Carlton 5th XI 2018 Fixtures and Results
Saturday 5th May 12.30pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Carlton 5
v
Falkland 3

H

Pef

Carlton 5s 91 all out

lost to

Falkland 3s 92 for 4

Scorecard

The Famous Fives opened the 2018 season with a "home" fixture at a mostly bright and definitely breezy Peffermill.  Cruelly shorn of regular skipper Shaun (whose whereabouts were discussed in hushed whispers in the ranks - injured?  Incarcerated?  Captaining Rajasthan Royals as late cover for Steve Smith?), stalwart Keith Murray took the reins for a tough-looking fixture against Falkland 3s - one of the Fives' strongest opponents from the previous season.


As usual, the sage heads of the selection committee had provided the Fives with a team carefully blended to have: (i) the perfect mean age of 30; and (ii) as few players as mathematically possible whose actual age is within 15 years of the median.  Some of the more experienced members of the Carlton playing roster were therefore supported (figuratively, for the most part) by a cadre of promising youngsters taking their first steps in senior cricket, including Rudy Adair making his debut.


Skipper Keith's first action was to safely secure a silver medal at the toss - Falkland looking at cloudy skies and that stiff breeze pushing across the ground and electing to field.  Uncle/nephew unit K and G Murray padded up to open - to some consternation in the ranks after the run-out incident from last year that absolutely is never mentioned at all, ever, by anyone concerned. As last year, the Falkland opening bowlers (particularly the excellent T.Palin, 7-2-9-2) were of a standard considerably above that which would usually be seen at the Fives' level.  However, Keith and Gavin stuck in well and took what they could from parsimonious fare.  Gavin was finally out, bowled by Palin for 4, but having resisted for 10 overs in total in an excellent innings (20-1). 

Keith, perhaps conscious of a slow-ish run rate, then went a little too hard at one that nipped back from K Glen, bowled for 9.  Fives 23-2 from 13 overs.  Paul Stones was unlucky, deceived by a good slower ball, the last of Glen's spell (P Stones 1 (according to the score-book at least, Paul is adamant that there was a second run in there somewhere... so probably best say 2 if he asks), 28-3, 16 overs), leaving Charlie Kentish and John Beattie to get some momentum going - and both batting nicely against the young Falkland spinners.  Charlie looked very solid but departed for a well-made 8, bowled by Briggs (38-4), bringing Paul Bailey to the crease.  With the full horror of running between the wickets after the winter break dawning on him, Paul stroked the first boundary of the innings before sweeping P.Matthews hard to a tumbling square leg (P.Bailey 7, 54-5 from 26). 

Jamie Beattie joined his dad in the middle for the second family partnership of the match - and a fruitful one it was, with John batting watchfully while rotating the strike and Jamie hitting some beautifully-timed drives and cuts through the off side.  A 20-run partnership brought the score to 74 before John was stumped off the bowling of Briggs (John Beattie 14, 74-6 from 31).  Ivan Dawson was the fourth junior up, and after a couple of good scoring shots a mix-up resulted in an unfortunate run out (I Dawson 3, 83-7). With considerable justification, Jamie didn't look all that confident at the sight of the "E" variety of Murray coming out to join him - and the return of Palin saw him steer one to gully while trying to keep the score moving (Jamie Beattie 17, 89-8).  Rudy's debut with the bat saw him see off several very testing deliveries from Palin (some introduction to senior cricket, that, and well played), but both he and David Carter were bowled by Bell in the 35th over (R Adair 1, D Carter 0), leaving Euan Murray stranded on 5* and the Fives 91 all out.


Tea was a sumptious affair, easily of the standard expected when served from a plastic table in the teeth of a gale at Peffermill.  The abundance of empire biscuits was such that photographs were taken for posterity, and tales will be told of the Great Empire Biscuit Tea of '18.


The Fives' total always looked as if it would be light, but Keith roused his bowlers to battle with some Brearley-level captaincy, explaining that all the team need do to win was take 10 wickets while conceding fewer than 91 runs.  Nodding at the sagacity of this analysis, the Fives took the field.


Fresh from his excellent innings, his skipper's inspiring words ringing in his ears, Jamie opened the bowling.  Both he and Ivan, from the other end, had great success when pitching it up - but a succession of plays-and-misses just wouldn't translate into a nick, and the Falkland openers were quickly onto anything short or too full.  Finally, in the fifth over, Jamie induced an uppish drive from the extremely dangerous Langlands which was brilliantly snared by Charlie at point (Ja Beattie 4-0-22-1).  Ivan was also rewarded with just his second senior wicket, having the courage to pitch it up and sending Glen's bails flying (I Dawson 4-0-24-1). 

First change saw the experience of DC paired with Rudy making his bowling debut.  Both restricted the scoring considerably - Dave with control of flight and changes of pace, and Rudy getting some lateral movement on a lovely line and length.  A thoroughly deserved first senior wicket for Rudy came in the 16th over - beating Bell all ends up with a beauty which angled in and seamed away to take the top of off (R Adair 4-0-8-1).  Dave continued, with Charlie replacing Rudy for a couple of overs - no joy, but good wheels as always from the young quick (C Kentish (2-0-10-0).   

As DC''s spell concluded (D Carter 6-0-19-0) the scores were tied with only 20 overs bowled - what better time for the captain to toss the ball to a new bowler?  Keith clearly knew what he was doing, however, as Euan struck with his first (and, let's all hope, worst) ball of the season - a hideous half-track loosener swiped into the heavens by Barclay and pouched by the skipper himself at slip.  The winning boundary was hit a few balls later (E Murray 1-0-4-1) - Falkland win by 6 wickets.


So - an opening loss, maybe, but as ever with the Fives there is a lot more to the story than just a result.  All five juniors contributed something really positive to the team and will, hopefully, have picked up that extra bit of match experience and confidence that will ultimately help them become better players.  And this was a good test, too, against a strong Falkland team boasting some excellent individual players and a couple of talented youngsters of their own - great to see other clubs giving their juniors a platform into league cricket.  A particular thank-you, too, to young Aaron from the Falkland XI who generously fielded (very well) for the Fives for 12 overs after Jamie turned his ankle.  Well played, and we're looking forward to the return later in the summer.

Saturday 12th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Gala-Hawick 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Carlton 5s 89 all out (Keith Murray 37)

lost to

Gala/Hawick 2s 90 for 1

Scorecard

The Famous Fives travelled the many miles from Grange Loan to Galashiels for the second game of the season. Well - most of them, anyway, this being continuing stand-in skipper Keith Murray's de facto home match of the season, with Gala a mere skip down the road from Chez Murray. The mysterious whereabouts of Shaun continued to attract idle gossip in the ranks - whispers of preparation for a key role in the upcoming Royal wedding the most plausible reason given for his continued absence.

Casting around for words to describe the Fives' latest venture, "drenched" is probably the most appropriate. Gala's neck of the Borders was drenched in improbable sunshine for the actual game, while the - quaintly uncovered - pitch had been drenched in somewhat more predictable torrential rain the night before. John Beattie's attempt to test the suspect firmness of the surface by pressing with his thumb resulted in a perfect thumb-shaped imprint in the pitch, giving rise to two immediate thoughts: (i) win the toss and have a bowl; and (ii) when batting, watch out for any balls pitched on the resultant dent.

However, skipper Keith had other plans at the toss, securing another top-two finish. This, coupled with the glaring absence of Derek Underwood from the Fives' teamsheet, left a feeling of some unease in the ranks. Gala hesitated whole fractions of a second before inviting the Fives to have a bat. Keith and Ewan Hutchinson strode out to the middle - the usual ritual of taking guard only enhanced by the need to take care not to stand in one spot for too long in case they started to sink.

The Gala bowlers clearly knew their own turf, and immediately pitched it well up with pace off the ball - relying on slow, variable bounce and the pronounced slope to do their work for them. Keith and Ewan both played straight and sensibly, but runs were difficult to come by. The drinks break arrived with the openers clinging on gamely, but only 43 on the board. With a clear need to get on with it from a decent platform, Keith seized the opportunity to hit consecutive boundaries, including only his second ever six off Carlton Women’s Charis, (who also plays for Gala/Hawick) only to be bowled by her with a cleverly flighted delivery in her next over for 37. The Fives were 55 for 1 after 23 overs. John came in at No.3 after a long wait. This, alas, opened the floodgates somewhat and wickets started to clatter down - Ewan caught at midwicket for an important 13 (plus, surely, a bonus point for some golf crossover when taking a lovely 7-iron divot out of the pitch), rapidly followed by Paul Stones (0, another slower ball his undoing); Stuart Dawson (0, making his first ever appearance for Carlton) and Al Murray (2), all bowled by the awkward G Mein (8-3-13-4). Euan Murray clattered a few boundaries before being foxed by the uneven bounce and under-edging one onto his stumps (E Murray 13), and John, who'd played solidly while carnage unfolded at the other end, became the sixth wicket to fall bowled (J Beattie 7) - probably nothing to do with the thumb-dent, though. With overs running out Ivan and Billy rightly looked to play shots, but timing the ball on the doughy surface was no easy task and they were both caught (I Dawson 0, B Bertram 0). Ellie and DC looked to have the start of a decent partnership, until S Paterson (6.5-5-1-3) took a stunning one-handed return catch from DC (D Carter 1), leaving Ellie stranded at the other end (E Hird 1*) and the Fives a meagre 89ao in the 38th over.

Gala were kind enough to provide a fabulous tea - in the unfamiliar surroundings of a lovely clubhouse rather than a wind-scoured scorer's table - the lack of empire biscuits more than made up for by an awesome pie/sausage roll selection and some lovely home baking.

