The latest lifting of restrictions has finally allowed cricket matches to be played and Carlton took full advantage of the spring sunshine to play friendlies against 3 Grange XIs & 2 sides from Watsonians as well as an impromptu Parents versus Players Kwik Cricket tournament.
On Saturday the 1st XI travelled to Portgower Place to take on Grange. Asked to bat first Carlton were all out for 219 in the 40th over with Tom Simpson (51); Hayden Lang (47); Ali Evans (37) & Ali Shah (31) the major contributors. The home side made a fast start in the reply and despite wickets for Chayank Gosain (2); Umair Mohammed & Evans, Grange ran out comfortable winners with 6 wickets and plenty of overs to spare.
Back at Grange Loan, new 2nd XI skipper Pete Deakin won the toss and inserted Grange 2s. A strong bowling & fielding performance saw the visitors bundled out for 122 in the 36th over. After the veteran opening bowling combination of Charles Stronach & Omar Ahmad pressured the visitors early on, Harry Simpson claimed 4 wickets and Joe Flynn picked up 3. Openers Chris McAllister and Gav Murray made a steady start before McAllister was bowled for 21 in the 11th over. Will Hardie (40*) joined Murray (47*) and saw Carlton home in the 25th over for a resounding 9 wicket win.
The 4th XI made the short journey to Craiglockhart to play Watsonian 3s and skipper Brian Kaczynski won the toss and elected to bowl first. Another strong performance with the ball saw the home side bowled out for 132 with three wickets apiece for Rudy Adair & Sam Haggo; 2 for Fraser Kentish and one each for Dougie Firth and Joe Ward. Both openers fell early but a 52 run partnership between Al Murray (25) & Shuaib Farooq (32) steadied the ship. Carlton continued to lose wickets to keep the game interesting but good lower order contributions from Adair (17) and Firth (14) helped the 4s home with 2 wickets in hand.
On Sunday the 3rd XI were at Portgower Place to play Grange 3s and Paul Kentish won the toss and chose to bat. Despite the early loss of Adam Richardson, the next 5 batters all made good contributions to help propel the 3s to 236 for 5 from their 35 overs. The skipper top scored with 69*, well supported by Mo Nauman (47); Euan Keatinge (41); Zaki Yusaf (27) & Cameron Keatinge (27). In reply Grange started well but after Oscar Smith claimed the first wicket the required rate began to climb. Charlie Kentish and Yusaf also picked up wickets as Grange fell 23 runs short.
The same day, the 5th XI entertained Watsonians 4s at Grange Loan. The visitors won the toss and inserted Carlton with openers James Stronach (22) and John Beattie (13) giving the 5s a solid start. Despite a cluster of wickets in the middle order, Ian Thompson (47*); Gus Turner (38) & Lucy Spouncer (25) took the 5s to a useful looking 177 for 6 from their 40 overs. The 5s got off to a good start with 2 early wickets for Kyle Burgess and a run out from Fergus Foley. Euan Murray, Foley & Spouncer also claimed wickets to put the home team in a strong position but the Watsonian lower order produced some big hits to see them home with 4 wickets and 1 over in hand.
Early on Sunday, due to unprecedented demand, a bonus Parents versus Players Kwik Cricket tournament was held on the outfield involving 24 players, the same number of parents and ably assisted by umpires from the U14 squad.