Carlton Under 13s 2018 Fixtures and Results
Tuesday 22nd May 6pm
Scottish Cup Round 1
W
Carlton
v
Livingston

H

GL

Carlton 225 for 1 (S Smith 32*, M Restall 31*, T Robertson 30*, C Kentish 30*, G Murray 30*, E Keatinge 30*)

beat

Livingston 47 for 6

 
Sunday 27th May 2pm
ECB Vitality Club T20 Quarter Final
W
Poloc
v
Carlton

A

Carlton 197 for 8 (M Johnson 30*, T Robertson 30*, S Smith 33*, R McIntyre 21, J Beattie 20*)

beat

Poloc 97 for 7

Photos

With Edinburgh in the grip of a chilly haar, it was a pleasure to drive to the sunny side of the country and enjoy a sultry 20’ in the lush grasslands of Pollok Park.  The wicket looked dry, the outfield rapid, and captain Muz took no hesitation in deciding to bat.

 
Gav and Rua strode to the wicket, Gav returning shortly afterwards, lbw to one that may have kept a little low.  Rua and Muz batted positively, rotating the strike and dispatching deliveries to the boundary in a partnership of 47 before Rua was bowled on 21in the 7th over.  Two overs later, Muz retired for an imperious 30* and Charlie was run out by a direct hit for 8.  Thomas and Euan maintained the scoring rate nicely, joined by Shaun when Euan was bowled for 10.  Tom retired for a well made 30* and Shaun played some languid sunshine cricket to move the score along. After Matthew and Fraser fell cheaply, Jamie added a quick 20 at the end including a boundary from his second ramp shot after directing the first one into his helmet, Shaun retired on 33* with a sumptuous drive for 4, and the Carlton innings closed on 198/6.


Poloc’s innings started in unfortunate fashion, with a running confusion and one batter departing without facing a ball.  Jamie clipped top of off stump to remove the second batter iin his first over, and then Rudy stuck middle stump in the third to leave Poloc 3/3 after 3.  A series of probing overs from Rudy (4-1-1-3) and Jamie (4-0-1-8) built the pressure and the next wicket fell to a run out (Jamie) in the 7th.  A change of bowlers brought two more wickets, both bowled: Fraser (3-0-1-22) struck in his first over and Thomas (4-2-1-11) gaining reward for some accurate medium pace.

 Poloc batter Maqsood offered resistance with 30* including some sweetly struck drives, but once he retired the pace of the game slowed in the spring sunshine.  A few overs of spin from Euan, Rua and Muz completed the innings and Poloc closed on 59-7.  A strong fielding performance and special mention to Charlie for standing in for Gav behind the stumps.


A great performance from a talented U13 side - the finals day will take place at Inverleith on 17th June.   The draw for the rest of the cup fixtures can be found here .

Sunday 17th June, 11 am
ECB Vitality Club T20 Semi Final
W
Ferguslie
v
Carlton

N

At Inverleith

Carlton 137 for 3 (T Robertson 31 ret, M Johnson 30 ret, C Kentish 30 ret, Gavin Murray 20)

beat

Ferguslie 85 all out (R McIntyre 2-10, R Adair 2-15)

Carlton won a convincing semi-final beating a young Ferguslie side by 53 runs.  An uncovered wicket still damp from the previous day’s downpour made batting a tricky business, but with top three batsmen all retiring at 30 Carlton posted a formidable total. Charlie (30 rtd) and Thomas (31 rtd) led the charge, Thomas going for his shots; Charlie rotating the strike and punishing loose deliveries in a partnership of 58.  Rua was out cheaply, lbw to one which kept low, but Muz accelerated nicely (30 rtd) accompanied by Gav (20). The closing overs were slightly anticlimactic – five dots in the 17th over prompting Euan to be run out attempting an ambitious third, a maiden in the 18th, but three boundaries in the final two overs pushed the total on to 137-6.

In response, Ferguslie were never able to get going, with Carlton taking wickets at regular intervals. A wayward first over for Jamie (1-14) nonetheless produced an early wicket, bowled.  Rua (2-10) took two wickets in the 4th and 6th overs and Rudy added a fourth in the 7th, all bowled.  Isaac (1-4) kept things tight and was rewarded with a wicket in the 10th with Rudy taking a good catch, Rudy (2-15) got a second himself in the 11th and Fraser (1-5) had one caught by Shaun in the 12th leaving Ferguslie at 54-7. 

