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Hello and welcome to the 1st edition of a regular Captain’s Report – as part of the cricket club’s newsletter.
Firstly, I would like to introduce myself to all our members, parents and volunteers and share my excitement at taking over as Club Captain for Penicuik CC.
I have been a member of the cricket club for the best part of a decade now. Like all the juniors starting at the club, my Friday evenings were spent bowling, batting and catching balls at the glorious Kirkhill with my friends and some superb coaches.
Almost 10 years on, I was asked to take over the captaincy from Matthew Foulds and it really was an offer I couldn’t refuse. It’s an honour and one of my proudest moments to be asked to lead this fantastic club forward after progressing through all the teams at PCC.
The club had a fairly disappointing season in 2015 and after the 1st XI narrowly avoided relegation it became clear again that the long term goal of improving our coaching team needed to happen.
The club has recently announced some exciting news on that front.
Craig Thyssen – a former South African first class cricketer – will be filling the position of Player Coach for the 2016 season. Craig is a top player and is no stranger to Scottish cricket, having previously coached at Stenhousemuir and Ayr. He is also qualified as a Level 3 coach which was one of the most appealing factors to the club.
Undoubtedly the club will have one of the best qualified coaches in the country. Craig will be leading on cricket at a senior level and will also be supporting our junior programme. I am extremely excited to work alongside Craig this year and help players progress as best we can.
Along with Craig Thyssen, a young amateur – Heynrych Nel – will be joining us for 2016. Heynrych played with Ayr CC as an overseas amateur last year, the boys remember him well from last season when we played Ayr CC in the 1st round of the Scottish Cup and we are delighted to add him to our side for the 2016 season.
The Championship is looking to be a very tight contest this season with Dunnikier and Kelso coming up and RH Corstorphine coming back down. I am particularly looking forward to having the border side, Kelso in the league and locking horns with them. The 2nd XI finished 3rd in Division 4 last year, narrowly missing out on back to back promotions. Hopefully with the additions to the club, this will enable the 2XI to continue to move up the leagues.
The season starts for PCC on the 22nd of February as indoor nets begin at MES in the lead up to the season. I would like to see a good turnout at these sessions so that we can start the 2016 season off on the right foot.
That’s all from me for the 1st edition, I look forward to meeting new faces throughout the season.
Thanks for reading!
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Junior Cricket Update 2016
This report will be a regular update of news regarding our Junior setup. I’d appreciate any feedback and I look forward to seeing all of you during 2016!
Our Winter cricket programme has been a challenge so far. The under 13’s have only manged 1 match due to lack of numbers, the under 15’s have had a similar experience unfortunately.
Inevitably winter cricket competes with lots of other sports and the club will look to see how sustainable a league is for 2017. Hopefully though it is something we can grow with new members.
The Juniors have a great opportunity to make use of our club nets at Mary Erskines School, which start up on Monday evenings (8-9:30pm) at the end of February, We hope that as many juniors take advantage of this to help hone their skills to hit the outdoor season running.
Jake Perry and Scott Charleson are both training for their level 2 coaching qualifications so along with Jack ( Hilton) we will have 3 fully accredited coaches for the start of the season which is fantastic news for the club. Along with our new Player Coach, it gives us a much more experienced team going into 2016 which is most pleasing.
The fixtures for the 2016 summer have not been finalised yet but it is our intention to enter hardball teams at both under 13 and under 15 . We won’t be entering a team at under 11 as nearly all of last years under 11’s will be playing under 13 cricket this year . For any boys / girls who fall between Kwik cricket and under 13 our coaches are proposing to provide them with some competitive cricket at our regular Friday training sessions. We are also hopeful that the softball boys and girls have a bigger festivals calendar to play in this upcoming summer.
Active Schools in your area!
We will be striving to recruit as many juniors as possible over the coming months (and years!) we see this as not only a priority but essential for the future of the club. Jack ( Hilton) is putting in a huge amount of work into the “Active Schools” programme – some of you may have children participating in this – and early reports are very encouraging , Jack is also making connections with the high schools in the area as well. There will be other events and schemes coming up so please look out for these.
All in all we are looking forward to an exciting and fun summer there will be lots to learn but hopefully it will be an enjoyable year.
Thanks for reading!
I write this latest edition the day after the final game of the season against Glenrothes. Before I bring you up to speed with that I should start from where I left off as we were visited by West Lothian two weeks ago.
