.  They hit everything, but gave no significant chances.  They ran aggressively, always alert to overthrows, at one point running an overthrow on an overthrow.  By the end of four overs, they'd scored 44 runs (23 to Freddie, 21 to Toby), and the fielders' morale was sapped.  Jack & Fraser followed and scored the 21 runs needed to reach parity, and our other pairs applied the gloss to give us a handsome winning margin of 30 runs.

That was a very good performance.  Obviously a win is good, but what impressed me even more was the way the team worked together, supporting and encouraging each other, talking in the field, and generally keeping each others' energy levels up.  They're turning into quite a formidable team.

Thank you to Grange for hosting us, Cheeky for braving a chilly Friday evening to umpire, three benches of loyal supporters, and Dougie for keeping score in the first innings in lieu of playing.

The team: Charlie, Fraser, Freddie, Gabriel, Jack, Maddie, Rory, Toby

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Friday 27th May

Lothian League
  Watsonians v
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Carlton Chargers
   

away

 

RAINED OFF

On a rainy afternoon when a cricket match has been unaccountably called off - I mean, what's wrong with bowling into a gale and fielding in a puddle - it is sometimes hard for a casual Junior Cricket umpire/coach to know what to do. One option is to thoroughly polish the lucky coin, so it will always come down tails and bamboozle opposing captains who routinely call heads. Or maybe count those pesky little pebbles, to make sure there really are six, and to try to catch them out as they take it in turns to hide in order to confuse the umpire into calling "over" a ball early. Alternatively, how about practising those dance moves? One arm out, both arms out, wave an arm in front of you, both arms up, finger in the air …

There is a long and varied tradition of writing about cricket, as anyone who browses Carlton's website will know. But if there is no match, what to write about? Some solve that conundrum by harmless musings on the human condition. Others seek to draw parallels between cricket and other subjects: one particular favourite is music; another comparisons of team mates to animals. Still others speculate on naming fielding positions that are rarely used outside junior cricket: Extra Long Stop, Long Off the Pitch, Extra Umpire, Very Short Legs, Silly Square Leg.

On this particular day however, I decided to reverse the authoring process and delve into the Carlton Library for a bit of light entertainment. Better pens than mine have spotted the extraordinary links between some of the writings of the great Bard of Ayrshire himself and our favourite summer game, and of course, the Carlton Library is well stocked with such gems. Digging further into the dusty recesses of the shelves however, I found some other long-forgotten yarns: The Long Leg of Notre Dame, David Cannot Field, Oliver Spinner, Lord of the Fly Slips, Catch-22 (clearly a work of fiction), The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Bat, Great Expectations (an early season novel, obviously), Les Miserables (equally obviously, a late-season novel).

And then, right at the back of the furthest stack of books, I came across a dusty, torn, manuscript. It is clearly an early draft of a monumental work, probably written in a cake-induced haze. It tells of the travails of an eager young batsman who finds himself batting with the club's elderly blocker, who clearly hasn't run anywhere for some years, and equally clearly has no intention of starting now.

It is an ancient Cricketer
And he runs just one in three
By thy long grey beard and fading eye
Now wherefore stop'st thou me?

The cover field is open wide
I feel my eye is in
The slips are met, the bowler's set
May'st hear the sledge begin

He holds him with his cry of "no!"
"There was a match", quoth he
"Hold off! Unhand me, grey-beard loon"
Eftsoons his guard took he

He holds him with his cry of "wait!"
The opening bat stood still
And listens like a rookie sub
The Cricketer hath his will

The batsman batted like a stone
He cannot choose but block
And thus spake on that ancient snail
The


The manuscript becomes illegible at this point. I think the author probably descends into a reverie about all the training he has put in to reach this point: stranded at the non-striker's end and unable to reach the business end of the pitch. In his daydream, he takes us back to some early season training session, which will seem eerily familiar to Carlton players.

And now there came both mist and snow
And it grew wondrous cold
And ice, head-high, came floating by
And winter took its hold


After that snippet, a great tear has ripped the page in two. All that is left is what looks like the punch line.