A late rally moved the score to 73-8 before Charlie (1-1) had one well caught  by Gav behind the stumps leaving the 7-year old number 10 at a resolute 1*.  A total of 25 extras points to the slightly ragged bowling performance, although with the wicket becoming increasingly erratic as it dried out it did not make bowling or keeping easy. The win was convincing nonetheless, and with Grange defeating Clydesdale in the other semi, the stage was set for a Carlton/Grange final.

Sunday 17th June, 2.30 pm
ECB Vitality Club T20 Final
W
Grange
v
Carlton

N

At Inverleith

Carlton 132 for 7 (M Johnson 33 ret, I Foley 28, J Beattie 25**)

beat

Grange 35 all out (R Adair 3 for 8, J Beattie 2 for 7)

Photos

Carlton’s U13 team provided one of the most complete bowling and fielding displays to win the ECB Vitality T20 U13 Cup by nearly 100 runs, an astonishing achievement. Having recovered from 25-5 to 137-7 in their own innings, the Carlton seam attack demolished the Grange batting in 14.3 overs to take the prize and the opportunity to represent Scottish cricket in further rounds south of the border.

The opening was inauspicious, Carlton collapsing to 25-5. Over ambitious running and a selection of injudicious shots against accurate line and length left Grange cock-a-hoop, only young Rua McIntyre (14) providing resistance. Then came the turning point of the game – a consultation of umpires; Carlton penalised for running on the wicket and five runs awarded to Grange, surely a first in an U13 match.

Fired up by the perceived injustice of it all, young Murray Johnson unleashed a volley of shots, hitting five boundaries in six balls and retiring for a belligerent 33*. Isaac and Jamie coolly compiled a 52 run partnership, rotating the strike and hitting boundaries – Isaac (26) powerful off the font foot, Jamie (24*) graceful off the back. Finally Isaac fell in the 19th over, and the total was taken to 132 with a four off the final ball.

In reply, skipper Muz (1-3) led the way with a breathtaking opening over of top class quick bowling – quick, quick, quick, short, full – and the first wicket fell (below). There was no let up at the other end, Rua bowling a similarly aggressive spell (1-7).

Then the nagging accuracy of Jamie Beattie (2-7) and Rudy Adair (3-8). Jamie had two caught by Rua at extra cover, one a super one-handed leap; Rudy preferring the more direct approach – three victims all bowled. Sheer dot pressure created two run outs – Gav Murray smartly throwing the ball to the non-striker’s end for Jamie to take the first, then Jamie whipping the ball in from the covers for the second. Isaac and Gav combined for the coup de grace, a neat off-side stumping to dismiss Grange for 35.

It was a fantastic team display, and between the semi and the final there were vital contributions from everyone.

Fielding was sharp, catches were mostly taken with only a couple of half chances going down, and Fraser almost pulled off a startling snaffle, the ball stinging his fingertips as he bravely leapt at midwicket.

With nine of the team having five or more years in the junior ranks at Carlton, it was a moment to be proud.

Thanks to everyone at the Club who came to watch, or who has put time in over the years to coach and support. It was a great day.

 

Tuesday 26th June, 6pm
Scottish Cup Round 2
W
Carlton
v
Stewarts Melville

H

Peff

Carlton 164 for 6 (M Johnson 32 ret)

beat

Stewart's Melville 56 all out (Jamie Beattie 3 for 12, Fraser Kentish 3 for 12)

 
Sunday 15th July, Noon
ECB Vitality Club T20 North Qualifier
L
Netherfield
v
Carlton

A

Carlton 141 for 7 (Murray Johnson 33*, Gavin Murray 30*)

lost to

Netherfield 145 for 2

Off to that well-known hotbed of cricket, Kendal, for an ECB Vitality cup Northern play-off against Netherfield CC, champions of Cumbria.