A ruthless display from the boys brushed aside West Lothian before 4pm which led to an early start in the bar and resulted in myself, Cash and G Davidson heading into town to sample the Festival areas. Tourists tend to say great things about Edinburgh and its people. These tourists must not have run into one Christopher Cash with 40 runs to his name.
Some very unwelcoming tongue was used, which I’m sure has led to many writing negative reviews about this great city on ‘tripadvisor’, all from the behavior of one young lad in his old man’s gear.
The night ended in a well known piano bar where the same gentleman in question decided to leave the boys without warning leaving Grant and I to see out the rest of the evening. A good night was still had by all involved.
The following week saw yet another poor display from the boys at the hands of Holy Cross. On the bright side, the early defeat allowed myself, Ashforth and Morton senior to witness Arsenal’s last gasp victory over Crystal Palace from the comfort of the Kilted Pig!
There was controversy during the week as I decided to give a wet looking training night a miss to play amateur football. Plenty of stick was given, yet as it turned out while I was hanging on the left hand side of a park at the Gyle, football was being played at Kirkhill also!
So we get to the final game of the season. The visitors Glenrothes coming to Kirkhill knowing a win would guarantee them the league title. Would it be that for the second year running a visiting side has left Kirkhill on the last day with the Trophy or would the home side spoil the party? The other questions to be answered were who was going to win the batting and bowling trophies for the club?
Through many a rain delay which could have ended the game by 1.30pm and handed the trophy to the visitors, the game did not end for another 7 hours. A dogged display from our lower order allowed us to post a competitive 162 and meant that Glenrothes would have to work hard to walk away with the title.
Zeeshan Khalil got us off to a great start picking up an early wicket and then another a few overs later, this spelled a collapse for the visitors to a point where they were 55-6. News had filtered through that Corstorphine were off so Glenrothes had to eclipse our total to take the honours. With the threat of rain the ‘cuik prevailed winning by 52 runs sparking massive celebrations and a rousing rendition of ‘oh the rookie cuikie’ in the home dressing room.
Post match also saw some of the boys join the latest craze by taking up the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.’ Kris Steel did it in the male thong he had been wanting to wear back in post match dress code days circa 2005 – ‘Kris what should the dress code be this weekend?’’Womans underwear or male thongs.’
So next week is the club awards night where I think have pipped K Steel by a solitary run to the batting trophy with C Ashforth sneaking past Zeesh by a similar margin for the bowling trophy. A good day and night to be had at the club where progress has been made this year and will hopefully continue onto 2015.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog this summer, I might come out of hibernation to make a couple of cameo appearances over the winter months!
Since my last edition the weather has taken a turn, with only one game in the last 4 going the full distance.
The first ended in a narrow defeat to Corstorphine on the ‘D/L but not D/L method.’ The second game only saw a very poor 9 overs from the boys at home to Grange. This result proved to be a stumbling block, not on the pitch, but off it as we had planned a team night post match. With the game being officially abandoned at 3 the question was – start now and not make it in to town or give it a while and be able to make it into town?
…the latter option was taken and a big night was had by all. The evening ended in similar fashion to other team nights out with Grant Davidson inviting the boys round as well as the ‘neighbours’ from downstairs. However there was a miscommunication as senior players K Steel and Taylor were sold a dummy by the youths and went to the Cash household at Fairmilehead, a long way from home!
Rumours are floating about that there was great debate between C Cash and the local Penicuik fillies about how to carry ones persona with comparisons being made to Jennifer Anniston. A special mention must be made to Grant as he has joined the good blokes in the club and found himself a young lady, the rest of the boys and most importantly his father, look forward to seeing her up at the club in the future.
The following week saw the boys at home to Edinburgh South which could prove pivotal in the outcome of the season. While the boys were scoring runs aplenty I was sunning myself in Tenerife, taking my 1 Saturday off for the season, and offering the boys a chance to provide competition for the batting trophy!
Using the powers of social media for score updates, when I heard that the boys had scored 262 I thought I could enjoy the rest of my afternoon. However whilst looking for the result I found that the visitors needed 5 an over with 5 wickets left in hand, step up Callum Steel who tore through their bottom order to seal the 20 points by 9 runs.
The headline ‘Men of Steel’ was used by the Sunday papers highlighting to personal bests by the Steel brothers, figures of 5-18 meant Callum will be the first recipient of a Penicuik ‘baggy’. Brother Kris scored his highest league score for the club with 94 joining myself in ‘jug avoidance’ club this season. This was not the only PB’s for the Steel family with Karen behind the bar reporting record sales of vodka nips from Steel senior, a proud weekend indeed for the Steel family.