At length did cross a flying bird
Through the fog it came
As if it had been a scary thing
We wished it out of the game

And a good fast ball came down the pitch
The animal watched it
And every ball, both good and bad
The batsman could not hit

"God save thee, ancient Cricketer!
From the wiles of Lady Luck -
Why lookst thou so?" With my air shot
I scored a GOLDEN DUCK..


Tantalisingly, the manuscript ends with the cliff-hanging "Part Two". Maybe I'll find that on a future foray into the murkier corners of the Carlton Library …

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Friday 3rd June

Lothian League
W Carlton Knights v
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Carlton Chargers
 

251

Alasdair 4 wickets

away

255

Fraser 3 wickets

Sports often have a noted connection with a particular sort of food or drink: rugby & beer; tennis & strawberries & cream; football & pies; cricket & … er … cricket & pretty much any and every type of food. Just this week, I have watched cricket at Grange Loan on Tuesday, accompanied by a splendid pizza; coached cricket at Grange Loan on Wednesday accompanied by copious quantities of cake; and finally on Friday watched cricket at Grange Loan, accompanied by a magnificent barbecue. On each occasion, the cricket has been of the highest standard, albeit at different levels on the cricketing spectrum. And so it was that the Under-11 Chargers and Knights took part in this season's junior barbecue, and incidentally played a game of cricket too.

The Chargers batted first. Euan & Gavin F opened the batting, and did so very well, Euan, cool as a cucumber, impressed with his heads-up game management and alert running; Gavin hit 4s with a beefy pull and a couple of more elegant leg glances. For the Knights, Charlie & Thomas bowled well but gave away a few wides. Thomas took a deserved wicket with his final ball, to keep the Chargers to 221. Next up were Ally & Gaby, who found the accurate bowling of Isaac & Fraser hard to handle. Isaac was unlucky to have a catch ruled out for a no-ball (the pleas of his team didn't cut the mustard with umpire Ru Mac), but Fraser showed how it should be done with three wickets, to leave the Chargers tomato-red faced on the same 221 as after the first pair. Dougie & Mark were next up for the Chargers, Gavin M & Maddie bowling for the Knights. Dougie scored a clutch of 4s, one lofted shot drawing cries of "ketchup" from the Knights fielders. A great run-out by Gavin stalled the batters a bit, but they finished on a healthy 235. The final regulation pair of Freddie & Captain Jack added a swashbuckling 20 against the bowling of Grace & Max B, who retaliated with 2 wickets, to reach 254. Jack then returned for a captain's bonus pair of overs, but found Matthew's accurate bowling hard to get away. The Chargers posted 255-8.

The chat at the interval was that the burgers had excelled themselves; serving prosecco by the bottle from the clubhouse was a masterstroke; and that everyone hopes that this weather continues all summer. Oh yes, and that 255 was possibly sub-par for 9 batsmen on a good wicket, even with barbecue smoke and delightful cooking smells drifting offputtingly across the outfield.

The Knights' reply started circumspectly. The opening pair of Thomas & Isaac did what all good openers do: blocked the good balls and dispatched the bad ones for runs. Awkwardly for the purposes of scoring runs, Mark and Gavin were bowling particularly straight, backed up by committed fielding, so there weren't that many bad balls to hit. Gavin took a wicket, which left the Knights on 202. The second pair, Charlie & Max B, Found scoring runs not much easier against more accurate bowling from Euan & Max d'U - making his debut as a fielding sub for the under-11s, and taking a well-deserved wicket. At the half-way-ish point of the innings, the Knights had reached 210. Grace & Maddie followed, facing the bowling of Freddie & Gaby, and running intelligently to keep the fielders on their toes. Freddie took a wicket to hold them back a little, and the Knights reached 222 (we need a scoreboard - no-one noticed this score, so no-one hopped about on one leg, more's the pity). The final pair, Fraser & Gavin, had quite a lot to do, and set about the bowling of Ally and Dougie (emerging from under the wicket-keeper's helmet) with enthusiasm. Unfortunately for them, the bowlers set about their task with considerable enthusiasm too, taking 5 wickets: 2 for Dougie and 3 - all in one breathless over - for Ally, including a magnificent tumbling catch by Freddie. This left the Knights on 235, giving Captain Matthew 2 overs to score 21 runs. Jack bowled the first over for 8 runs. 13 needed off the last over. Dot, 1, 4! 7 off 3 needed. Dot, 2. 4 to tie, 6 to win. The fielders spread to the boundary, Matthew swung, connected … but hit it only as far as a fielder. He gamely ran one run, but the Knights had fallen just short on 251-8.