As we’ve come to expect this remarkable summer, it was a gloriously hot sunny day, ideal for watching cricket.  Netherfield’s attractive ground nestles between a small tree-covered rise and a road, surprisingly protected from errant cricket balls only by a fragile picket fence. Our supporters decamped to the shade of the hill, leaving the players (not to mention the scorer) to do their job in the full blazing glare of the midday sun.

 Netherfield won the toss, and invited Carlton to bat.  Thomas & Charlie walked out to open the innings, and all went well for an over, our openers scoring a healthy 8 runs.  Thomas, alas, missed a straightish one and was replaced by Muz.  In the next over, disaster, or at least rank bad luck, struck Charlie, backing up at the non-striker’s end.  Muz hit one straight back to the bowler, who quick-wittedly stopped the ball and flicked it onto the stumps, stranding Charlie. 

Muz & Gavin steadied the innings, and did so in some style: Muz standing tall and clubbing the ball to all parts, Gavin hitting and running busily, deploying his trademark late chop into the offside to good effect.  The runs - and run rate - accumulated steadily, Muz being particularly brutal on the deliverer of the 5th over, scoring 15 runs.  Muz quickly reached an impressive 33 off a mere 20 balls, and retired - a true captain’s innings.  Matthew replaced him, and took over in his captain’s style, standing tall and hitting the ball hard.  

Fun fact: our video analyst reports that Matthew is our stillest batsman at the crease (a reflection of his composure in the face of bowling hostility, not a reference to a reluctance to run).   The runs continued to flow: at drinks, the score stood at a commanding 86-2.  Matthew reached a run-a-ball 28, and was caught in the deep, aiming for an innings-retiring boundary.  Gavin followed him a ball later, having played more circumspectly on his innings-retiring ball and settled for 2 runs to complete a well-constructed 30.  

This left us in an odd position: 111 for the loss of 3 wickets and 2 retirals, in the 15th over, but with two brand new batsmen at the crease. Shaun and Euan tried to keep the momentum going, and briefly succeeded, hitting 11 runs off the 15th over.  Euan, alas, perished trying to keep up the pace in the next over, which brought Fraser to the wicket.  Netherfield had some canny death bowlers, adept at bowling down the leg side, but not quite far enough down the leg side to entice the umpires into airplane impressions.  Fraser & Shaun found themselves becalmed, and the matched drifted briefly, until it suddenly came to life in the final, chaotic, over.   The over stared tamely enough, with Carlton on 135-4.  The first ball was - finally - called wide; the second, perhaps as a consequence of its predecessor being called wide, was straighter and was gleefully pushed for a single by Fraser.  Shaun swung mightily at the third, and was bowled, to be replaced by Mark.  Mark swung and missed at the fourth, which trickled off his pad towards fine leg.  While the close fielders were distracted by optimistically appealing for LBW, Mark & Fraser stole a leg bye.  Fraser hit the fifth ball, and set off down the wicket.  Cover pounced, picked up the ball, aimed a sharp throw at the single stump he could see, and hit!  Fraser was adjudged run out.  The batsmen had crossed, leaving Mark to face the sixth ball, and Dougie at the non-striker’s end.  Mark hit the ball high into the sky, set off for the run, but was expertly caught.  The batsmen having crossed again, this left Dougie to face the final ball, with Rudy at the other end.  Dougie hit the ball, and set off for an optimistic run.  This time, there was no direct hit, and indeed no fielder in the vicinity of the wicket.  Rudy called Dougie through for an optimistic overthrow.  A panicked fielder hurled the ball at the unmanned stumps, which it duly missed, careering off into the outfield.  Rudy called another run, this one surprisingly safe, a fielder with more presence of mind gathered the ball and threw it gently to his wicketkeeper, ending the innings on a slightly breathless 141-7. 

Even with the hard, dry and fast outfield, 141 felt defendable, and we had plenty of confidence in the ability of our bowlers to restrict Netherfield’s batsmen, so it was with a spring in their step that the boys went into the field.  

Netherfield’s opening pair, who also open for Cumbria, were traditional openers - correct and careful.  Muz and Rudy opened the bowling tightly and venomously, giving away a mere 12 runs in the opening 4 overs.  Shaun continued the economy, but wickets resolutely refused to fall, and the batsmen were looking increasingly comfortable.  After 7 overs, they’d scored only 31 runs, but the important middle overs were looming, with two well-set batsmen. 

