That strangest of cricket sights - a sunny Saturday morning - greeted the boys and dads of the primary school side as they turned up for the annual grudge match at Grange Loan.
Thanks to the sterling work of the Carlton groundstaff, the ground was in immaculate condition and the match got underway at 9.30. As tradition dictates, the boys batted first and John and Robert got their side off to a good start in the face of some wayward bowling to put on 15 without loss. Ben and Alastair then carried on in the same way, with good running between the wickets, to add another 12 runs.
Kieran and Pete notched up 18 runs in aggressive manner but the first wicket of the day fell, costing them the customary 5 run penalty. Finley and Matthew then formed a fine partnership in the face of some baseball style pitching from Finley's dad to add another 14, taking the boys' total to 54 with two pairs to come.
Gregor and Tom (below) started well before a wicket had them on their heels, eventually adding a net 8 to the total. The senior pairing of Ruairidh and Angus were, as usual, heavily handicapped by having the most competitive dads. Ruairidh responded to some dreadful sledging by trying to hit the bowling out of the ground - a tactic that didn't always pay off. Nevertheless, the pair played some handsome shots to end in credit and take the boys' total to a challenging 68.
After a sumptuous tea (can we call it tea if it's taken at 10.45 am?) the dads began the chase. An early wicket set them back on their heels and John and Robert could be pleased at eventually restricting the ageing batsmen to just 11 runs, despite some handsome drives from Stuart. Ben and Alistair bowled well and delivered an identical outcome (16 for 1) to leave the dads on a net 22 a third of the way through their innings.
A lot was expected of the experienced bowling duo of Kieran and Pete and they didn't disappoint, picking up 4 wickets between them as their respective dads crawled to a paltry net 6 runs. An accurate first-ever over from Finley was then followed by a devastating ten ball spell from Matthew, who picked up no fewer than four wickets, leaving the dads marooned on a woeful total of 28 with just two pairs to go.
Gregor and Tom bowled tight lines and picked up a wicket apiece but some customary big hitting from Phil helped the dads add ten to the score. 31 needed then from the last dads' pairing of 'Pyscho Beattie and 'WIn at all Costs' Main.
Ruairidh was the first to suffer the effects of mental disintegration as he struggled for line and length although he did find time to dismiss Angus's dad with the ball of the day - a beauty that dipped and spun and took the top of off stump. 17 required off the last and Angus found the 20 yard strip difficult to adjust to, allowing David to pick up a couple of fours and take the old geezers' team within sight of victory.
2 needed off the last ball - Angus went for the perfect yorker and got it slightly wrong, delivering a high full toss that Main senior, with the scent of victory in his nostrils, smashed to the boundary sending the spectators scattering. As the old men high fived in celebration, the youngsters noticed the call of no-ball from the umpire. One extra run to the total but one delivery still to bowl!
Only a wicket could save the youngsters now. Angus steamed in and delivered a vicious swinging delivery that struck David on the pads. Did it pitch outside leg stump? Would it have been missing the stumps? Not on your nelly ...
"OUT!" said the umpire. Five runs off the total meaning the boys had won by two runs. Full reward for a great effort from the boys and just punishment for some dreadful gamesmanship from the parents.
A huge thank you to Amelia for all her hard work in the wettest of all summers, to the coaches for making it all possible and to Alasdair for doing so much to ensure the boys got the final game of the season in.