In the sort of surprising statistical coincidence with which cricket is riven, 250 burgers were consumed at the barbecue. That's thought to be about the par score for these events.

That was a cracking evening's cricket - two skilful sides playing a hard and close game of cricket in a great spirit and in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Evenings like this are, frankly, what cricket should be about.

Thanks to everyone involved: the army of volunteers who kept the burgers and prosecco flowing; Alasdair, Mario & Russell for preparing a grass strip for the under-11s to play on; Cheeky & Ru Mac for umpiring; Alison, Antonia, Bruce & Paul for organising under-11 cricket; and of course, the players themselves for providing such a splendid match to watch.

The teams:

Chargers: Ally, Dougie, Euan, Freddie, Gabriel, Gavin, Jack, Mark, Max d'U (super-sub)

Knights: Charlie, Fraser, Gavin M, Grace, Isaac, Maddie, Matthew, Max B, Thomas

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Friday 10th June

Lothian League
W Carlton Chargers v
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SMRH
 

276

away

219

Gavin 3 wickets, Mark 2, Gabrial 2, Rory 2, Euan 2

Friday evening, 10 June, off to the Baltic wastelands of Peffermill, to watch the Under-11 Chargers take on SMRH. We are warned by our team admin Antonia that recommended gear is polar + thermos of soup, and that every wind on the planet seems to have a grudge against Peffermill. With a turn of phrase like that, she should be writing match reports, not me!

We arrive to an atmospheric setting: Arthur's Seat climbs mysteriously into the swirling mist; an apparently-unused railway line appears from one corner of the ground and disappears into another, with no hint of trains; a tangible dampness in the air inserts its tendrils into every nook and cranny, but utterly fails to dampen the spirits of our players. The pitch looks true but soft, the outfield is mercifully short and green. An energetic warm-up breaks out among the early arrivals. More players appear through the mist - some familiar, some wearing rather more red than is traditional for Carlton players, who turn out to be our opponents.

Players disentangle themselves from supporters; supporters entangle themselves in folding chairs; a coaches' handshake; an anointing of captains. A coin appears - this scene resembles an ancient ritual more and more by the minute. Probably, I suppose, because it is an ancient ritual. Captain Mark flings the coin aloft; the Stew Mel captain, showing an uncanny ability to multi-task, simultaneously skips out of the way of the falling coin and calls "tails". Reams of Carlton website column inches have been written on the subject of the toss. Despite all this research, we still don't really understand what makes a successful toss - the variables are so many: atmospheric conditions; size of coin; enthusiasm of propulsion; what the captain ate for tea … so I am at a loss to explain how it came to pass that despite the coin being flipped skywards with the requisite force, and the prescribed rate of rotation, somehow … somehow … the Stew Mel captain was still able to determine which side would be uppermost when it landed with a soft thud on the mossy turf. Carlton were invited to bat.

 

SMRH's opening bowlers bowled straight and quick. As anticipated from the early pitch inspection, and the general dampness in the air, the odd ball kept low. As did the even ball, and the ones in between, and the ones in between them. Frankly, I wonder why the players wore helmets - knee pads would have been more appropriate attire (Alastair Cook please note). Our opening pair started well, scoring two 4s in the first over, but thereafter the bowlers found their range, taking four clean-bowled wickets. Dougie & Rory followed as our second pair, and set about rebuilding the innings. Rory played a delicate leg glance for 4; Dougie unleashed his classical off-drive. But above all, they ran intelligently, picking up overthrows, not taking risks, generally ensuring - successfully - that they didn't lose any more wickets. Their four overs yielded a vital confidence-reinstating 21 runs.