Netherfield’s opening pair decided to up the scoring rate.  They were particularly brutal on Thomas, taking 13 of his over.  In the very next over, disaster!  Charlie was called for two high no balls, and removed from the attack.  Fraser finished the over, but the team’s composure, not to mention Muz’s bowling plans, was disrupted.

 Drinks, somewhat oddly taken after 9 overs, saw Netherfield on 54-0, but Carlton had problems to solve.  Muz called on Euan’s mystery spin to slow the batsmen, but his usual control wasn’t quite there.  In the 11th over, a wicket finally fell, Charlie taking an excellent tumbling catch at cover, off Fraser’s bowling (ct Kentish b Kentish).  At this point, Netherfield had scored only 64 runs, and the required run rate was drifting North of 8 an over.  

Despite this strong position, the boys’ concentration began imperceptibly to waver.  Extras mounted; slow bowlers unaccountably overstepped; mis-fields gifted additional runs.  The effort levels were still high: bowlers charged in to bowl; fielders sprinted in the deep but batsmen began to hit out more, and the required run rate stabilised.  

The match hung tantalisingly in the balance for several overs. Netherfield’s numbers 1 & 2 both reached 32 runs and retired, both off 38 balls.  Their number 3 scored 31, off a faster 24 balls, and retired.  Muz returned to the attack, possibly an over earlier than he’d planned, and restored a measure of control.  But the other bowlers could not emulate him.  Despite a wicket to Shaun (another catch, expertly pouched by Euan), Netherfield ended the match in a flurry of boundaries with an over to spare. 

The boys were rightly disappointed, and indeed this felt like one which had slipped through our grasp.  In the end, the critical difference between the sides were Extras: 19 from Netherfield; 30 from Carlton.    Another 11 runs at the death would have made a big difference.  But there was much to be proud of: simply qualifying for this match is a great achievement; in the match itself, the batting was strong, the opening bowling straight and hostile, and the fielding committed and tigerish.  The boys ran a team containing 3 or 4 county players close - very close. 

Many thanks to Netherfield, who were generous and sporting hosts.  They provided a welcoming atmosphere, strong competition, and a splendid tea!  We wish them the very best of luck in the following rounds.

Friday 20th July, 6pm
Scottish Cup Quarter Final
W
Carlton
v
Grange

H

Carlton 138 for 6 (Murray Johnson 31*, Gavin Murray 31*, Rua McIntyre 29)

beat

Grange 63 all out (Dougie Firth 3 for 5)

The schedule and team for the Cricket Scotland U13 cup quarter final between Carlton & Grange had more twists and turns than the minotaur’s labyrinth, which is somehow appropriate given that a  large proportion of the organisation took place from a holiday in Rhodes.  Friday 20 July, at Portgower Place, was finally agreed, and a strong squad of under-13s was assembled, revised, re-jigged, and re-assembled. 

 But wait ... what was this stuff falling from the sky?  It’s wet ... pleasantly cool ... but might make playing cricket awkward.  Does it have a name?  We searched back through our tribal memories.  Some of the older players thought they could remember days when it was not possible to play cricket because of this stuff.  The younger players scoffed – surely it was always possible to play cricket?  At 6:30, Portgower Place was engulfed in a short, sharp drizzle-shower.  By 6:40, it had passed, and a truncated 18-over game got under way on the main square. 

The toss is the stuff of legend.  Translation: at this point I was elsewhere, trying to find a Grange scorer, or at least someone who knew the names of their players – as the first bowler steamed in from the pavilion end, he was still listed as “Grange 1” in the scorebook, not very professional.  It was determined that Carlton would bat first, and Gavin & Thomas marched out to open the innings.  And what an opening it was: after a circumspect five in the first over, they accelerated, scoring 44 in the first five overs.  Gavin quickly reached 31 in a mere 16 balls and retired.  Muz joined Thomas, and they carried on hitting hard, and running enthusiastically.  The score ticked along at around eight-an-over, until a hiccup in the eighth when Thomas was bowled for a patient 13.