Last weekend’s game against Carlton was rained out without a ball being bowled and only Chris Ashforth venturing out of his bed and attending Grange Loan.
This weekend sees the 1st XI welcoming West Lothian to Kirkhill which should prove to be an enjoyable occasion on and off the pitch.
The boys will be without the ‘Men of Steel’ for the game as they are both on lads holidays, Kris showing his lads holiday experience by only going for 1 week whilst brother Callum has made the bold move and gone for two weeks, time will tell regarding this decision.
The boys are looking to head to the Fringe this weekend to learn a bit of culture but Sean Taylor and James Scott have already ruled themselves out due to the £3.80 a pint price tab and the lack of available quizzes respectively. Looks like it could be down to the Edinburgh boys to represent the ‘cuik at the Fringe.
I must begin my third blog with an apology for being a week late. The reason this relates to results on the park which have led to off field antics being a lot more tame!
The last few weeks have seen poor defeats against Glenrothes and Freuchie however this weekend our form turned around with a win against Murrayfield DAFS in front of the ‘cuik faithful.
As was stated in my last post, the game against Glenrothes was streamed live across the globe via livesport.co.uk. It was learning curve for myself as I managed to get in the bad books of not one, but both the umpires culminating in an interesting LBW decision. Unfortunately livesport.co.uk do not provide ‘Hawkeye’ technology so personal opinion on the decision is all that remains…
Our match against Freuchie saw one of the all time great misfields which will live long in the memory. This came from opening bowler James Scott who managed to dive over a ball which was barely moving and help it on its way for four! Fines aren’t taken during defeats but special dispensation was made by the fines committee towards this case.
A special mention must also be made to the Freuchie match which is comfortably in the lead for ‘Crouch’s Tea of the Year.’ A sensational spread was put on which may have been an explanation for the lackadaisical second half display! For any club who may unfortunately be reading this, a top level tea must comprise of a strong variety of hot and cold foods and must meet the simplicity needs of Calum Steel.
As has been already stated these defeats were followed by a solid performance against Murrayfield. A win by 94 runs would usually bring about a large amount of joy however vice captain Sean Taylor copped a bit of stick from the supporters who had spent a large amount of the time in the sunshine with beer in hand. All top level athletes deal with this kind of pressure, hence why Sean took an extreme huff to the comments that were being made and his chat and body language took a major blow while the rest of us were happy to have scooped a long awaited 20 points.
There was a surprise boost for the first XI prior to the Murrayfield game as it was heard that Chris Ashforth had decided to come home early from his lads holiday. Chris’ decision had nothing to do with events at Freuchie and were related to right arm overing his iPhone down the Malia strip, struggling to keep with the pace and general under the thumbness.
I must again apologise for the lack of interesting behaviour for this edition but hopefully our form on the pitch will continue when we play Corstorphine at Barnton which will hopefully allow the boys to let their hair down and produce blog-like behaviour!
Played at Turpie & Co Sports ground (formerly known as Dresselrig) on Sat 19 July 2014
May I preface this report by saying that this was undoubtedly the foulest conditions in which I have ever played a game of cricket in my life. In fact it is fair to say that if it wasn’t for our own Geoff Boycott impersonator’s determination to gain another 20 points on a day when even ducks were sheltering, we probably would not have started. “I’ve played on Ilkley Moor in worse than this” and “this is like a bright summer’s day in Yorkshire” were just two of the comments made from our man in the gloom.
So to the action. Skipper Liddle (D), sporting a much more trimmed ginger beard than usual, took to the field with Livingston captain Jack Hilton. “When I win the toss we will be bowling – it’s in the plan” announced a confident Doogle. Seconds later he proudly pronounced “pads on guys, we’re batting. I’ve never called the toss correctly yet”. A few unkind comments later and Martin Juson and Andy Harrison were delegated to open.
And then we watched the rain come down. Greeno was keen to play (see preface above) and we persuaded Jack that it was the right thing to do, so the covers came off and the 8 men and three small boys of Livingston took to the field. The pitch looked like it would do a fair bit and so it proved early on as Harry and the Juice were circumspect averaging just under three an over, or 2.875 as Scott Charleson kept annoyingly correcting me.
Just as we thought they had got in, Harry got out for 11 as Jack Hilton managed to get own to move about and Harry snicked to the keeper. “It was completely unplayable” he declared. I thought about pointing out that if it had been unplayable he wouldn’t have hit it and would still be in but kept that salient point to myself. 31 for 1 in the 10th.