Meantime, the pitch was drying out nicely under the wall-to-wall sunshine and the Gala openers were happy to let it do so for as long as possible before starting their reply. Ivan and Billy opened the bowling and immediately found that the pitch was completely unresponsive to anything even remotely short - but both had the batsmen in trouble with fuller balls, and they each used the slope well to shape the ball past the outside edge on multiple occasions - Ellie working really hard behind the stumps to deal with inconsistent carry. Ivan struck in his third over, a low catch held well by Dawson Snr - ensuring that there wouldn't be another family incident of the magnitude of the Murray Run-Out (I Dawson 4-0-20-1) - and while Billy had no luck his spell was more than tidy and on another day could easily have yielded two or three wickets (B Bertram 4-0-16-0). Keith then turned to spin with Ewan and experience with DC. As in the previous innings, less pace magnified the effects of the slow bounce and there were plenty of plays-and-misses and some mistimed shots in the air - however, it was turning into one of those days in the field where nothing would stick. Hutchie made way (E Hutchinson 3-0-18-0) for a trundle from the properly-spelled Euan, who couldn't find a way through either (E Murray 2-0-6-0), and despite DC's best efforts (D Carter 5-0-20-0) Gala were easily home in the 18th over. Gala Hawick 2 win by 9 wickets.

A second very similar defeat in a row for the Fives, failing to get enough runs on the board while batting first. The pitch was certainly a factor in this match and it was an unfortunate toss to lose - the result could well have been different with roles reversed. A great effort put in by Ivan, Billy and Ewan, however, while bowling with only a small total to defend - and a particular mention for Ellie, taking the gloves for the first time in 9 months on a difficult wicket for keepers. And ultimately it was a glorious day for a game, with Meigle Park giving even Grange Loan a serious run for its money as a beautiful place to play cricket. Many thanks to Gala for hosting us so generously and in such good spirit.

Saturday 19th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Carlton 5
v
Boroughmuir 2

H

Inch

Carlton 5s 101 all out

lost to

Boroughmuir 2s 102 for 2

Scorecard

Questions, questions, questions. On a beautiful summer's day at Inch Park, this week's "home" for the nomadic Famous Fives, questions were on everyone's lips. Would Shaun return? Could the toss be won? Might the Fives batting line-up, stiffened by Murray Johnson, Ru McIntyre and the newly-slimline Martin "Boom Boom" Robertson, break the magic 100 run barrier? Would the selection committee manage to find the team a keeper?

As the ranks assembled at Inch Park, taking a moment on their way to sweep water bottles, McFlurry containers and crisp packets from the lush outfield (blooming with a lovely display of daisy and dandelion flowers) the first answers came trickling in. Stand-in skipper Keith continued to hold the reins (Shaun apparently busy in Lisbon, leading an inquiry into events leading up to the stage invasion suffered by SuRie at the recent Eurovision Song Contest), and his team included young Max D'Ulisse, making his senior debut, as 'keeper. Interestingly, Max's call up allowed the Fives to beat their own recently-set Stat of the Day - the age range from youngest to oldest player on the teamsheet stretched by an additional year to a seriously impressive 61.

Other answers were less welcome. Keith had been spotted in intensive training at Tuesday's nets, working on calling correctly. Unfortunately, the tenacious defensive technique for which his batting is famed again translated poorly to the coin-toss milieu - the skipper only able to extend his perfect losing record to three from three. Boroughmuir invited the Fives to have a bat.

Keith and Murray picked their way through the wildflowers and divots, arriving safely at the crease to open. Batting immediately looked a precarious proposition, with marked variable bounce on offer from both ends of the artificial strip. The openers proceeded cautiously, until Murray flicked one straight to the man at square leg in the fourth over (M Johnson 1). RuaMac, in at three, couldn't repeat his recent destructive form, bowled by a good inswinger for a couple (R McIntyre 2). Ikra joined the skipper in the middle with the Fives' innings already in need of some re-building. The two put on a solid 37 in the next 17 overs, only ended by a run-out showcasing good fielding, somewhat less good calling, and Keith's knees (K Murray 23); Ewan Hutchinson next in. Ikra was immediately next to go - perhaps distracted by a spot of guilt over that call - feathering one behind while looking for the cut (I Farooq 8) and the Fives wobbling on 49/4 from 25. Martin and Hutchie set about upping the rate with a combination of well-taken sharp singles and some trademark Robertson boundaries - 31 shared by them in the next five overs before both were cleaned up by A Hodge with a bit of assistance from the pitch (M Robertson 18; E Hutchinson 12). Paul Stones and Stuart Dawson made a similarly assertive start, a boundary apiece, and (with a few positive words of encouragement from the sidelines) some singles too. At 99 for 6, things were looking somewhat better than in the previous two matches. However, their promising partnership of 13 was broken with the loss of Paul's off stump (P Stones 7). Euan Murray - handsomely rewarded for last week's half-decent effort with the bat with a demotion to 9 - came out, only to see Stuart's stumps splattered by one that kept low as he tried to get on with it (S Dawson 4). A significant moment, though, as that brought Max to the crease for the first time in senior cricket - the youngster immediately looking right at home with a solid block. Rather unsentimentally, the Boroughmuir square leg chose next ball to pluck a magnificent diving catch off the turf from a nicely-timed flick (M D'Ulisse 0). DC came out with licence to go hard, unlucky to middle one straight to cover (D Carter 0), leaving Euan stranded on 0* and the Fives just barely into the magic three figures, 101ao, with 10 balls left unbowled.

Your correspondent will hand over to Murray for a summary of tea: "A good spread, although not the best balance between sweet and savoury. The proportions are wrong, too much sweet - it's 75/25 and should be closer to 50/50". This analysis did not, it should be noted, seem to put Murray off a thorough enjoyment of the majority of sweet items on offer.

Suitably refuelled, the Fives took the field. RuaMac and Euan opened the bowling, hoping to take advantage of the surface and make some early inroads. Sadly, both suffered frustrating spells - a few shots spooned up which dropped safe, some nicks that went straight down, a tough chance that Max just couldn't cling on to, and a decent lbw shout denied - Rua in particular bowling with good pace and inducing a number of false shots. On another day he could have had three or four. G Dickson, opening for Boroughmuir, did himself a fairly serious looking mischief in taking a quick single - unfortunately his resulting lack of mobility encouraged him to stand and try to smash every ball and the rate was getting out of hand. Euan made way for DC (E Murray 4-0-21-0) and Rua for Ikra (R McIntyre 5-0-36-0). G Dickson finally retired hurt, but the excellent I Mohammed was in full flow at the other end. DC, however, frustrated him with a tight couple of overs and almost did for him with one that came back off the edge of the arti. “Good use of the pitch DC” boomed the skipper. DC eventually got him to attempt to hit one over the top - but could only fire a drive straight at mid-on, Euan taking a smart catch (D Carter 4-0-13-1). Not to be outdone, Ikra continued to give it some flight and revs from the other end - rewarded for a good spell with a sensational diving take from Rua at midwicket (I Farooq 4-0-30-1). The door was definitely ajar for the Fives, but there were just too few runs on the board and Boroughmuir, perhaps slightly nervously, found the last few they needed. Boroughmuir win by 8 wickets.

What to say following the Fives' third virtually identical loss in a row? Well - it takes something a bit special to come in to your first senior game, aged 11, and be asked to keep on a minefield to a sharp opening bowler (and admittedly, in the shape of your correspondent, a considerably less sharp one), with the added pressure of a small total to defend. A great debut from Max, who looked right at home in senior cricket and did an excellent job behind the stumps - this undoubtedly the first of many appearances for Carlton. He had lots of chat and coped particularly well with the many low deliveries. The Fives catching and ground fielding was much improved, with plenty of energy and enthusiasm provided by juniors and seniors alike. And once again, there was really nothing wrong with this performance against one of the strongest teams in the league that an extra 30 runs on the board wouldn't have gone a long way to fixing - the margin of defeat might look large, but with the three best opposition batsmen back in the hutch (and/or badly injured, but we'll take what we can get) there was definitely an air of concern about the ‘Muir batting at the end. Congratulations to Boroughmuir, and thanks - this game played in exactly the right spirit and all the more enjoyable for that.

Saturday 26th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Marchmont 3
v
Carlton 5
A

Marchmont 3s 158 for 9 (Fin Gibb 3 for 20)

beat

Carlton 5s 114 all out

Scorecard

The 5s assembled at a sunny Cavalry Park for their fourth outing of season against table topping Marchmont, conscious that they had yet to win a match or even post a competitive total so far this season. They were determined to improve on previous performances.

There was the usual mixture of youth and experience, with two new debutants in Finn Gibb and 11 year old Ben Stronach joining seasoned 5s junior regulars Ivan Dawson and keeper Max D'Ulise. The 5s also welcomed the return of Ian Thomson and Charles Stronach, who was keeping a fatherly eye on young Ben.

Stand-in skipper Keith Murray had lost the first three tosses of the season and was keen to end this unfortunate run. He therefore took the precaution of negotiating with Rob Trantor, the Marchmont captain, to dispense with the toss and allow the 5s to bowl first. Rob sportingly agreed, something he may have regretted when he was bowled by the excellent Finn in the first over! The perfect start for the 5s.