 If the bowlers celebrated, it can only have been short-lived: Rua strode out to join Muz, and was clearly minded to overtake him, clubbing the ball to all parts of the ground.  After a couple of sighters, Rua laid into the bowlers, hitting a one-bounce four, then a six, another four ...  Muz, when Rua let him get to the striker’s end, joined in the fun himself with a mighty six.  Rua reached 29, and launched an enormous shot over mid-wicket, surely destined for an innings-crowning six?  But wait, what is this?  Deep mid-wicket leapt high in the air, hung there for a moment, and plucked the ball one-handed out of its trajectory – a magnificent catch.  I don’t know if it makes it better or worse that deep mid-wicket learned his cricket at Carlton. 

The pace of the innings changed.  Matthew joined Muz all-too-briefly; Charlie was run out by some smart work from the bowler while attempting a quick single; Shaun was bamboozled by Grange’s mystery spinner.  Amongst all these comings and goings, Muz clattered six more runs and retired on 31.  In the course of just three overs, four wickets had fallen, and one batsman had retired.  The scoreboard read 117-5, by no means a poor position even considering two batsmen had retired.  But our tail had firstly to stop the fall of wickets, then use the remaining 4½ overs to improve the score. 

Dougie and Rory went to work: Rory ran alertly, Dougie hit a string of singles.  One shot trickled out toward the boundary and they ran three – unusual on junior boundaries.  Rory fell to the mystery spinner for his second wicket.  Fraser joined Dougie and hit a quick nine, leaving Carlton on 138-6, and Rudy, for the third match in a row, watching proceedings padded up and ready to go.  Was 138 enough?  The massed band of Carlton spectators were cautiously optimistic: 7.7 an over is hard to achieve under the pressure of a chase, and we have some fire-power in our bowling. 

The match was being played on the main square – the same square where Carlton’s Ali Evans had bowled the only maiden, and taken two England wickets just a few weeks ago.  In fact, Ali had been coaching some of these boys at the cricket camp just this week: could some of his magic rub off on the boys?  (Spoiler alert: yes!) 

Muz opened the bowling with a wonderful maiden over: fast, straight, and with wicked bounce.  Even better, Rudy followed up with an equally wonderful maiden over: fast, straight, and with a hint of swing.  Muz went one better than both Rudy and Ali: a wicket maiden, 0-1.  Grange finally scored two runs in the fourth over.  Muz retired to short cover to lead the fielding and was replaced by Shaun.  Rudy carried on, bowling straight and venomously, but without the wicket his accuracy deserved, although the pressure of not scoring runs led to an optimistic single, sharply run out by a swift pick up and throw by Muz to Gavin.  Shaun got in on the act and bowled Grange’s number four.  Rory took over from Shaun, and induced a towering top edge from Grange’s dangerous number five.  Up, up, up it went (maybe searching for the source of that falling water earlier?).  Down, down, down it came ... straight into the nonchalantly waiting hands of Dougie at backward square leg.  With his very next ball, Rory bowled Grange’s number three, who had looked well set on 16. (That was the end of Rory’s over, by the time he started his next over, everyone had forgotten he was on a hat-trick, and its first ball was an unremarkable and unremarked dot.) 

If the preceding paragraph appears rather breathless, it’s a fair reflection of the cricket.  At the half-way point in their innings, Grange were 25-5, a tricky 114 runs behind.  The pace of the match slowed a little:  Rua bowled an over of prodigious swing for no reward; Rory completed his two-over spell with a miserly two-run over; Fraser entered the attack and had Grange’s number six stumped by Gavin at the second attempt, moments after the Grange scorer had told me that the batsman in question is most often out stumped.  Dougie entered the attack; his first ball was struck hard but uppishly into the covers, where a diving Muz took an excellent two-handed catch.  Three overs from Fraser, Dougie & Charlie passed with a trickle of runs. Dougie returned for his third over.  The first ball was struck hard back over his head.  Dougie reached up, if possible even more nonchalantly than for his first catch, and plucked the ball out of the air as if he was picking a particularly juicy and ripe apple.  With his second ball, he bowled the new batsman.  Alas, his third ball was an over-eager wide, he’ll have to wait a bit longer for a hat-trick. 