In went Greeno and the scoring rate was upped. Feeling the need to keep the tempo going, the Juice tried a suicidal second run and was run out by about 10 yards. He was so far out that they had replaced the stumps and I was on my way in to bat before Marty made it past the crease. Out for 16.
In a run of batting form that makes Alistair Cook look prolific, I was determined to survive and let Greeno take as much of the strike as possible, he being in a “smash it” mood. I was happy to play the odd single until a moment of sheer class arrived. In 30 years of playing cricket at an average of 15 innings a season and at least 10 attempts per inning, I finally managed to play a cut shot so late that Ian Bell would have said “by jingo that’s a late cut”. It was such a lovely shot that I had to run up the wicket saying “that’s a lovely lovely shot” to the amusement of Umpire Adams and the bewilderment of the bowler. I was still thinking about how glorious a moment it was when I realised the bowler had already bowled the next ball. Fortunately my inadvertent “leave” allowed the ball to go through to the keeper. 50 for Greeno and the 50 partnership up next over.
Livingston then played their trump card, the 8 year old, 3 ft tall bowler. I kept telling myself “I must not get out to the 8 year old”. “I must not get out to the 8 year old”. Wide, 2, wide, straight ball defended, wide. “I must not get out to the 8 year old”. Widish, swing, snick, walking. Blast.
Gone for 15. Still a partnership of 57 with Greeno and feeling not too bad to get back to the pavilion to find that the scorers (Hafiz and Brown) had credited my runs to Dave Clement!! I wouldn’t mind so much except that Clem is a) Much much older than me and b) was not even on the team list for today!!
In went Ross Liddle and the scoring rate leapt as he went to 20 odd after about 6 balls. The rain still teemed down and the fog had now descended as the pair went aerial in a bid to confuse the fielders. Ross reached his 50 in double quick time followed by Greeno’s 100. We think he raised his bat but as you could not see the wicket from the boundary, I cannot be certain. And then Greeno decided to up the rate. 6’s and fours with the odd single took us passed the 250 and with 3 overs to go, he was finally out for a magnificent 130. His highest ever score and the best for a division 5 cricketer this year. Scott “Mr Average” Charleson and Ross hit out the remaining 3 overs to take us to a healthy 285 for 4 off our 45 overs.
After a quick discussion about how you could only say we had enough runs after the opposition had batted between myself and the skipper, and a truly sumptuous tea (I will admit to having six chocolate truffle snowballs), we went out to field.
First target was to reach 20 overs without allowing daft scoring to ensure a game. Ross and Nick Brown opened the bowling with the advice from the elderly triumvirate behind the stumps to “just put the ball in the right place and let the wicket do the work” for once not falling on deaf ears. Ross got the ball to move and leap like a salmon on the fly, and Nick’s spell of four overs was the most concentrated and consistent line I have ever seen him bowl. I don’t have the figures in front of me but I don’t think he could have gone for more than 4 runs in that spell. If you can do it once, Nick, you can do it for the rest of the season.
Ross took the first wicket, Jarvis Snr edging to Davie Adams behind the stumps. Immediately Duggie took him off, replacing him with himself. He said it was to get through the overs quicker as the umpires were chatting about the incessant rain, and I for one will choose to believe this is the case and it was not sibling rivalry. Numan Hafiz replaced Nick on the same reasoning but it was Duggie who took the next wicket persuading Collings to snick one to the crouching tiger that is myself at first slip. In 30 years of playing cricket, averaging 15 innings a season, I think that is the first catch I have ever taken at 1st slip, and the look of amazement on my face showed this to everyone.
Into the tail now and we were bowling and fielding well. Another wicket for Duggie (bowled)and Jack Hilton caught by Nick Brown at square leg and then we had reached the magical 20 overs, Livingston on about 35 for 4, and the result would now stand. Andy Harrison and Scott Charleson came on and they may have taken some wickets, I can’t recall as I was still thinking about my catch. Livingston had reached their small children by now with Jarvis Jnr on strike, playing straight and confident and berating his dad at drinks (now umpiring) for playing such a loose shot.
It was getting wet and cold now but we declined the opportunity to go off as the batsmen, to their credit, wished to stay on. Duggie and Davie Adams ran out the 10 year old. “He’s got to learn to judge a run” was Adams explanation for this heartless act. Another run out by Andy Harrison followed by a catch By Rich Charleson off Numan’s bowling brought the 8 year old to the crease. I told the skipper I was bowling as I wanted my revenge. Numan, however, had other thoughts and bowled the child first ball. Everyone turned on Numan, most saying it was a shame, however I was genuinely raging that I had not had a chance to get revenge. I still am. I’m serious.