Finn was well supported by Ivan at the other end and Max behind the stumps, who coped really well with the bouncy Astro, interspersing acrobatic stops with cheeky chirp and enthusiastic appeals. Unlike in previous games, the 5s did not let the opposition batters get away to a good start and Finn in particular bowled great line and length. He made way for Ikra and Ben replaced Ivan. Ben picked up his first league wicket when he tempted the Marchmont number 3 Wilson to pick out Ian at cover, who took a solid catch. Ikra also bowled a tidy spell, beating the bat on numerous occasions (8-0-41-0) and Charles Stronach tied up one end, bowling with great accuracy off a two step run up. The home side also survived a great run out chance when a mis-judged run to Paul Stones would have surely resulted in a wicket if the sharp throw from Paul had not hit the uneven ground and ballooned high over the diminutive Max’s head as he was waiting to whip the bails off.

However, at drinks, Marchmont were 75 for 2. The 5s were well in the game.

After drinks, the 5s capitalised on another run out chance, when good work from Ian in the covers allowed Ikra to run out the remaining Marchmont opener, Fraser. Finn returned for a second spell and had the dangerous Mascarenhas trapped LBW. He also bowled another to end with excellent figures on debut of 8-2-20-3. A great example of good line and pitching the ball up to get just rewards. Ben also came back and took a caught and bowled to get his second league wicket on debut. This was thoroughly deserved as his consistent line had caused problems for all the batters that faced him. A future star, no doubt. His figures were 8-0-40-2.

Charles then got in on the act, clearly not wanting to be out played by his 11 year old son! He took a couple of wickets (8-3-13-2) and Ivan returned to bowl a great final spell, full of hostility and accuracy. He was rewarded with a well deserved caught and bowled (8-0-27-1). Marchmont finished their innings on a relatively modest 158 for 9.

Tea was taken al fresco and the 5s felt they were in with a real chance of their first victory of the season. Keith and Ikra opened the batting, but the excellent Mascarenhas bowled with good pace, movement and accuracy to bowl Ikra and then Ian in the same over. Paul came in and hit a couple of fine boundaries before being bowled by a good ball. Keith fell shortly thereafter LBW, trying to sweep the first change spinner. John Beattie defended resolutely and was joined by Ben, who demonstrated that he is a genuine all rounder, batting with great technique and then clubbing a poor ball over mid wicket for four, before eventually being bowled by another good ball. Martin then came in and hit some trademark boundaries before picking out backward point, who took a good catch. When Finn then chipped another catch, the 5s run chase was now in serious trouble.

Charles then came to the wicket. He hit a number of fine boundaries in his distinctive style, flicking anything wayward to leg. This was starting to cause the Marchmont fielders some concern. The score advanced quickly to over a hundred and there were still enough overs left for the 5s to win the match. Unfortunately, Charles then fell LBW to the Marchmont skipper in a decisive moment of the game for 21 and when John was bowled by the returning Mascarenhas shortly thereafter for an obdurate 20, the 5s position looked hopeless. This left only Ivan and Max to get the 50 odd runs required. They firstly set about getting the next batting point at 110, which they duly achieved courtesy of a lusty blow for four from Ivan and sharp running from Max. However, any chance of greater glory was extinguished by Ivan’s next big hit being taken by a good catch by Rob at deep mid off. The Fives were all out for 114.

Although this was another loss, the bowling and fielding performance was very good against the top team in the league. Particular credit should go to all three junior bowlers and Max who kept so gamely being the stumps. If one of the senior players had capitalised on their start and made a decent score, this was a game the 5s could and perhaps should have have won. However, there were lots of positives in what was without doubt the best performance of the season to date.

A big thank you to Rob and his team for agreeing to let us bowl first and for playing the game in such excellent spirit throughout. Good luck for the rest of the season.

The 5s have now given debuts to 4 junior players in their first 4 matches this year. All of the debutants have performed very well and looked very much at home in senior cricket. We have also played some of the stronger teams in the league, but that elusive win is still to come. Maybe next week.....

Saturday 2nd June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
W
Carlton 5
v
Penicuik 2

H

Pef

Penicuik 2s 112 all out (Euan Murray 4 for 10)

lost to

Carlton 5s 113 for 8

Scorecard

As the unseasonably warm weather continued, there was one streak which the Famous Fives hoped fervently to beat - four losses on the trot perhaps starting to weigh slightly on even the most upbeat characters in the ranks. Still, there was much to be positive - the tantalising prospect of an actual win at the toss; a whisper that home-baked cake would be provided for tea by latest debutant Rory Ledingham's mum; the unheard-of luxury of a choice of 'keepers.

Arriving "home" to the welcoming outer orbits of Peffermill, jauntily overlooked by the neighbourhood tower blocks, Shaun settled immediately back into the role of captain - first winning the toss, then cheerfully delegating wicketkeeping duties to Ian Thomson, who had unwisely mentioned within the skipper's earshot that he might once have kept for a couple of overs in 1979. Gav Murray, displaying the wisdom accrued during years of experience with the 5s, had previously made it clear to Shaun that he was sufficiently injured to prevent 'keeping, but not so seriously as to stop him from fielding at backward point, opening the batting, and perhaps having a bit of a bowl.

Unfortunately, the Fives found themselves two men short at the start of the innings - Euan Keatinge still en route from a previous game, and one man permanently down thanks to an unfortunate Teamer mishap. On the plus side, Penicuik were also shorthanded and could only field 9. Driving away any possible despondency, John Beattie put some fire into the Fives' bellies by reminding them that they each only needed to cover as much ground as two fielders to make up the difference - sage advice worthy of the absent stand-in skipper Keith.

Jamie Beattie and Euan Murray opened the bowling - Jamie thanks to his pace, guile, and oft-demonstrated skill as a new ball bowler, and your correspondent on the basis that he had agreed to do the match report in exchange.

Conditions were perfect for a bowl - a decent grass strip, warm and humid, plenty of cloud about. And happily the Fives attack was up the task of utilising them - Jamie and Euan both settling into a rhythm and sending down some good stuff. Euan once again struck with his first ball of the match (a slightly better effort than last time round - a regulation nick confidently pouched by Ian behind the sticks) and Jamie followed up with a well-deserved wicket in his fifth over, beating the Penicuik opener all ends up for pace (not for the first time) and knocking back his leg stump. Euan then took his second - a monstrous hoick across the line spiralling way, way high into the hazy skies, DC waiting an absolute age to watch it safely into his clutches at mid-off. Never in doubt, the skipper indicated how confident he'd been - "Honestly, Dave, I thought that was going to kill you".

After 10, Penicuik were looking shaky at 18-3. Rory and DC were first change, and Rory sent down a lovely spell on debut - tight lines and a bit of bounce from a good length caused some serious alarm, and despite finishing wicketless this was a rock-solid start (R Ledingham 5-1-20-0). DC should have had the excellent Snodgrass caught at mid-on when he skied one - a high, hanging catch grassed by your correspondent the only blot on the Fives' otherwise excellent fielding copy-book. Some amends were made shortly afterwards, a much harder diving catch taken this time by Euan M at mid-on - DC bowled through and definitely unfortunate just to have the one in the wickets column (D Carter 8-0-36-1). At drinks, Penicuik were 58-4.

The arrival of Euan K at the ground gave the skipper an additional spin option, and he turned to the young leggie to replace Rory. A brace of wickets just reward from Keatinge Minor's spell - a full one cleaning up G Ingram; and the properly-spelled Euan axis then doing for F Hafiz, deceived in the flight and only able to chip one straight to Euan M at cover (E Keatinge 5-0-29-2). With 27 bowled and the score 93-6, Jamie and Euan M, were recalled, Jamie finishing with a beautifully bowled 6-1-16-1 and Euan M cleaning up the Penicuik tail, somehow ending (to the great surprise of all watching, not least himself) with 7.5-3-10-4. Penicuik 112 a.o. in the 31st, mostly thanks to a wonderful knock from young Oliver Snodgrass, undefeated on 72* - well batted, and clearly a very promising talent.

Tea was of such quality that the participants stared in wonder, querying aloud whether they stood at Peffermill in a gentle June mizzle, or upon the very Elysian Fields themselves. The scorers' table groaned under the weight of home-baked cakes which adorned it, and a veritable cornucopia of delights - Empire biscuits; sandwiches, pillow-soft in their plumpness; glistening summer fruits; and others too varied to mention - was displayed in great profusion. John and Sarah (Rory's mum) vied for bragging rights on the finest cake, but despite carefully sampling three slices of each for the purposes of rigorous research your correspondent is unable to indicate which was superior. Same again next time please, all, and I'll try to decide.

The Fives recognised that a target of 113 should be well within reach with a bit of sensible batting. However, the humid and overcast skies of the first innings had made way for some persistent drizzle which quickly clung to the outfield and slowed it up considerably. Runs would be hard-earned. John and Gav strode out through the rain to begin the reply. Gav made a watchful start and had tucked away a couple of neat twos before being returned by the finger of doom - pinned in front by one that kept down (G Murray 6). Gav's departure brought the junior Beattie to the crease, and the Fives benefited from the second excellent Ja/Jo Beattie partnership of the season, 37 added in good order before Beattie the Younger was tempted by the slow right arm of the ominously-named Scar and spooned one up to short extra cover (Jamie Beattie 13 - a good innings, Jamie doing well to recover from a nasty blow inflicted by Snodgrass).

Euan K next up, his first contribution to ping a boundary off the front foot and generally look the business in the middle. At drinks, the Fives were right on target at 52-2. Beattie the not-so-Younger was next to be undone by Scar (don't worry though, kids, Simba beats him in the end) - another one that kept a bit low as the pitch absorbed the rain, and another victim of the finger of doom - but a good knock nonetheless and just what was required in the situation (John Beattie 20).