Charlie bowled the final over and induced an uppish shot to Fraser, who clung on to the ball, returning the favour from Sunday - for the second match in a week, the scorebook reads ct Kentish b Kentish. 

That was a cracking victory, won by a complete team performance.  The batting was belligerent from top to bottom, the bowling hostile and accurate, and the fielding committed and near-perfect.  The team thoroughly deserve their place in the finals.

Thank you to Grange for hosting us when the schedule should have had us host them.  Thanks too to Stevie for taking time out from looking after his new-born son to coach and umpire the team.  And finally, thank you to the crowd of parents watching the match.  Once again, the watching parents outnumbered the players – it must help the boys to have such a large, knowledgeable and encouraging support.

Sunday 5th August, 11 am
Scottish Cup Semi Final
L
Carlton
v
Ferguslie

Goldenacre

Ferguslie 82 all out (Isaac Foley 3 for 11)

Carlton 82 all out (Jamie Beattie 18, Fraser Kentish 18)

Ferguslie won as they had more retired batsmen

The Under-13 Scottish Cup finals day was held at Goldenacre on Sunday 5 August.  Carlton team selection was somewhat complicated not only by holidays, but also by Gavin & Rua’s selection for the Eastern Knights, and Muz’ selection for Scotland Under-15s.  Nevertheless, a strong Carlton squad assembled at Goldenacre in an optimistic mood.  They’d won one cup, could they do the double?

Changing room and pitch allocation was based on an unusual first-come-first-served approach, and the Heriot’s 1st XI pitch and changing room was claimed by a member of the ASI Gordonians squad who arrived from Aberdeen before even the earliest Carlton arrival.  Disappointingly, the player in question used to play for Carlton before moving to Aberdeen!  However, pitch two is not to be sneezed at, even though it has long boundaries and a surprisingly lush outfield.  Several Carlton players had happy memories of success on it in other matches, so it was in good spirits that we repaired there to play Ferguslie. 

Ferguslie had had a last-minute schedule, not knowing their quarter-final opponents (Ayr) until Thursday, and having played them only on Friday.  Perhaps as a consequence, they had brought only eight players.  Apparently undaunted by this numerical mismatch, they won the toss and decided to bat.  Carlton’s opening bowlers limbered up.  Rudy’s first over was a little loose, and went for eight runs – more than he usually gives away in an entire spell.  After that however, Carlton’s bowling tightened up, aided by some sparkling fielding.  Jamie conceded four runs in two overs, Rudy only another three in two more overs, such that after five overs, Ferguslie were going slowly at 15 runs.  Fraser replaced Jamie and struck with his first ball, a lofted drive very well caught by Isaac running backwards at mid-wicket.  After this brief moment of excitement, the match returned to its previous suffocating state – after 10 overs, no further wickets had fallen, but Ferguslie had reached only 35.

Suddenly, everything changed.  The first ball of Euan’s third over resulted in a run out, smartly thrown by Jamie from mid-off.  Celebrations were brief however, and all concerned probably wished they hadn’t been quite so alert in the field.  Ferguslie’s number four was strong and powerful, with a very good eye, and dispatched his first ball (also a no-ball) over mid-wicket for seven.  To show that was no fluke, he placed the very next ball in almost exactly the same location.  He paused for breath for a ball, then sent his fourth ball high over long-on for another maximum.  Another breather, and his sixth ball joined its brethren in exile over the mid-wicket boundary.  In a single over, he’d scored 25 runs, near-doubling his team’s score.  Isaac bowled his partner with the first ball of the next over, but his replacement snuck a quick single, which brought number four back to the striker’s end.  A one-bounce four was followed by a single straight to a deep fielder.  He repeated the single on the first ball of Rudy’s following over, a somewhat tame end to a swashbuckling innings, and retired on 30 from nine balls, having more-or-less single-handedly doubled Ferguslie’s 10-over score in two overs.

The match returned to its original strangled state.  Ferguslie’s remaining batsmen found it hard to hit the ball, and especially hard to hit it past our fielders.  Isaac took two more wickets: an athletic tumbling caught-and-bowled, and a sharp catch at mid-off by Jamie, and their last batsman was run-out in the 17th over, to leave them on 82.