 

Jack & Mark followed, and continued the good work. They benefited from a couple of dropped catches, but made the most of that with more smart running, to add 16. This left us on 239-5 - the chat on the sidelines revolved around what a par score would be: 255 maybe? Euan & Shaun came in, and immediately demonstrated their intent to better that with some strong hitting. Shaun clobbered a one-bounce four, then repeated the feat a few balls later. Euan also hit the ball well, and was alert to extras - wides were generally enhanced with an additional run. Some of the running was - ahem - ambitious, resulting in one run-out, but the end result was a commanding 37 runs, which left us on 276-6.

Stew Mel's reply started well, they scored 8 runs in the first over. But Mark bowled a wicked second over: a smart catch behind the wicket by Rory, followed by an even smarter run-out by Euan and Rory as the batsmen searched for runs, slowed them considerably. The two wickets seemed to galvanise the Chargers' fielding, they chased and stopped everything, throwing hard and accurately when there was a chance of a run-out, but holding off when the run was a foregone conclusion. Gabriel took two wickets - both bowled - in the 7th over to peg them back even further. The pressure continued: Gavin & Rory applied a tourniquet on the third pair, the team combining for five wickets: a run out; a smart catch by Dougie and a smart stumping by Euan, both off Gavin's bowling; and two clean bowled by Rory. SMRH's fourth pair were left with a lot to do, 69 runs to win to be precise. They started well, striking a fine 4 off the first ball. But Euan & Jack bowled a superb spell, keeping the batsmen to just 2 runs over the next 12 balls, whereupon Euan struck: single, bowled, single, dot, caught-and-bowled. There was no way back, Stew Mel finished on 219-11, incidentally breaking Peffermill's portable scoreboard, which doesn't permit the possibility of more than 9 wickets.

 

That was an excellent team performance. The players worked hard for each other, showed great awareness of the match situation, and backed each other up - verbally and physically - in the field. If they keep that up, they'll be very hard to beat.

Thank you to Ruari for umpiring, Bruce for setting everything up and letting me keep score, and SMRH for being tough but sporting opposition. And of course to the legions of supporters (that's Alastair, Mark, Mary & Rachel - but what a splendid legion).

The team: Dougie, Euan, Jack, Gabriel, Gavin, Mark, Rory, Shaun

 

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Friday 17th June

Lothian League
  Grange 1
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v
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Carlton Chargers
    away  
RAINED OFF
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Friday 24th June

Lothian League
W Carlton Chargers v
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Grange 2
 

286

Gaby 17, Gavin 17, Ally 16

home 251

On a muggy, midgy Friday evening at Grange Loan, the Carlton Chargers gathered for a match against Grange 2.  Boys arrived, kept arriving, and didn't stop arriving.  Even to my Kwik cricket trained eye, there appeared to be more Carlton players than we technically required.  It turned out that the Carlton Knights' game against Grange 1 had been cancelled owing to their hosts' inability to field a team, and some of the players had come to Grange Loan to support their peers (although that support seemed largely to take the form of keeping out of the way in the nets).  A football appeared.  There is potential for scientific research here - how is it that whenever a group of 10- and 11-year-olds are gathered, a football always appears?  Do they spirit it up from thin air?  Does one of them have a pop-up football in their pocket?  Is there maybe a football genie who follows boys around and conjures up footballs on a whim?  If we could understand this phenomenon, could we harness it to power the club house's lights?  Anyway, a football appeared, which sparked what I shall loosely label a warm-up.