Paul Bailey ran some lesser-spotted twos to the slow outfield, but was the third to fall to the itchy trigger finger and be sent back LBW (P Bailey 6), Ian Thomson taking his place. Euan K was Scar's next victim, caught in the ring for a combative 10. His departure brought debutant Rory to the crease. Never an easy job to come out in a pressure situation, 34 needed from 10 with just three wickets in hand, but Rory took to the crease as the proverbial duck to water, working the sharp pace of Snodgrass around the field entirely untroubled and hitting a rare boundary. His enthusiasm was perhaps a slight mismatch for Ian's knees (which had, let's not forget, kept for 31 overs) at the other end, but he gamely kept up with some well-called 2s.

Snodgrass eventually got one through and onto off stump but a superb knock from Rory on debut, getting a bit of impetus into the innings at exactly the right time and putting the Fives firmly back into the driving seat (R Ledingham 13). The skipper himself sauntered nonchalantly to the middle, pausing only briefly to remember whether he batted with his glasses on or off. A quite extraordinary passage of play followed - Shaun pushing one to mid-off and setting off for an... assertive single, the throw missing by a mile at the bowler's end with the skipper having made it at least eleven of the twenty-two yards down the pitch. A similarly assertive call to the arm of the fielder backing up the overthrow resulted in an identical miss at the striker's end, the skipper this time a mere five or six yards short of his ground. And away we went again, another single to the fielder backing up, Shaun "sprinting" back towards the non-strikers' end, where a fumble allowed him to make the scant seven or eight yards to safe ground. The scorebook records this wretched affair rather more succinctly as "3". Ian was unfortunate to fall bowled to Snodgrass (I Thomson 9, although he ran closer to 30), bringing Euan M to the crease. Alas, his attempts to burnish (or, indeed, establish) all-round credentials were ended by an ill-advised swipe at one which pitched half-way and made it at least six inches off the ground on its unerring way to leg stump (E Murray 0).

So - DC the last man in, 105 on the clock with 36 bowled and still eight needed. Sir Alex Ferguson's squeaky bum time: the tension etched on the faces of the ranks, watching with chewed nails and sweat-stained shirts; a waft of hircus mixing with the air of concern. 37th - just a bye, 106 the score and 7 needed. 38th - two byes, a wide, two huge shouts for LBW against DC bringing hearts to mouths, two more byes, a single - scores tied. And Shaun nudged the final ball out into the covers for - this time - an easy single and a very hard fought win (D Carter 1*; S Barrett 9*). Carlton 5s beat Penicuik 2s by one wicket.

A much deserved win for the Fives, and three worthy of special mention - Rory had a fabulous game on debut, bowling with good control and really showing how it should be done with the bat, very well played. Ian kept with distinction and can take a great deal of credit - the tally of byes stood at just 2 conceded by Carton against 19 by Penicuik, the difference compensating for the slower outfield during the Fives' innings. Finally Euan Murray with ball and two excellent catches in the field had his best day for the famous fives. Plenty of energy from everyone in the field, maintained as ever by John's unceasing enthusiasm.

Penicuik's young No.3 batted brilliantly in difficult conditions and can count himself unlucky to be on the losing end of this one - hopefully he will win many more games for his side, at least until we play them again... Many thanks indeed to Penicuik for a properly enjoyable game of cricket.

Saturday 9th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
W
Dunfermline & Carnegie 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Dunfermline & Carnegie 2s 150 for 5

lost to

Carlton 5s 154 for 0 (David Simpson 71*, Paul Bailey 62*)

Scorecard

The Queensferry Crossing briefly held the world record as the world's largest freestanding cantilever structure - at least, until the central section was joined to the ends. The Famous Fives made their latest away trip across this marvel of modern engineering - a rare but welcome foray to the ancient, hallowed lands of Fife - little imagining that a number of other records would be established by the end of the day.

Before thoughts could turn to an actual game of cricket, however, there was the small matter of procuring a team worthy of sporting the legendary garb of the Fives. Your correspondent had, as is his wont, checked Teamer late on Friday evening to familiarise himself with his teammates (and ascertain the relative likelihood of getting a bowl, always a dicey proposition when the probability of eight or nine demonstrably better bowlers being picked is so close to 1.0). But what horror was this? - a veritable sea of "Declines" staring back from the screen of his phone, and a mere seven players indicating their availability. Your correspondent was (almost) put off his Friday evening G&T, and arrived nervously at Grange Loan next morning - could this be the Fives' very own Waterloo, unable to raise a team?

Thankfully, a combination of the stellar efforts of the selection committee and proud answers to the clarion call from some of the lesser-seen members of the senior playing roster meant that the Fives saddled up just one short, with four juniors and six adults - each of whom had been carefully screened for vertical posture and a pulse, and cleared to play with a minimum of one from two present. Young Dougie Firth would make his senior debut, the fifth of the season. And the first of the day's records would be set, with Max D'Ulisse and Paul Bailey taking the field together. Measuring the gap in years doesn't really do justice to this one: reflect for a moment, please, on the 22,392 days which separate their respective birthdays between 1945 and 2007. Cricket, eh - what's not to love about a sport (and, dare we say, a club) which lets them play together?

Picturesque McKane park was bathed in sunlight as the teams prepared for play. The skippers sauntered to the middle to inspect the pitch and conduct the formalities of the toss, the ranks eagerly searching for an indication of the result as they walked back the pavilion. "Neither of us had a coin" came the unexpected, yet somehow entirely predictable, reply. All a ruse from skipper Shaun, the delay carefully calculated to outfox the D&C captain and secure a second consecutive win.

The Fives limbered up for a bowl. Ivan Dawson was a logical choice to open - the youngster quick beyond his years, producing good movement in to the right-hander, and able to extract spiteful bounce with his high action. Your correspondent displays rather fewer of these characteristics, but had once again greased the skipper's palm with promises of preparing the match report and thereby secured a spot with the new ball from the other end. Neither was able to find a breakthough, though - a very decent pitch playing straight and true in the hot sun and the D&C openers only occasionally troubled in reaching 30-0 from the first ten. Dougie and previous week's debutant Rory Ledingham took the reins - Dougie looking really assured on his debut and beating the outside edge several times. His proud dad Martin, fielding at mid-off, was able to help his son settle in by showing him how it's done in senior cricket - getting a good hand to a drive, fumbling it on to his shin, and elegantly kicking the ball away for a couple of extra runs to the opposition. Rory, however, struck first - his maiden senior wicket just reward for maintaining a precision line and length, a cracking ball crashing into the top of off. Behind the sticks, Max was showing the benefit of previous weeks' experience and keeping very tidily indeed. At drinks, D&C were 66-1, a solid platform on the excellent track.

The skipper decided that it was time for some spin in the sub-continental conditions - deploying his own right arm darts and the guile of David Main (battle-hardened by recent stints in the cauldron of Last Man Stands). David bowled beautifully for no reward (D Main 4-0-9-0), but the skipper was able to sneak one through the defences of D&C junior W Faisal (who batted very nicely and looks a good prospect) and finished with 4-0-14-1. Not his only contribution in the field, however, Shaun pouncing panther-like at point and throwing down the stumps to see off A. Anwar, another of the talented roster of D&C juniors. Ivan and Rory returned - a really good second spell from Ivan, the pace cranking up and doing for D Wood, well caught by David S while trying to flick one through square leg (I Dawson 8-0-26-1). A quality innings, though, from the young D&C opener for a well-made 28. Rory couldn't add to his earlier success, but finished with excellent figures of 8-0-23-1. Dougie and your correspondent were entrusted with the closing overs - Dougie plugged away and kept making things happen but just couldn't get a clear chance to drop to a fielder (D Firth 8-0-39-0), while at the other end a sudden burst of two wickets in two balls - the second courtesy of a superb diving catch at mid-on from David M - flattered your correspondent's figures more than a little (E Murray 8-1-30-2). D&C 150-5 in their 40 overs, a decent effort which would take some chasing.

A most pleasant tea was taken (in - shock! - a clubhouse) - and while the junior players on each side were magnetically attracted to the pizza which had been kindly provided, several comments were made from the more seasoned pros as to the outstanding quality and range of the sandwiches, which were excellent indeed and much appreciated by all after a hard 40 overs in the sun.

Refreshed, Paul and David S were asked to open the Fives' reply, the sun having made way for some light clouds and an ominous rumble of thunder from over the Forth. And with that we must turn to the second record of the day, as the openers serenely made their way to drinks at 76-0. Paul was first to reach his 50 with some perfectly timed boundaries behind square, David accumulating sensibly and rapidly following. At one point it looked as if the effort of running so many ones and twos might be catching up with Paul, but David took the lead to crack a flurry of boundaries, eventually overtaking his partner and - fittingly - hitting the winning runs with a perfect lofted drive down the ground for four more. The winning runs knocked off in the 32nd over - Paul Bailey 62*, David Simpson 71*. Carlton 5s win by (deep breath) 10 wickets - do not adjust your sets.

An opening stand of 151 is, fairly obviously, a Fives' record and a prized collector's item at any level of the game. Queried, back at Grange Loan, as to the previous record, Bob furrowed his brow and hazarded a guess at something in the high teens. Virtually chanceless knocks played by both Paul and David, just a couple of slightly alarming calls coming close to jeopardising their monster stand (and the ease of the scorer's lives, happy for once not to be regularly scrawling FoW stats). No easy bowling fare or dropping heads here, either - D&C gave this a really good go in the field right to the end, with their juniors all showing promising talent with the ball and displaying some tigerish fielding, even as they stared down the barrel of defeat. This was all down to two great knocks, helped along only by a belter of a wicket.