The last pair in and 63 on the board and Duggie finally responded to my signals. To be fair I am not actually sure he actually asked me to bowl but I found myself with ball in hand at the end of the over and decided I was bowling. Four balls later it was all over as the quicker ball did for the last batsman who cut straight into Numan’s hands at point. Numan tried to say that this made up for bowling the 8 year old but I am having none of it.
Livingston 63 all out. So another victory, our 9th in a row leaves us top of the league. We bowled well with Numan claiming 2 for 3 runs off 8 overs, Nick finishing 6-3-9-0. Duggie took 3 wickets but was the most expensive 9-2-14-3.Ross took one for 6, Scott and Harry none for not many and myself 0.4-1-0-1. At least I know it was me but the Livingston scorer had credited to Greeno. Not my day after all apparantely.
Roll on next week when we take on Marchmont. Winner takes all.
Match report for the benefit of the u-18’s
None this week. I am not happy with children, especially 3 ft tall 8 year olds.
Played at Kirkhill on Sat 28 June 2014
“dum dum-de-dum, dum-dedum de dum. Dum dum-de-dum, dum-dedum de dum. Doo doo, doo doo doo doo.”*
Like Yul Brynner (insert your own bald reference here), we went in search of our own Magnificent Seven, victories in a row that is, yesterday as we welcomed Drummond Trinity to Kirkhill on an overcast day, with a hint of “wee wet rain” as The Boss called it. A bite of revenge was in the air too as Drummond are the only team to have defeated us this season. Thus they were cast as the Eli Wallach to our glorious band of Good Guys.
Skipper for the day, Grant Davidson won the toss and decided to go on the attack straight away electing to bat and take the fight to the enemy. His team talk of “let’s pummel them” was succinct and pithy.
Taking to the field were the skip himself and Martin Juson. As we surveyed the Drummond team, very few familiar faces were evident, and the array of dark clothing suggested that we were perhaps facing a cobbled together band of ruffians. They were clearly without their opening 3 batsmen, regular wicket keeper and the league’s top wicket taker. This did not dishearten us.
Grant and Martin started watchfully however they quickly realised that the bowling and particularly the fielding were not up to scratch and started plundering runs at will. 74 off the first 10 overs is possibly the best scoring rate I have seen from a Penicuik side, many flashing edges and glorious drives in evidence.
In the pavilion, sheltering from the rain, Cammy Crawford was desperate to get out and bat and confidently predicting a score of 300+. I was a tad more circumspect and would only admit to thinking “this score could be crazily big”. Greeno was more gung-ho. “anything less than 300 will be a let-down after this”.
The hundred partnership and Grant’s 50 were reached in the same over, though not off the same ball which surprisingly disappointed me. Martin was plugging away, taking the single and letting Grant’s version of revenge carnage have full sway. In no time at all the milestones were tumbling. The 150 partnership went in a blink of an eye followed by Grant’s 100 with a glorious pull shot through the midwicket boundary.
Martin then got in on the act with his own 50, the highlight of which was an all run 4 to the man saving the single at short fine leg. Honestly the fielding was that bad as the ball was overthrown, and then overthrown again as Butch and Sundance just kept running. “Carry on cricket” was the verdict of the rotund Harbajhan Singh lookalike slip fielder.
The 200 hundred partnership had been reached and just as people were wondering about the record first wicket partnership (over to you Hector), it was over on 208 as Grant was finally given out LBW for a truly magnificent 118.
Michael Ainslie was next in but quickly out for 1 as he suffered his second consecutive run out. All that time padded up had obviously got to him. Greeno came in next and proceeded to swipe and cut successfully, surviving a myriad (at least 6) of ridiculous lbw appeals for balls that came off the middle of his bat. Martin was next to fall for 87, finally allowing Cammy to take the field. Wasting no time at all he promptly swiped the ball over the wall for six, straight onto Ricky Davidson’s car bonnet which has been strategically (badly) parked at cow corner by his faither. Oops.
Greeno fell for a dashing 44 and Cammy for a whirlwind 19 off 9 balls leaving Andy Harrison and myself to face the 5 balls. It was supposed to be The Boss but he was quite emphatic that I should have a shot at getting out for no runs and generously allowed me to go out. That’s the gist of what he said, I can’t repeat the exact words as we potentially have some young readers.