 

The boys were treated to a real grass strip, right at the foot of the hill, so that the pitch had an odd look, as if it had been folded slightly along the edge of the wicket.  Grange batted first, possibly because they didn't have a full team at the toss, possibly because captain Rory called correctly and invited them to do so (other possibilities, of course, may exist).  Grange's first pair started well, hitting the ball confidently and hard.  Two elegant cuts sped across the flat half of the pitch and disappeared under the covers protecting the morrow's 1st XI strip.  Our bowlers and fielders persevered, working hard to restrict the runs, and eventually got their reward, Shaun bowling one of the batsmen round his legs.  The second pair were not quite so accomplished strikers of the ball, and Dougie & Jack restricted them to a miserly 4 runs.  Dougie bowled a maiden, and a second over for just one run; Jack's second over ended with well-executed run-out.  The third pair didn't find it much easier to score runs: Ally clean bowled one batsman - watching a straight one but apparently forgetting to hit it; Gavin got a wicket, this one a magnificent one-handed diving catch by Shaun, right in front of a rather startled square-off umpire.  That was the fielding highlight, but in truth all the fielding was excellent: the boys stopped (almost) everything, backed each other up and generally encouraged each other in the field.  Grange's final pair attempted to pick up the tempo, but captain Rory bowled one batsman in their first over, and Mark bowled a menacing spell, fast, straight and from a considerable height, and was unlucky not to add another wicket.  All this bowling and fielding endeavour left Grange on 251-5 which, even accounting for the hill on the leg side, seemed under-par.

The Chargers' batsmen set to work patiently to overhaul this total.  Gavin & Shaun opened with some alert running, being quite happy to push the ball into the untenanted in-field and steal a single, as well as hitting the ball harder for more runs.  Pick of the shots were two drives across the cover boundary by Gavin.  They provided - as openers ideally do - a solid platform, scoring 20-1.  Ally & Dougie followed.  Their first over was a masterpiece of strike-rotation: little nurdles off the legs, prods into the off-side, all backed up with scampered singles.  On the sidelines, we could sense the pressure building on the fielders - they were having to do a lot of work.  The second over featured more of the same (plus alas a wicket), and although they stalled a little in the second half of their innings, Ally & Dougie ran in 16-1.  Jack & captain Rory followed much the same template: hit the ball, but don't try to over-hit, and run hard.  They nicked singles, nicked doubles and generally caused trouble for the fielders.  Although they lost a wicket, the fielders' concentration was wavering - small mistakes began to appear which led to extra runs, and finally, on the last ball, four overthrows.  At the end of all this scampering, Jack & Rory had added 20-1.  At this point, we were ahead: Grange needed wickets, the Chargers needed not to lose any.  This can be an awkward position, but not for Gaby and Mark.  They kept up the pressure on some increasingly ragged fielding, hitting, running and generally causing fielding mayhem.  Without any particularly extravagant shots, and with almost no risk-taking at all, they accumulated another 27 runs without losing a wicket, to seal a clear win with 281-3.  It is a measure of how hard the boys ran, and of how carefully they batted, that that total includes only 6 boundaries, 2 of them overthrows.  On another day, we'll need the big hits to chase down a bigger target, but for today's match situation, that was a very mature and thoughtful batting performance.

That was an excellent team effort, everyone worked hard, everyone contributed in several ways.  Even better, the team worked together, and thoroughly deserved their win.  There was some discussion after as to who was man of the match, but from my vantage point, the whole team performance was so uniformly excellent and even that my award would go to the Chargers en masse.

Match summary:

- Grange 251-5 (Ally 2-0-1-1, Dougie 2-1-1-0, Jack 2-0-3-1, Rory 2-0-2-1)                                                                                                          

- Carlton 286-3 (Gaby 17, Gavin 17, Ally 16)

Thanks as ever to Antonia & Bruce for running the team, Mario for umpiring, and Alasdair for preparing the strip and putting up with under-11 fielders running around on the rest of the square.

The team: Ally, Dougie, Gaby, Gavin, Jack, Mark, Rory, Shaun

 

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Friday 1st July

Lothian League
  Watsonians
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v
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Carlton Chargers
   

away

 
RAINED OFF
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Friday 5th August

Lothian League
L Carlton Chargers
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v
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Carlton Knights
  270

home

284
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Friday 12th August

Lothian League
  SMRH
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v
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Carlton Chargers
    away  
RAINED OFF
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Friday 19th August

Lothian League
  Carlton Chargers
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v
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Grange 1
   

home

 
RAINED OFF
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Friday 26th August

Lothian League
  Grange 2
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v
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Carlton Chargers
   

away

 
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