Your correspondent enjoyed only one thing more than watching from the scorer's table as a partnership of 151* unfolded - seeing the breadth and depth of junior talent fielded by both teams. Each side's younger players contributed with distinction in the field (and another shout here for Max d'Ulisse, his keeping improving by the day), and the D&C youngsters also each making valuable contributions with the bat. None of that, of course, would have been on show without the selection committee's heroic efforts and the willingness of some more experienced hands to turn out at short notice. Very well played all - think it was probably worth it?!

Sunday 17th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Carlton 5
v
Musselburgh 3
H
GL

Carlton 5s 151 for 7 (Keith Murray 79*)

lost to

Musselburgh 3s 155 for 9 (Euan Murray 4 for 34)

Scorecard

With Saturday’s play lost to rather more typical Scottish summer weather than that recently experienced, your correspondent spent considerable time during the afternoon and evening engaged in a number of anti-rain-dance rituals – all in the hope of preserving the rare Sunday spectacle of a Famous Fives home match actually at home.  Whether by good fortune or, perhaps, the siren call of a match at HQ, the previous week’s selection issues had eased, and the committee was able to summon a full roster of regular Fives hands, senior and junior, to face Musselburgh 3s.

Skipper Shaun, flush from a run of wins at the toss, was in bullish mood about his chances - but disappointingly couldn’t make home advantage count.  Musselburgh (clearly after extensive study of the Fantasy Bob manual on the appropriate response to winning the toss at GL) immediately elected to field.

David Simpson and former stand-in skipper Keith Murray, returning to the ranks, strode to the middle.  Alas, David was unable to continue his sparkling form of the previous week and fell victim to some slow, tennis ball bounce from the gentle pace of Chakrabaty – only able to loop one to point (D Simpson 2).  Something of a portent of things to come… Rory Ledingham, the first of the cadre of Fives youngsters, took David’s place but was undone by the same bowler, the ball just nicking the bails from a good length (R Ledingham 0).  Dougie Firth nudged a two off his hip, only to chip another slow riser, this time from Miller, into the grateful hands of point (D Firth 2), and when young Ben Stronach followed in identical fashion next ball (B Stronach 0) the Fives were in some trouble at 20/4 from 8.  Cometh the hour, cometh the livewire keeper, Max D’Ulisse buzzing to the middle and stroking a single out into the leg side to repel the hat-trick ball and get off the mark.  Unfortunately this brought him within the jurisdiction of the merciless finger of doom from the other end, adjudged LBW to one which, in Max’s lengthy post-event narrative, was firmly middled into his thigh-pad from at least three feet outside leg stump (M D’Ulisse 1).  At 22/5, more than a little re-building was required and Ikra took to the crease to partner Keith with the aim of keeping it tight.  Fortunately, the pair were able to resist any further damage and made it to drinks with the score a slightly healthier looking 47/5.

Keith and Ikra continued very comfortably for another 14 overs, both batting nicely – accumulating sensibly and, increasingly, meting out appropriate punishment to poor balls.  Keith reached his 50 in the 34th over, shortly before Ikra fell – bowled by a well-disguised quicker one from Patterson for an excellent and much-needed 25, their partnership of 77 pivotal in getting the Fives to a good platform.  Billy Bertram was the final junior up, but couldn’t make any impression on the awkward leg-breaks of Ray (B Bertram 0), Paul Bailey next in with five overs remaining and free rein to have a go.  He and Keith upped the tempo, rattling the score along from 100/7 in the 35th to 151 from 40 with hard hitting from both ends – a fantastic knock from Keith who moved through the gears very nicely indeed and displayed an impressive array of attacking shots (K Murray 79*) and a perfectly-judged cameo from Paul (P Bailey 18*) taking the Fives to a highly respectable total – and one which had looked a long way off from the depths of 22/5.

The players feasted greatly upon a sumptuous tea, kindly laid on by Anne and the team – a lovely change from the scorer’s table fare of previous “home” games.  Tempting as it was (for your correspondent at least) to remain ensconced in the clubhouse within easy reach of the leftover cakes and biscuits, perhaps accompanied by something cold and wet from the bar, the Fives took to the field with high hopes of defending 151.

Once again opening the bowling, this time in tandem with Billy, your correspondent took unkindly to being thrashed through cover for four second ball, a half-decent delivery in reply castling the Musselburgh opener.  From the other end, Billy opened up in similarly impressive style, a huge shout for LBW answered in the affirmative with the batsman beaten for pace and pinned stone cold in front of middle.  While Billy continued to bowl a testing line and length, the ball was (allegedly) becoming difficult to grip in the slightly damp conditions and your correspondent was guilty of sending down a series of miserable no-balls and low full tosses - justifiably hooked and replaced with the considerably more impressive Ben; Rory also coming in to the attack to give Billy a breather.  The next action, however, was a carbon-copy of Shaun “Deadeye” Barrett’s all-action fielding display from the previous week, the skipper swooping in the ring and executing the perfect direct hit to see off McDonald.

Ben bowled a particularly impressive spell, the left-hander’s angle and excellent control of line and length causing all sorts of problems for the batsmen.  Great credit to Ben too for not letting his head drop after a couple of fours were hit: he was rewarded for perseverance with two wickets in the final two overs of his spell, the last a beautifully bowled wicket maiden.  And the first of those wickets is worth recording in some detail – the batsman caught flat-footed on his crease by one shaping away on a perfect length and only able to get a healthy nick through, Max taking a superb diving catch (his first as a senior keeper) a long way across to his right (B Stronach 6-1-24-2).  Excellent cricket from the two youngest members of the team.  Rory kept it tight at the other end, although also struggled a little with the slightly damp ball and couldn’t quite find the same consistent line as last week to make the breakthrough (R Ledingham 5-0-15-0).  At drinks, Musselburgh were reasonably placed at 73/5.

Ikra and Dougie came in to the attack, the game poised.  Max, presumably wishing to re-live that fine catch in his head free from the burden of the gloves, passed keeping duties to Rory.  C Fox, the Musselburgh No.6, was set and looked the key wicket.  He controlled the strike expertly and kept accumulating, with the extras count continuing to tick along as well.  Ikra extracted some turn and bounce, eventually rewarded when the left handed Glazier swung across one that gripped, the skewed drive safely held (eventually, in the regulation Division 7 manner, via elbow and armpit) by your correspondent, lurking at mid-off (I Farooq 5-0-30-1).  Dougie toiled manfully at the other end but once again found himself out of luck, nothing aerial dropping near a fielder; good control though and conceding just three an over kept the Fives firmly in the game (D Firth 5-1-15-0). Some superb support, too, in the field – David hurling himself around in the covers and cutting off a number of certain boundaries, Rory keeping it neat and tidy behind the stumps, and good work from all to chase down anything that made it past the ring.  With Musselburgh 125/6 after 31 it was clear that four wickets would be needed if the Fives were to win.  The opening bowlers returned, attacking field set.  Your correspondent eked out the Musselburgh No.7 when he mistimed a drive to mid-on, a smart catch taken by Billy, and despite an expensive penultimate over produced two stump-rattling yorkers in the 35th (E Murray 8-1-34-4 – and on a hat-trick, stats fans, if ever allowed to bowl again).  Billy had kept up the pressure expertly from his end, giving nothing to hit and snaking several deliveries past the outside edge.  As he lined up to bowl the 36th over, Musselburgh were 147/9 with Fox on strike - he scrambled a couple of slightly frantic twos to tie the scores, and Billy concluded a highly effective spell with 7-0-20-1, deserving of greater reward.  With Fox only able to watch from the non-strikers’ end, skipper Shaun brought himself on – a hero wicket needed to secure the tie.  ‘Twas not to be, however, the Musselburgh No.11 finding a gap in the tight ring field and scraping the win (S Barrett 0.1-0-4-0).  Musselburgh 3 win by one wicket.

The tightest of tight defeats for the Fives, and when the dust settled the bowling unit was left to rue a disappointing tally of 28 wides and 6 no-balls which ultimately undid some otherwise excellent work.  Conditions played a part and the Musselburgh attack also struggled with a slightly greasy ball (18 wides and 5 no balls).  Even half a dozen more runs to play with at the death might well have translated into a win, but… a good lesson for all in the importance of keeping extras down, and something to work on for the next set of fixtures.  However, the Fives can be reasonably content with a maximum haul of 10 bonus points and certainly very happy with such an exciting game overall – chapeau again to Keith for an innings of real quality.  Many thanks and congratulations to Musselburgh who were in great form throughout, and deserving of their narrow win.

Saturday 23rd June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Clackmannan County 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Clackmannan County 2s 185 for 4

beat

Carlton 5s 94 all out

Scorecard

The Famous Fives travelled to Alloa to face Clackmannan who are celebrating their 150th year.  Carlton’s selection illuminati sent 12 over the bridge in the hope pulling a fast one on the Fifers but the master plan was quickly exposed by a 12 fingered passer-by. Barrett was relegated to the scorers’ bench and Keith Murray stepped up to skipper the side.   Keith called correctly and ask our hosts to bat first.

Billy Bertram and Fin Gibb took the new ball but failed to make early inroads into the top order.  The breakthrough came with the score on 42 when Fin bowled Hutchinson (17) and two balls later removed opening partner Rasul (11).  When Ivan Dawson bowled Da McChonchie jnr (4) with the score on 60 Carlton’s day brightened up but a fourth wicket partnership of 55 between Du McChonchie jnr and Shafique put Clackmannan back in control.   Dougie Firth claimed the wicket of Du jnr (8) to ensure that the McChonchie brothers didn’t bat the Du Da day.  Carlton remained wicketless the rest of the innings as Shafique (88no) and Bryant-nicholls (29no) took the score to 185 off 40 overs.