Carlton had to chase 82 runs.  In 20 overs.  Against 8 fielders.

Ferguslie’s opening bowlers bowled straight and fast, and derived some swing, probably aided by the strengthening Westerly breeze.  Carlton’s top order found the going very difficult.  Euan started with a single, then he and Ruaridh ran four byes, taking advantage of a stand-in wicketkeeper and a sparse field.  But the runs dried up – Ferguslie’s fielders may have been sparse, but they were quick and threw the ball hard and accurately.  Euan fell, attempting to dispatch a wide and short ball outside off over cover’s head, but instead finding his hands.  In the next over, Ruaridh was beaten by late movement and bowled.  (I’ve never really understood the expression “without troubling the scorers”.  Ruaridh for example had faced eight balls, including running four byes, all painstakingly logged by both scorers.  And as a supporter of the team as well as their scorer, I am greatly troubled when they don’t score runs, far more then when they do.)  Matthew lasted three balls before being caught attempting an ambitious, er, shot.  Charlie and Freddie hunkered down, weathering a maiden over, and an over which only yielded two runs – then Freddie cut loose with a two and a four, only for Charlie to be run out trying to keep this new scoring rate going.  Freddie lasted only one more ball before being bowled.

Oh-oh, Carlton are five wickets down, for 26 runs, in the seventh over.   But we still have lots of batting to come, and 82 runs is, after all, only 82 runs ...  Jamie and Isaac settled in to rebuild the innings.  Jamie cracked his first two balls for four, but the pair thereafter slowed down, without looking too troubled.  For six overs, they pottered on at around 3½ runs an over, which sounds slow, but wasn’t that far from the required run rate of 4-5 an over.  Then suddenly, as cricket matches are wont to do, the situation changed.  Twin rushes of blood induced first Jamie, then Isaac to be run out attempting risky runs – doubly risky as by now we’d a good idea how sharp Ferguslie’s fielders were.  The carnage continued: Rudy was bowled attempting a heave towards mid-wicket; Rory was run out attempting a run so improbable it merits its own entry in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!.

Oh-oh, Carlton are nine wickets down, still 32 runs short of their target, and the required run rate has crept over a run-a-ball.  Fraser and Dougie seemed surprisingly unconcerned by any of this arithmetic.  Dougie wisely blocked the remains of that over, then Fraser hit a two, another two and a single, to keep the strike.  Two wides, a single, two, four!  Another wide, another two.  Stealthily, our last pair had climbed to 70 runs.  Penultimate over: Dougie unleashed an elegant on-drive for four past mid-wicket, then a single, then Fraser struck a two.  77 runs, six needed off the last over!  Dougie snuck a single, Fraser hit a two, then another single: two needed off two.  A wide!  The scores were tied, one run needed off two balls!  The bowler found his range, and bowled a fierce yorker which Dougie could only dig out.  One to win, one ball left.  Another yorker, again dug out.  Fraser set off in pursuit of the sort of last-ball improbable bye that sometimes succeeds because the fielders have switched off, thinking it’s all over.  Alas, Ferguslie are made of stronger stuff, saw Fraser coming and ran him out.

The match was tied.  How should we resolve that?  The umpires didn’t know, the finals organiser and a copy of the rules were consulted.  They were – ahem – somewhat unclear in the circumstances, apparently not catering for the possibilities of a team being short-handed, or not batting the full 20 overs (both of which had happened in this match).  A call to the Cricket Scotland administrator, multiple discussions, lunch (I kid you not, the decision took that long) … and eventually it was decided that Ferguslie had won as they had had one batsman retire – even if they’d had a full complement of players, we could have taken only 9 wickets, whereas they had taken all 10 of ours. 

