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Women win again as Harry takes 5

Sadly for all concerned, the long overdue rain decided to arrive in the east of Scotland on Saturday, meaning the only cricket played over the weekend was by the Carlton women and the 3rd XI on Sunday ... and a Carlton friendly side in a special T20 match on Friday evening.

A grey but dry Friday evening saw a Heart of Midlothian side arrive at Grange Loan for a rematch of a game first played in 1936. A hugely enjoyable evening ensued, with both sides (and the umpires!) contributing to a tied match.  Match report, scorecard and photos here.

On Sunday, the Carlton women headed to Barnton to take on RH Corstorphine in their second match in this year’s Cricket Deal Direct Premier League. Once again the Carlton bowling attack was on top form as they dismissed the home side for just 67. A good opening partnership of 43 between Katie McGill and Christina Evans then set the foundations for a comfortable 7 wicket win.

At Grange Loan, the 3s hosted St Boswells in their ESCA Division 2 match (below) and had to battle hard to post a challenging total. Eric Edwards was the mainstay of the innings, hitting 61 as the 3s hit 153 for 9 in their 40 overs.  The visitors’ reply was slowed by two early wickets from Mikey Brown and Sam Haggo, before Charles Stronach struck twice in quick succession. The match-winning performance though came from teenage off spinner Harry Simpson who took 5 wickets to bundle out St Boswells for just 81.

It was also a great Sunday for Carlton 1st team skipper Ali Evans, who took 3 wickets as Scotland beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets.

Five from five as Carlton win in league and cup

After a distinct lack of wins over the first couple of weekends of the season, Week 3 saw a much healthier return with 5 out of 5 for our senior sides on Saturday and Sunday. The only side not to register a win was the 2s, whose match at Dunnikier was called off on Saturday morning.

Carlton entertained Falkland at Grange Loan on Saturday and with both sides looking for their first league win of the season it could have been a tight affair. However opener Fraser Watts, still smarting from nicking off early against Grange last week, looked in fine form from the outset and was well supported by Michael Herdman batting at 3. The pair put on 178 together before the latter was stumped in the 33rd over. Watts kept going and passed his 150 (in somewhat unorthodox fashion) before eventually being caught with 162 to his name. A great knock from the evergreen club captain as his side posted 309 for 7 in their 44 overs – 6 overs having been lost to rain earlier in proceedings.

The Falkland reply never rally sparked, with Ali Evans taking the first wicket with a caught and bowled in the 5th over (below), before left-armers Herdman and Keddle dismissed pro Cooray and amateur Paul respectively. The final wicket fell with the score on 83, to give Carlton a 227 run victory on DLS.

The Threes enjoyed their second victory of the season at Inverleith as they bowled out home side Drummond Trinity for just 88, with Duncan Sutherland earning top fantasy points with 5 for 23. The reply was far from straightforward, but vital runs down the order from Calum Sibley and Duncan Sutherland saw their side home with two wickets to spare.

The Fives started their season at their home from home at Peffermill against the combined second side of Gala and Hawick. Young Charlie Kentish and debutante Hannah Rainey opened the bowling and the visitors were soon in deep trouble at 9 for 4. Despite a recovery, the innings ended with Gala/Hawick all out for 103; Charlie returning the mighty impressive figures of 5 for 13. The Fives’ reply was anchored by the one and only Keith Murray (61*) and there was another fine contribution from Charlie who hit 25 as the Fives eased home with almost 10 overs to spare.

Sunday saw Carlton head across town for a potentially tricky Scottish Cup first round tie against Premier League neighbours SMRH (below). Carlton couldn’t have got off to a better start, with skipper Ali Evans inducing the SMRH pro to hit the first ball of the match to Kyle Macpherson at point, before bowling the home side’s overseas amateur with the second. Another for Ali in his second over was quickly followed by two quick wickets at the other end from Michael Herdman, which had SMRH toiling at 3 for 5 in the 4th over. Any thoughts of a middle order recovery were destroyed by a Herdman hat-trick as the home side were rolled over for just 22. Young openers Kyle Macpherson and Tom Simpson then knocked off the runs in just 2.2 overs to send Carlton into the next round, where they will meet Clydesdale at Titwood on Sunday 28th May.

The early finish at Inverleith meant the crowd at Grange Loan for the 4s match against Kirk Brae 2s was swelled by the 1st team squad and supporters. They were entertained to a cracking match in the sun as youngsters Harry Simpson, Rua McIntyre, Cameron Keatinge and Gavin Murray all impressed with the ball as Kirk Brae were restricted to 192 for 7 in their 40.

Veteran Eric Edwards (below) led the reply with a solid 61 but he received invaluable support from teenagers Ben d’Ulisse (28) and Euan Burgess (25) before the experienced Charles Stronach saw his side to a 4 wicket win with an unbeaten 29.

On Sunday morning the Kwik Cricket youngsters travelled to Hawick for the local festival and returned home unbeaten after a great day out.