After a sumptuous tea, Keith Murray and Paul Bailey opened up for the Fives.  Paul nicked off early (Bailey 2, 9-1) and after an impressive start Ben Stronach got one that lifted and he gloved behind (Stronach 7, 17-2).  Keith and Ikra seemed to be settled in for the afternoon until Keith got the “ball of the century” and was bowled behind his legs (Murray 17, 39-3).   Ian Munday effectively ended the competition in a super 20 minute spell of bowling, removing Firth (2), Stones (0) and SDawson (1) before running out Ivan (2).  Carlton’s innings was in tatters at 46-7.  An excellent partnership between Ikra and Billy Bertram restored a little pride and brought the first batting point before Billy was caught off junior Cameron Monk (Bertram 14, 71-8).  Finn followed soon after (Gibb 0, 73-9) before a final flourish from Euan took Carlton to 94 (Murray 7, 33.2 overs).  Ikra was left unbeaten on 27 off 61 balls (111 mins) – a fine effort.

A well-deserved victory for Clackmannan with stand-out performances from Shafique (88 no) with the bat and Munday with the ball (8-3-7-3).  For Carlton all the juniors bowled well: Bertram (8-0-38-0); Gibb (7-2-36-2); Dawson (5-1-20-1); Stronach (5-0-32-0); Firth (7-1-24-1).  Ikra was the top Carlton performer with the bat.   One noteworthy moment of sportsmanship when Shafique was called back by Keith and Paul after incorrectly being given out caught behind early in his innings – no histrionics from either side and a great example to the eight juniors on show across the two teams.

Saturday 30th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Broomhall 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Broomhall 2s 250 for 5 (Euan Keatinge 3 for 55)

beat

Carlton 5s 171 for 8 (Abi Aitken 43)

Scorecard

For the second consecutive week the Famous Fives headed over the Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife, this time to face old pals Broomhall.   At an unusually sunny “Cairns” Fives unusually won the toss and as usual asked Broomhall to bat.

Broomhall openers Punter Stringer and Ian Barron made a quick start with 42-0 off the first 10 and 90-0 at the drinks break.  Euan Keatinge made the breakthrough finding a top edge to have Ian smartly caught by Shaun Smith (Barron 42, 105-1) and soon after induced a nick from Punter, snaffled by Ikra Farooq behind the stumps (Stringer 38, 116-2).  When Hannah Rainey had Mike Warren (9, 133-3) caught at cover by David Simpson, Euan claimed his third bowling Dawson (4, 144-4) and Max D’Ulisse took his first senior wicket removing Phil Ward (12, 156-5) caught by Ikra, Broomhall were at 156-5 off 32 overs and we thought we would contain them below 200 on a good batting track.  Sadly no-one told Ali Gudgin who plundered a quick 57 to take Broomhall to 250-5 off 40 overs (AGudgin 57no, DTimms 28no).  Euan claimed the majority of the wickets (Keatinge 8-0-55-3) but special mentions to Jamie Beattie (6-0-10-0) for exceptional figures when the rest of the attack took a bit of tap and Max D’Ulisse for a tidy first spell in senior cricket (4-0-23-1).


After the tea break David Simpson and John Beattie led the Carlton reply.  Our openers saw off the new ball but David was undone by a big bendy one from left armer Hall (Simpson 25, 42-1).  Hall wasn’t finished and Shaun (Smith 5, 50-2) and Euan (Keatinge 4, 62-3) soon followed.   Abbi Aitken joined Sloop John and quickly set about slapping the ball to all parts.  The partnership took the score to 91 before John ho ho ho holed out (Jo Beattie 28, 91-4).  Hannah and Abbi continued the chase until both were dismissed in identical fashion stumped off Phil Ward (Rainey 24, 130-5, Aitken 43, 141-6, 34 overs).  Our two Wildcats were due at MES Sports Centre by 19:30 to travel south for ECB Division 2 T20s against Berkshire and Cheshire the next day but I’m sure their dismissals at 18:17 and 18:22 had little to do with that and much more to do with the mysteries of Phil’s bowling and the trigger finger of a blind square leg umpire.  Ja Beattie and Ikra batted out all but one of the remaining balls before Jamie unselfishly ran himself out to give Max a brief bat – only to find Max was left at the wrong end with the last ball to come! (Ja Beattie 16, 171-7).  Ikra charged the final ball, miscounting to get Max on strike!, to give the AGudgin/PWard combo a third and final stumping of the innings.  Carlton closed on 171-8 and Broomhall won by 79 runs.  Max left the field unbeaten on nought, having not faced a ball, twirling his bat and milking the applause of the bemused spectators – box office stuff.

Great to have Hannah, Abbi and Ikra with us for the day, proper cricketers and excellent role models for the juniors.  Top batting contributions in the chase from Abbi, Hannah, Ja & Jo B and David.   At 30 overs we were at par with Broomhall but a Fives' record of 60 extras given up and the late assault by Gudgin were the main contributors to the defeat.  Broomhall were much better at the basics so congratulations to them on a well-deserved victory.  Many thanks to Phil and his team for a great game played in the best of spirits.  

Saturday 7th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Carlton 5
v
Stewarts Melville 4

H

Cav

Stewart's Melville 4s 393 for 6

beat

Carlton 5s 164 for 7 (Stuart Dawson 51)

Scorecard

As “True Grit”, “The Magnificent Seven” and “King Kong” illustrate, Hollywood, America’s capital of movies, loves its remakes; the good, the bad and the ugly.  While remakes might seem stale to North American cinemagoers they are often fresh to audiences in other countries that haven’t seen the original and they create a new band of loyal followers who can say “I was there”.  Remakes always carry a completely new cast who often go on to do great things, occasionally a few original cast members appear in walk-on cameo roles.   On Saturday the Famous Fives starred in their very own remake of their 2016 epic “Fives Play Hockey” when they took on Stewart’s Melville at Cavalry Park. 

Skipper Barrett was bamboozled at the toss and Robertson decided to bat first on what proved to be the hottest cricketing Saturday since Fives records began.

The tempo was set in the first 8 overs as, on a lightening outfield guarded by super short boundaries, Stew Mel plundered Carlton’s opening pair of Ivan Dawson and Rory Ledingham for 70 some runs.  Although Rory tempted opener Anderson to nick behind (23-1) early doors Stew Mel’s skipper Robertson and Bat 3 Kelman continued to enjoy themselves under the sun.  First change Dougie Firth cleaned up Robertson (33, 85-2) but the onslaught continued with Rigby in the middle.  At the drinks break Stew Mel sat handsomely at 184-2. Suggestions of declaration fell on deaf ears, but eventually Rigby’s desire to preserve his new tattoo from prolonged exposure to the sun led to him to play one heave too many (Rigby 70, 224-3, bowled David Main). 

Delirious from dehydration Kelman made little effort to get back into his crease as Rory ran him out at the non-strikers end (Kelman 129, 291-4).  Carlton old boy Shuaib Farooq came to the middle and after a relatively short but entertaining stay was bowled by an absolute corker from Mark McKay (Farooq 31, 328-5).  The mayhem continued courtesy of Division 7 run machine Dean.  Dean proceeded to hit an unbeaten 81 in record time, mostly 6’s with a sprinkling of 4’s and our opponents closed on 393-6 in 40 overs - on the bright side, better than Walton’s feeble attempt to restrict Milford Parish Cavaliers at Cleckheaton (401-2, 40 overs, Bradford League 1988).

After counselling and a hearty, if somewhat warm, sweaty tea the Carlton run chase began.  Paul Bailey and Stuart Dawson opened and compiled 41 runs before Paul was smartly caught off Wallace (Bailey 18, 41-1).  Stuart and Mark McKay put on 50 before they both fell in quick succession (Dawson 51, 91-2 and McKay 4, 92-3).  James Bailey on Carlton debut made an enterprising 24 before Wallace claimed a father-son double (James 24, 129-4).  Dougie was undone by the mysteries of “ahhh Jim Lad” McLaren (Firth 0, 135-5), Ivan batted well before becoming Wallace’s third victim of the afternoon (Dawson 12, 136-6) and Rory fell to Hayat (Ledingham 4, 144-7).   Craig Burgess (18 no) and David Main (3 no) saw out the rest of the overs as Carlton closed on 164-7.   In the final reckoning Stewart’s Melville won by 229 runs, a new Fives record.

There may be a few readers who are concerned by the extent of the defeat and mumble about the potential imbalance of the skills on show, but no Juniors or Seniors or OAPs were permanently scarred by participating.  Stew Mel were loaded with a number of athletic 20 year olds with excellent hand-eye co-ordination who saw it and then hit it across a helpful outfield – to be fair they often ignored the outfield and just deposited the ball in the trees.  Occasionally it’s good for bowlers to try and figure out how to bowl under these circumstances, part of the learning curve.  The afternoon was very reminiscent on the game versus Holy Cross in 2016 when 307 played 112 at Inverleith.  The junior bowling that day was Euan Burgess, Ru McIntyre, Jamie Beattie and Gavin Murray and all have continued to prove themselves as highly capable cricketers/bowlers …. in complete openness Gavin has turned to the dark arts of batsman/wicketkeeper but three out of four ain’t bad.  Only Craig Burgess and skipper Barrett remain from the Inverleith hiding and neither can remember their birthdays let alone a cricket match from two years previous.