It’s never good to miss out to a tie-breaker.  Nonetheless, Ferguslie had worked extremely hard in the field for their victory, bowling well, covering the ground quickly, and throwing the ball hard and accurately from all parts of the field.  For Carlton, Fraser and Dougie’s oh-so-near rearguard was probably the highlight, although that depended on Jamie and Isaac’s recovery partnership in the middle of the innings.  Our main problem?  Our top five were out for a grand total of 26 runs, putting considerable pressure on the lower order, and probably leading to five runs outs (although Fraser’s forgiven, he probably felt he had to try to win it on the last ball)

Sunday 5th August, 2.30 pm
Scottish Cup 3rd Place Play Off
W
Carlton
v
Meigle

Goldenacre

Carlton 169 for 2 (Charlie Kentish 33 ret, Euan Keatinge 30 ret, Matthew Restall 30 ret)

beat

Meigle 98 for 5 (Jamie Beattie 2 for 6)

Fresh from the disappointment of losing a tie-breaker in the semi-final, Carlton faced Meigle in the 3rd/4th place playoff.  Meigle themselves seemed remarkably upbeat, having just lost a semi-final of their own – the capacity of junior cricketers to put disappointments behind them and get on with the next game never ceases to amaze me.  Carlton won the toss, and decided to bat. 

Openers Euan and Rory marched out, and set off at fair old pace: a bye off the first ball, a dot, a wide-plus-bye, dot, then Euan really got going: 2, 4, 2.  Things settled down a little after that, but the batsmen rarely looked troubled, and after 5 overs had cruised to 29 runs.  Three overs later, they’d reached 40, when Rory set off for one of his trademark sporting singles, and was convincingly run out for a solid 16.  Charlie joined Euan and, after a quiet start of dots and singles, started to hit out, scoring off more-or-less every ball.  After 10 overs, the score stood at 71, pretty respectable for the half-way point.  The 11th over featured a breathless 17 runs, and from then on the run-rate hardly dipped below 8 an over.  Euan calmly hit his way to 30 off 26 balls, and retired, to be replaced by Matthew.  Charlie and Matthew carried on accumulating steadily, including a rare 3 to Matthew.  After 15 overs, we’d scored 120 runs, and Charlie joined Euan in retirement with a well-deserved 33 off 25 balls.  Matthew followed him an over later for 30 off 20.

Rudy and Jamie had a mere 4 overs in which to attempt to join their colleagues in retirement.  Both hit out strongly, Rudy scoring 15 before holing out to mid-wicket, which left Isaac to face two balls.  Jamie too scored freely, hitting 16 not out.  Carlton’s total was a very strong 169-2.

Meigle’s reply started slowly.  Rudy bowled a maiden, Isaac gave away a mere three runs, Rudy returned with just one run, Isaac another five.  Dougie bowled the fifth over and induced a catch to Fraser: Meigle were 16-1 after five overs, and already looking a bit behind.  But the wicket brought Meigle’s number three to the crease – tall, strong, and with a good eye.  His innings lasted a mere nine balls, but what an entertaining nine balls they were, except perhaps for the bowlers.  He scored off all but one ball, and only one scoring shot wasn’t a boundary.  In just over two overs, he almost single-handedly wrestled Meigle’s score from a measly 16-1 to a more competitive 55-1, and retired for a well-earned 31.

That was about as close as Meigle got.  Their other batsmen didn’t have quite the same strength as their number three, and our bowlers were too good.  To be honest, the match drifted – it was clear long before the end that Meigle didn’t have the firepower to overhaul our 169, and the urgency went out of the game.  Jamie, exercising the captain’s privilege of  avoiding the opposition’s star batsman, bowled a superb three overs for 2-6.  The other bowlers were equally parsimonious, but without Jamie’s cutting edge.  Even the umpires seemed to feel the need of some diversion, and started asking brain-teasers of our square leg fielder: what does the umpire signal, and how many runs are scored, if a bowler bowls a no-ball, which ricochets off the wicket-keeper’s discarded helmet (it’s obviously not a junior match) and crosses the boundary?  Answers to Dougie, c/o square leg.  The other umpire was heard to offer a burger to the batsman if he hit a six.  Meigle’s innings ended on 98-5. 

Meanwhile, in the final on the other pitch, Ferguslie clung on against ASI Gordonians, astonishingly to another tie.  This one was even closer than our semi-final, the tie hinging on the question of how to run a batsman out when the bails have already been dislodged.  Sadly for Ferguslie, their fielder didn’t know the answer to that brain-teaser, Gordonians stole an extra run at the death, and won the game on the countback.

It’s a funny game, cricket.

 

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