Carlton to host Hearts

Back in 1936, the biggest crowd of the season at Grange Loan was for a challenge match held on the evening of 20th May between Carlton Cricket Club and Heart of Midlothian Football Club

The Hearts goalkeeper at the time, Thomas Crosskey, also played cricket professionally for Carlton and he brought the two clubs together for a unique clash, encouraging team mates such as Andy Anderson, Andy Black and Tommy Walker to join him in the Hearts XI.

 

81 years later the two clubs have agreed to play a return match – an evening T20 at Grange Loan on Friday 19th May.

The Hearts team will include some legends of the past, such as John Robertson, Henry Smith and Jimmy Sandison, while Chief Operating Officer Scot Gardiner and assistant manager Austin McPhee will also represent the Jambos.

 

Carlton will be skippered by club captain Fraser Watts, and he’ll be joined by Sky Sports Scotland football reporter Charles Paterson who will be making a welcome comeback at Grange Loan.

The match starts at 6pm, the Carlton bar will be open and admission is free.

Women start with a win as Ollie hits a ton

Scotland opener Ollie Rae (below) hit her second Carlton hundred on Sunday as her side got their national league campaign off to a winning start against the combined West side at Greenock.

Batting first, the women got off to a flyer, thanks to a fine opening stand between Ollie and Lily Steindl, which was broken just before the 100 mark when Lily was bowled. Skipper Ruth Willis then contributed a breezy 27 before Ollie brought up her 100 in the last over, having been well supported by Ikra Farooq (10*) as Carlton finished on a commanding 205 for 3 off their 30 overs. The strong bowling attack then made sure the West reply (below) was unable to gain momentum, taking regular wickets to dismiss the home side for 65 in 21 overs. Charis Scott was the pick of the bowlers taking 3 for 16 from her 4 overs, with Hannah Rainey contributing 2 for 19.

Elsewhere at the weekend, wins were hard to come by. At Grange Loan on Saturday, Carlton were undone by ex-captain Preston Mommsen who enjoyed his return to his old ground by hammering an impressive unbeaten 156 as visitors Grange rattled up an imposing 310 for 4. Despite a fine 96 from Michael Herdman (below) and 47 from Rory McCann the home side were never really in the hunt, eventually losing by 84 runs.

Over at Barnton the Twos were on the receiving end of a hundred from another ex-Scotland man as RH Corstorphine new boy Majid Haq hit 109 in his side’s total of 235 for 6. Skipper Andrew Meyer got the Carlton chase off to a good start before falling for 43 and it was left to teenager Tom Simpson to hold the innings together with a composed 78. However, a middle order collapse left the Twos with too much to do and they were bowled out for 189.

A strong looking Threes batting line-up struggled to get to grips with conditions at Livingston and soon found themselves in deep trouble at 22 for 5 off 14 overs. A battling partnership between teenagers Gregor McIntyre (28) and Mikey Brown (22) provided some balance, before the late order collapsed to leave the Threes looking to defend just 74. They made a good fist of it though, picking up 8 Livingston wickets before the home side got over the line in the 29th over.

On Sunday, the Fours took custody of a pitch where Messrs Mommsen and Herdman had hit 252 runs between them on the previous day. Sadly they mustered just 101 as they were bowled out by the Murrayfield DAFS 3rd XI. Only Alan Murray will be able to face the groundstaff without blushing, notching a respectable 33. Charlie Stronach then bowled an impressive spell on his comeback after a ten year break from cricket, picking up the first wicket, before that man Murray captured two and Eric Edwards earned fantasy points for a run out after a sharp one handed stop. However, that wasn’t enough to stop the visitors picking up full points with a six wicket win

Also on Sunday, the Carlton under 13s put up a good fight in their NatWest ECB Cup tie at Grange. Charlie Kentish took 4 wickets to restrict Grange to 107 for 7 in their 20 overs and a fighting Carlton reply took the team close although they ultimately fell short by just 8 runs.

Earlier on Sunday, Grange Loan was taken over by a sea of enthusiastic under 10s as the annual kwik cricket festival took place. Our own youngsters were on top form, with the two Carlton teams winning five of their six matches.

Threes to the fore as season gets underway

Carlton got their defence of the Eastern Premier League title underway at Glenrothes on Saturday, and they seemed to take 30 overs to shake the rustiness of the winter off their shoulders. Unfortunately, the home side were 153 for no wicket at that stage. A good last 20 overs, however, eventually restricted Glenrothes to 249 for 9 with youngsters Calum Everett and Angus Beattie picking up 5 wickets between them. Despite a good start, the Carlton reply suffered from a regular fall of wickets and they were eventually bowled out for 206, with Michael Herdman top scoring on 45.

Cheeky bowling at a chilly Gilvenbank Park, Glenrothres

Meanwhile at Grange Loan, new 2nd XI skipper Andrew Meyer (below) led from the front, hitting a controlled 67 as his side posted a healthy looking 259 for 7 against Grange 2s. Also in the runs were Craig Marshall (37), Ruairidh Main (37) and Adeel Raza (40).  Despite the early wickets, including a first ball success from young spinner Harry Simpson, wickets looked hard to come by and the experienced Grange batting line were clinical in their chase, eventually overhauling the Carlton total with 5 wickets to spare.