Many thanks to Euan and the Stew Mel guys, great sports and, as is common in this league, hugely supportive of our Juniors.  A great exhibition of hitting from Kelman, Rigby and Dean.  For Carlton, good runs from the Dawsons and the Baileys plus some entertaining thuggery from Craig at the end.  Thanks to everyone that turned out and turned up to support Carlton.  A tough day on the scorecard but still fun in the middle made the richer by fantastic banter from the Swedish–English contingents on the side-lines.  Finally thanks to Fantasy Bob for finding XI warm, willing and very capable bodies on a week of record call offs - in the words of Cole Porter “Wunderbar”.

Saturday 14th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Leith FAB 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Leith FAB 2 261 for 9

beat

Carlton 5s 50 all out

Scorecard

 
Sunday 22nd July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
L
Carlton 5
v
Drummond Trinity 3
H
GL

Drummond Trinity 3s 250 for 5 (Ivan Dawson 3 for 47)

beat

Carlton 3s 146 all out (David Simpson 38)

Scorecard

 
Saturday 28th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
Carlton 5
v
Marchmont 3

H
Pef

RAINED OFF
 
Saturday 4th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
W
Penicuik 2
v
Carlton 5
A

Penicuik 2s 53 all out (Ewan Hutchinson 3 for 10, Finn Gibb 3 for 16)

lost to

Carlton 5s 54 for 3

Scorecard

After the tropical deluge which had sadly eliminated the previous week’s fixture, the Famous Fives gathered at Grange Loan with high hopes that the return of rather more typical Scottish summer weather would not affect another match. Happily, with the skies set fair, the team headed out on the road to face Penicuik 2s, currently riding high in the league.

Skipper Shaun had a spring in his step at the sight of a formidable-looking teamsheet, with a number of the regular Fives’ roster bolstered by plenty of firepower in the shape of experienced juniors Euan Burgess, Ewan Hutchison, Duncan Greenshields and Finn Gibb. On inspection, the Penicuik pitch looked as if it would offer something to the bowlers after a damp week – a good looking surface, but definitely a little tacky and with some green areas. Shaun duly obliged with a dominant victory at the toss and invited the hosts to have a bat.

Duncan and the correctly spelled junior Euan took the new ball, and it was immediately clear that the Penicuik batters were in for a difficult afternoon. Euan B found a great length from the off, and sent the new ball down with genuine pace. All too much for the ‘Cuik opener, beaten all ends up in the third over and losing his middle stump. Duncan kept up the pressure from the other end, with excellent command of line and length, striking twice in his first over including a wonderfully athletic caught and bowled low to his left (D Greenshields 5-0-11-2). As the team celebrated, your correspondent ruefully noted that he’d still be trying to get down to it had a similar chance been offered from his own bowling. With the card already shaky at 18/3 from 6 overs, Euan B powered another nasty, swinging ball through the Penicuik No.4 and demolished his stumps (E Burgess 5-0-10-2).

After 10, Penicuik were in all sorts of bother at 26/4. First change brought Finn and the mystery spin of the alternatively-spelled Ewan on – but any suggestion of relief for the beleaguered Penicuik batsmen was short lived. Hutchie had a leggie’s paradise to bowl on, the surface offering grip and some variable bounce. Your correspondent had the perfect view – from silly mid on, not a fielding position often seen in Division 7 – of the expressions on the batsmen’s faces as the ball ripped past them (spookily reminiscent of Mike Gatting facing Shane Warne), none of them with the slightest idea of where it was likely to end up. Two lost their off stump, and another could only offer the middle of his pad bang in front to one which skidded straight on (E Hutchinson 5-2-10-3). Not to be outdone, Finn worked away steadily at the other end and mopped up the remaining resistance, well rewarded for pitching it up (F Gibb 5.2-0-15-3). Special mention too for Ikra behind the stumps – keeping very well on a difficult track and dealing confidently with both express pace and prodigious spin – and securing the final LBW with a brilliant, wicket-taking appeal.

So, Penicuik bowled out for a meagre 53 in the 20th over, the damage inflicted so quickly that tea wasn’t ready and the Fives’ openers would be straight back out.

Keith and Ikra, a productive partnership in previous games, headed to the middle knowing that steady accumulation was all that was required. A solid start was checked by the loss of Ikra in the 6th over, spooning a return catch to Scarr with the score 14/1 (I Farooq 4). Hutchie was next in, and after a quiet start thanks to some accurate bowling he got underway with some scoring shots straight down the ground. At the other end, the square leg fielder could only fumble a pull from Keith, who set off for an ambitious single to the misfield – ignoring the “don’t run to a misfeld” mantra his undoing, sent back by Ewan and unable to make his ground (27/2 in the 13th, K Murray 12). Unfortunately, Hutchie’s attempt to hit the wily P Kingsbury back over his head then resulted in a gentle return catch (E Hutchinson 4), bringing two new batsmen to the crease in the shape of Euan B and Duncan and the score a less-comfortable-than-it-could-have-been 27/3.

Despite a few heart-in-mouth moments thanks to some… assertive calling and running (one especially suicidal single saved only by a spectacular full-length dive from Euan B), the remaining runs were knocked off in style with Duncan moving though the gears and stroking some lovely drives to the mid-on boundary, the winning runs coming in the 20th over (E Burgess 10*, D Greenshields 17*). A belated, but none the less pleasant for that, tea was taken in the warm glow of a very solid win. Carlton Fives win by 7 wickets.

Superb performances from all four juniors made for a lovely, relaxing afternoon in the sun for the more senior contingent. A helpful surface still had to be exploited by the bowlers, and they all did so with great skill and enthusiasm. Many thanks indeed to Penicuik for their hospitality and good grace in the face of a difficult defeat, exemplified by their appreciation after the game of how well Ewan, Euan, Duncan and Finn had bowled.

Saturday 11th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
W
Carlton 5
v
Dunfermline & Carnegie 2

H

Pef

Dunfermline & Carnegie 2s 144 for 8 (Charlie Kentish 3 for 34)

lost to

Carlton 5s 145 for 9 (Paul Bailey 25*)

Scorecard

Another week, another "home" fixture for the Famous Fives, this week a further outing at the world-renowned cricketing paradise that is the pitch at the back corner of Peffermill, against Dunfermline & Carnegie 2s.  The team assembled at GL HQ with high hopes of securing back-to-back victories to consolidate the previous week's crushing win at Penicuik.

Skipper Shaun approached the toss with great confidence under the leaden skies, but - perhaps channelling India's batsmen in similar conditions - was unable to guess which way it would go. The D&C skipper was in generous mood, however, and decided to have a bat in conditions which looked like they might favour the Fives' pace attack.

Your correspondent was entrusted with the new ball alongside young Ivan Dawson, and with both settling in to a good rhythm the D&C openers were kept very quiet. Ivan produced a nasty, rising delivery to knock over the D&C No.2, well caught by Charlie Kentish as he fended it off. Shaun, making a rare appearance behind the stumps, was just unable to snare an edge which flew high and wide from an optimistic swish at one of your correspondent's "Anderson-like away-swingers", as they are known to him alone, despite an impressively athletic dive.  Requests for a 6ft 4in 'keeper to replace him fell on deaf ears. 

At first change after 8 overs D&C were toiling a little at 16/1.  Fin Gibb and Rory Ledingham took the reins, and, despite finding the dreaded left-hand/right-hand combination at the crease awkward to deal with, kept up the pressure with some superb swing bowling.  Rory brought one back in through the defences of the remaining D&C opener, and secured a well-deserved second by inducing a hoick across the line from the dangerous-looking junior A Anwar, which was brilliantly pouched by Fin, making a lot of ground from mid-on.  After 18, D&C were 56/3, and Fin made way for the (marginally) older Kentish (F Gibb 5-0-27-0).  Fraser lost no time in rattling the stumps, the D&C No.4 clean bowled the over before drinks.  Rory concluded his spell, a really well-bowled 7-1-16-2, and only four of those runs scored from the bat. 

Charlie came on for a twirl to support his brother, and fittingly enough the twins produced almost identical spells in terms of figures.  Fraser secured his second, a drive fired into the grateful clutches of your correspondent at short midwicket (skipper Shaun with plenty of credit for having posted the fielder there the previous over).  Charlie was quickly into the action with his first, turning one a long way across the batsman and onto leg stump, and then secured two more with consecutive deliveries, one stone cold LBW with the batsman caught flat-footed in the flight, and the next, quicker, ball fired straight through the new batsman and onto middle stump (F Kentish 8-2-33-2, C Kentish 8-1-34-3).

After 35 overs, D&C were 133/8 and being held together by a great knock from skipper R Laing.  The opening bowlers returned to try and close things out - honours about even in the final duel, the bowlers unable to strike the final blow but the D&C batsmen also unable to get anything away (E Murray 7-2-16-0, I Dawson 5-1-11-1).  D&C 144/8 from 40, R Laing 50* and debutant junior J Parsonage a highly creditable 2* in support of his skipper for the last wicket, well batted.

Tea was taken, in the traditional manner, from the scorer's table.  Much credit to Rory's mum for the provision of delicious home-made pizza and banana loaf to augment the usual fine fare - R Ledingham's name etched in permanent marker onto the teamsheet for the next home game. Because of his bowling figures, of course.

