Sun. May 26th, 2024

4s go down to Hawick

The Carlton Positively 4th XI faced an outing to the Scottish Borders to face Hawick and Wilton CC in the latest dream encounter served up by the fixture supremos of the ultra-super-elite ESCA Positively Division.  In preparation your correspondent spent some time in the national Library of Scotland researching the works of Sir Walter Scott in particular his preparatory drafts of the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, his celebrated anthology of Border ballads first published in 1802.  He was surprised to find the verses below which seem unjustly to have been excluded from the original edition.

Your correspondent understands that there is a lobby amongst his admirers who demand more factual material about the cricket match rather than other stuff even, or is it particularly, asides on the bowling action of the great composers.

For those readers who wish to know the historical truth on which the poet’s fancy expands –  Carlton won the toss and inserted the opposition (the poet neither records the skipper’s great skill in securing this win nor does he praise the decision to insert the opposition as appropriate on looking at the damp and green surface.)  Hawick scored 169 for 8, with their skipper Ronan Alexander scoring a well-made 55.  The skipper took 3-20;  Ewan Hutchinson 3-21 – both spurning hattrick opportunities (with spectacular ineptness in the skipper’s case).  Jaimie took 2 excellent high catches.  Carlton’s batting never got going.  There was a good stand between Al Murray (22) and Euan Keatinge (21) but both got out just when they could have gone on and made things interesting.  Carlton were all out for 107.

The minstrel’s version of these events:

Some sing o’ lords, some sing o’ lairds

And sic like men o’ high degrees

But I maun sing o’ the lower sort

The Carlton Positivelys


To Hawick toon they venture south

As the fixture list’s ordaining

With some astonishment because

For once it wisnae raining


The toss the skipper taks with ease

He wins wi’ great precision

And with the wicket green and saft

There’s nae doubt in his decision


Jamie and Ivan launch the attack

The batters staunch resisting

The skipper’s noble brow is creased

The youngsters need assisting


It’s mony a year and sev’ral more

He’s had to bowl an over

But whan the wind blows ‘cross the pitch

He’s like a lamb in clover


The batsman hears the rattle o’ death

That inswinger – once world famous

Brings two in two – the hattrick’s on

But the next ball only shames us


Nae luck for Charlie nor for Hutch

Hawick reach sixty –  thirsts are slaken

Then Ivan hits the seam at pace

The edge by Eric safely taken


An luckless day for Nahum too

Beats the bat oft but sadly fails

To deliver that coup de grace

To bring down to earth the bails


Jamie taks two starry catches

Firm and true as the ball descends

Hutch sweeps the tail – he smiles again

And the Hawick innings ends


One seventy to win the match

The Positivelys feel they’ll do it

But third ball up Gav feathers behind

And trudges off to rue it


Hawick’s bowling’s too precise

Eric and Paul back in the hutch

At 21 with three men doon

The runs required may be too much


But Al and Keatinge Minor work

And set about recovery

They fight for freedom, for justice

And against death by slavery


That last bit might be a tad o’er the top

But ye’ll allow poetic licence

For they bat well, wi’ skill and flair

And not a little common sense


But alas that sense deserts them baith

First Keats chasing a wide one is caught

Then Al goes for a risky second

A direct hit – he’s two yards short


Seventy two for five men lost

Grandchildren will hear the legend told

The cause may be gone but glory bids

As each batting point is solid gold


So Hutch Charlie and Jamie

Show skill and determination

Making the score respectable

Avert absolute ruination


So there oor Border venture ends

The Positivelys sixty two behind

But a fine sunny day – a game to enjoy

When all’s is done, what’s there to mind?


Some sing o’ lords, some sing o’ lairds

And sic like men o’ high degrees

No joyful song of victory

For the Carlton Positivelys