The Fours were also in Fife on Saturday as they played the Largo 2nd XI (below). Despite a solid start from the experienced opening pair of Eric Edwards and Keith Murray the Carlton visitors had to be content with a total of 112 for 9 in their 40 overs. Despite a spirited bowling performance, the Fifers won by 6 wickets in the 30th over.

There was better luck for the club on Sunday, however. The Carlton women won two of their three matches in the friendly tournament run by Watsonian CC and they'll be looking forward to their league campaign, which gets underway next Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the Carlton 3s hosted Largo in their first ever Division Two match. Alan Murray (below) first played for the Carlton 3rd XI when they were playing in the lower reaches of the ESCA league structure, but he showed no signs of being troubled by the heady heights of Division Two, taking 2 for 16 as Largo were dismissed for 144, before hitting an unbeaten 54 to lead his side to an 8 wicket win. Teenager Mikey Brown took 3 for 21 and Alan was well supported in the batting by Douglas Blood (29), Paul Kentish (26) and Nick Thomson (25*).

Ali's skipper. Herdy's back.

Carlton's 1st XI captain for the new season will be international fast bowler Ali Evans. Ali came through the Carlton age-group rankings, before going on to become a regular first team player as a teenager. He has had a two year spell in county cricket with Derbyshire and has earned 57 caps for Scotland.

Evo, who is currently on tour in Mexico with the MCC under the steady guidance of our very own Toby Bailey, will replace last season's championship winning skipper Stevie Gilmour.  Stevie will continue in his post as Carlton Head Coach, while Fraser Watts remains as Carlton club captain. Scotland A bowler Chayank Gosain takes over as vice captain

And there will be a familiar face joining Ali in the team for 2017, with the return of Aussie all-rounder Michael Herdman.

Herdy (below) last played for Carlton in 2012 when he was the club's top league wicket taker with 15 wickets. He also scored 221 league runs with a top score of 61*. He plays first grade cricket for the Redlands club in Queensland and will be rejoining us in April ahead of the new season.

Off the field, the club is readying itself for the new season. Sunday 26th March will see the annual ground preparation day between 10 am and 3pm. All volunteers to help out will be made very welcome.

2017 Carlton membership forms are also now available for download from the website.

Carlton appoint new head groundsman

Grange Loan has an unrivalled reputation as a true cricket surface, enjoyed by good batsmen but always offering reward to bowlers at the top of their game. Only last season the Carlton batsmen helped themselves to a mammoth 388 runs during an Eastern Premiership match.

A huge part of the credit for this state of affairs goes to our volunteer Head Groundsman, Alasdair McLeod, who will be taking a well-earned back seat from 2017.

Replacing Alasdair as Carlton Head Groundsman from February 2017 will be Colin Smith, formerly Head of Grounds at Edinburgh University’s Peffermill Playing Fields, where he has worked for the past 22 years. Colin is also a qualified umpire and has played cricket for Holy Cross for many years, while his three sons have all been members of Carlton Juniors at some point in the past.

Happily, Alasdair will not be lost to Grange Loan as he intends to continue to volunteer on the ground and we hope he will remain a familiar figure at Carlton for many years to come. Alasdair joined Carlton from West of Scotland in 1982, helping out on the ground immediately after his arrival from Glasgow before eventually taking over the reins as Head Groundsman. In recognition of his remarkable service, Alasdair was admitted as an Honorary Life Member of Carlton at this year’s AGM.

 

Alasdair                                                                                                                 Colin

Carlton launch Performance Squad

Following on from our success in 2016, the club is launching a new Performance Squad to develop the next generation of First Team cricketers.

The aim of this squad is to provide cricketers aged 16-25 with additional opportunities to learn and improve, creating a culture of constant learning and self-development, and helping our young players 'think like bright cricketers'.

This is an exciting initiative, and key to our continued success as a club. The squad will be led by Fraser Watts and Stevie Gilmour, and will include contributions from some of the best coaches in Scottish cricket. 

Squad membership will be by invitation, and anyone who is interested in learning more is welcome to speak to Fraggle.

 

Photos from the first session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 league fixtures announced

Fixtures for the 2017 league season have been announced and Carlton will start the defence of their CSL Eastern Premiership title with a trip to Glenrothes. The Fifers have already signalled their intent by signing Scotland all-rounder Safyaan Sharif from Falkland during the close season and social media has been abuzz with stories suggesting that ex Indian test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth could also join as their overseas professional. Regardless of the outcome of that story, Carlton know that they’ll face a challenging start to the season at Gilvenbank Park.

Week 2 will see Carlton play their opening fixture at Grange Loan with old rivals Grange the visitors. Grange have also strengthened their squad during the winter and they will be keen to get back to winning ways after Carlton completed the league double over them last season.

The 2s get their ESCA Championship title campaign underway with a home match against their Grange counterparts, while the 3s, who secured promotion last year, will host Largo in their Division 2 match.

League reconstruction has seen the 4th XI propelled into the heady heights of ESCA Division 5, and they also start with a match against Largo, travelling over the bridge to play the Fifers' 2nd XI. The 5th XI start their Division 8 campaign two weeks later when they host the combined Gala/Hawick 2nd XI.

Full fixtures