144 certainly a competitive total in the conditions and the Fives would need to construct a good chase to secure the win.  Regular opener Keith Murray and the skipper himself, risking altitude sickness at No.2, headed out to the middle to begin the reply.  Not a great start, however, as Keith aimed a mighty blow at the moon-balls of Keenan only be adjudged caught behind (K Murray 2).  Regular readers of match reports will recognise the nuance inherent in the previous sentence, with discussions continuing deep into the afternoon, and probably next season, as to whether any contact had actually been made.  Hopefully incidents such as this will encourage the authorities to accelerate the introduction of Ultra-Edge to ESCA Division 7 clashes. 

Shaun was next to be tempted by the floaty offerings of Keenan, another monstrous swipe only resulting in the ball dribbling almost apologetically back onto the stumps (S Barrett 4).  Charlie Kentish and Stuart Dawson were into the fray early, and they each played some great scoring shots - Charlie looking strong on both sides of the wicket, and Stuart using those long levers to hit powerfully down the ground.  Unhappily there was a nasty injury to a D&C fielder, a horrible blow to the finger which required a trip to A&E - your correspondent jogging out to offer some support in the field as a sub. 

In the 10th over the score had moved along to 30/2, Charlie next to fall shortly after when looking to hit that man Keenan down the ground and only finding mid-on (C Kentish 7).  Fin arrived at the crease and offered good support to Stuart before spooning the very decent left-arm pace of Anwar to cover (F Gibb 5).  Stuart was next out, offering - with total inevitability - a dolly catch to your correspondent, hovering sheepishly at midwicket (S Dawson 22).  On the plus side, the wicket was young J Parsonage's first in senior cricket, and it is genuinely pleasing to have played a part in what will surely be the first of many.  On the down side, sub catches apparently don't count towards league fielding stats - another matter for the authorities to urgently address following this game of many controversies.

At drinks, the Fives were 63/5 - well enough on target in terms of the rate but with a slightly worrying number of wickets down, and Paul Stones and Fraser Kentish at the crease.  Paul S, in his best knock to date for the Fives, hit the bad balls while remaining watchful of anything straight. Fraser showed plenty of promise at the other end, until chipping a return catch to Cox (F Kentish 5) and bringing Ivan to the middle. Ivan backed up his bowling performance with an innings of real maturity, this time matching his usual power hitting with a number of well-run singles.  Paul S was eventually foxed by Cox (P Stones 14) having contributed to two good partnerships and kept the chase on track.  103/7 from 30, 42 needed from 10 overs, and Paul Bailey in to try and close the match out. 

Ivan fell next, unfortunate to get one which stuck in the pitch and kept very low as it scuttled onto the stumps (I Dawson 14), Rory joining Paul B in the middle.  Paul rattled the score along with his usual precision timing, but when Rory was bowled by a jaffa from Laing (R Ledingham 2) with the score on 130 the Fives found themselves 9 down and still needing 15 to win from 4 overs.  With your correspondent's batting now representing the last hope for victory confidence in the ranks was justifiably mixed, but with Paul B at the crease there was still a chance.  A few extras were gratefully received, and both batsmen were able to find the boundary.  With the scores tied on 144, the match finished on a bizarre note when young J Parsonage hit Paul B's stumps with a ball which bounced twice - a no-ball, giving the Fives the narrowest of wins (P Bailey 25*, E Murray 5*).  Carlton Fives win by 1 wicket.

This really was a fabulous game of cricket, with every player contributing something to the win and a number of season-best performances. The team fielded particularly well - exemplified by the efforts of the newly-slimline Paul S haring round the boundary (his running action likened afterwards - mostly by himself? - to Tom Cruise in the latest Mission Impossible film).  And, as we've come to expect, the junior players all had great games - developing their skills and confidence in a competitive setting at just the right level.  Many thanks indeed to D&C for a game played in a superb spirit and with plenty of encouragement offered to the junior players on both sides.

Sunday 19th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
Musselburgh 3
v
Carlton 5
A
RAINED OFF
 
Saturday 25th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Seven
W
Carlton 5
v
Clackmannan County 2

H

Cav

Carlton 5s 141 for 3 (Keith Murray 79*)

beat

Clackmannan County 2s 79 all out (Euan Keatinge 3 for 8, Rory Ledingham 3 for 25)

Scorecard

[During this week's report, the latest in an occasional series of the ever popular "What happened next?" round. Overheard between overs as the batsmen discuss facing a promising young Carlton leg spinner - "Nah, he doesn't turn it much".]

 

The Famous Fives mustered at GL for what was, scarcely credibly, to be the final game of the season. Where had the time gone? A suggestion from one passing wag that it clearly hadn't been spent in rigorous fitness training was pointedly ignored. The Fives approached the last game with pressure on - no promotion push here, nor relegation to be battled bravely - but an even greater prize beckoned: to tie the Fives' record for most wins in a season.

 

Cavalry Park 2 would be the venue for this veritably gladiatorial contest; the opposition the mighty Clackmannanshire County 2s. Detailed discussion of the teamsheet, conditions, and opposition resulted in skipper Shaun formulating bespoke tactics worthy of the magnitude of the occasion - win the toss and have a bowl. Suggestions that these exact "tactics" had been in place for every other match of the season were quickly silenced. In any event, an inauspicious thrashing at the toss rendered all tactical considerations moot - the Fives would have a bat.

 

ESCA Division 7 clashes frequently feature grounds where some judicious rummaging through the scenery is necessary to retrieve errant cricket balls. Cav was pushing it a bit, though, with the outfield lush enough in places that the ball might well be in danger of being lost before it had crossed the rope. Anyway, Keith and Ian looked unfazed as they took guard and set about posting a total. Indeed, Keith seemed determined to showcase the aggressive side of his game (maybe hoping for a BBL19 call-up?), his first three scoring shots 2-4-4 with a maximum thrown in a couple of overs later. Ian was timing it beautifully at the other end, but anything hit along the ground was rapidly halted by the tangled undergrowth for a lot of 1s. At drinks, the openers were untroubled with a solid platform of 60.

 

During the interval, conversation at the scorers' table turned from appropriate apostrophe usage to the perils of the drinks break and its deleterious effect on batters' concentration. Predictably, Ian was promptly bowled first ball of the 21st over (I Thomson 18) - sorry, Ian. The other properly spelled Euan, Keatinge minor, entered the fray and racked up his best knock of the season for the Fives, a confident innings full of good intent, positive running and calling, and excellent shot-making. When he departed in the 35th over (E Keatinge 17) the Fives had pushed along to 120-2 and Keith had moved past his half century. Rory Ledingham joined Keith in the middle but spooned one back to the bowler while looking to hit out (R Ledingham 0), and Duncan Greenshields managed to eek out a few singles in the last couple of overs to nudge the Fives along to 139/3 from 40 (K Murray 79*; D Greenshields 4*). Another great anchoring knock from Keith, and effective death-bowling from Clacks to keep the total down a bit. Chapeau as well to John Beattie, enduring 40 overs padded up without getting a chance to have a knock, and Paul Bailey with a near-innings long umpiring stint.

 

A first-rate tea was crowned by the finest home-baking of the season - John providing one of his coveted Victoria sponges, and Rory's mum once again fully justified his selection with lemon drizzle and ginger cakes. Calls are now being heard for John Gill to be fast-tracked into the Fives in the hope of some of the legendary Gill scones also being offered.

 

Rory and your very own Euan M took the new ball, the Fives just one solid bowling performance away from the historic win. While your correspondent toiled a little at one end, Rory opened up with a wicket in his first over, a neat catch taken by Duncan. However, after 7 overs Clacks had rattled along to 42/1 - going aerial to avoid the long grass had resulted in several half-chances but also plenty of boundaries. Sensing the moment, Shaun asked Euan K to come on for an early twirl and he immediately struck, ripping one straight through the Clacks opener. Your correspondent took a breather (E Murray 5-1-19-0) and Isaac Foley, on senior debut, took over.

There's some real pressure on your first ever over in league cricket - nerves are inevitable; the batsmen can usually hit it much harder than in junior cricket; there's that feeling of not wanting to let the team down. Landing all six somewhere on the strip and only conceding four or five runs is a good start - you can build confidence and rhythm from there. Alternatively, you can adopt the Isaac Foley approach and fire down a hostile, accurate wicket-maiden featuring a brilliant return catch from your second ball. Genuinely thrilling stuff.

 

At the other end, we can return to "What happened next?". No real prizes for guessing that the non-turning leggie beat the bat five times in a row, pegging back off stump on two of those occasions. The final ball was defended uncertainly for an imperious double-wicket maiden; the heart ripped out of the Clacks innings as they teetered at 46/5 off 12. Euan K and Isaac continued until relieved by Duncan and Fin Gibb (E Keatinge 5-3-8-3; I Foley 5-1-10-1). Each picked up a solitary wicket - Duncan with an LBW to one which nipped back nicely off a length; Fin inducing a nick through to Shaun with a tempter that the batsman just couldn't resist (D Greenshields 3-1-6-1; F Gibb 2-0-9-1). With the score 79/7 from 23, Shaun shuffled his pack one last time and asked Rory to return - another inspired piece of captaincy as the youngster polished off the last two wickets in four balls - second catches for Duncan and the skipper himself (R Ledingham 3.4-0-25-3). Clacks 79 all out; Carlton Fives win by 61 runs.

 

A fantastic way to finish the season for the Fives - a comprehensive victory built on that heady blend of age & experience; youth & exuberance; and an excellent tea that the Fives exists to provide. Great knocks (and tactical acumen) from the seniors, cracking bowling from the juniors, a phenomenal debut from Isaac and a stick-on MoM performance from Euan K made this one to savour over the close season. Many thanks to Clacks for their part in a good game and great to see them playing a couple of young juniors of their own - Cam Monk and H Ahmed not looking out of place at all.

 

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