Harry and I negotiated the last 5 balls for about 8 runs between us (I got a single off the only ball I faced, giving me a strike rate of 100%. I will take that) and our innings closed on a staggering 315 for 5 off our 45 overs. Truly a Magnificent total.
The skipper’s team talk after tea was succinct and pithy. “Let’s flatten them”. A man of few words our Grant but to the point I am sure you all agree.
Cammy and Numan Hafiz opened the bowling. At least the opposition seemed determined to make an effort as Harbhajan swiped at anything short or wide to good effect but in face of such a mammoth total, it seemed the only thing that could stop us was the weather as the gathering black clouds. Wickets were falling as first Andy Harrison and then the Craw himself took equally stunning catches to give Numan and Cam a wicket each.
In an effort to beat the advancing weather, the skip replaced Cammy with Pete Kingsbury, which the Craw took well (this is a euphemism, again I cannot repeat the exact phraseology used) and we reached the 20 over point with the opposition on about 90, well short of where they required to be. With a match now legally assured, Cammy replaced Numan (9 overs, 1 for 43) and took another couple of wickets before he was replaced by Nick Brown who bowled well but wicketlessly for3 overs.
Pete had kept plugging away and had took 3 wickets in his nine over spell (9-1-26-3) with a space-reaching high top edge being finally taken by Michael Ainslie after The Boss had called him for it. Cammy came back for a final over to be replaced by Andy Harrison (The Craw helping himself to 3 wickets for 33 runs ) and then finally the moment we had all been waiting for arrived.
With a lead of over 200, the opposition 115 for 8 from 29 overs, the skip decided that it was finally safe to let me have a bowl. This confused the hell out of the opposition who completely failed to be able to hit the slow, and sometimes barely moving, moving grenades. At the other end Harry had taken a wicket to leave Drummond on 136 for 9 off 36.
And at this point the game slowed even further. Despite the multitude of swings and misses at my bombs which shaved the wickets but were not moving fast enough to dislodge the bails, we just could not get the last wicket. Grant brought himself on but the stubborn last pair would get a bat onto the straight balls and completely miss the others. The 45 overs came eventually but it seemed a lifetime to us all, especially The Boss who had started fielding at slip and took a backward step every over to leave himself unnoticed in the bar by the end of the match. Drummond finished on 149 for 9 (Ainslie D 8-1-14-0; Harrison 4-2-9-1; Davidson 3-0-4-0).
Still it was a victory and our Magnificent Seven in a row was complete. To compound the twilight moment, we scored at exactly 7 an over and finished dead on 7 o’clock. Make of that what you will.
Match report and explanation for the under 18’s
Smiley face, thumbs up.
*hum it and it’s the intro to the theme tune from The Magnificent Seven, a 1960’s Western genre movie starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner. Two long dead actors. Or ask your Dad.
It’s been 2 weeks since the pilot edition of ‘Crouch’s Chronicles’ was released. The feedback given to me was positive and most importantly nobody took the huff over issue 1!
My last issue ended with the 1st XI heading to Boghall with the view of maintaining their good form against West Lothian. The good form we had shown previously didn’t seem to make it out of Midlothian as we came up against a rampant West Lothian side who at one point had us 16-6 before we posted a modest 86. With rain in the air and news that games around the grounds were beginning to be called off for rain we were needing a bit of luck to ensure we got away without defeat. This proved to be the case as the game was abandoned with West Lothian 47-1, safe to say our ‘get out of jail free’ card for the season was well and truly played!
After the match myself and Kris Steel decided to stay behind and have an evening at Boghall with our opponents which we had stated to everyone was merely a business trip. Business was great….behind the Boghall bar as numerous drinks were consumed with some good banter in between. Although the game on the field was abandoned it was felt we should still play for the 20 points available, on the dartboard! Myself and Steel took on the Raven brothers and after some solid set up play by KM, Steel took out a vital double 16. This ensured we continued our unbeaten form however ESCA management felt that a dart at double 16 was not enough to overturn the decision made by the umpires a few hours earlier.
So it was time to head back to Edinburgh with the view of kicking on into town. We were joined by a couple of our opponents in Edinburgh for a short while until one of them were politely ejected from a well known Edinburgh establishment for ‘resting’ on the bar. The evening ended up in the Shack and a fun night was had by all. I had a flashback a couple days later which had me thinking that fellow ‘cuik spinner Zeshan Mian was also present in the Shack. Kris was certain that these images of mine were false but it was not until we met the following Saturday that Zeesh was able to confirm that my flashbacks were indeed correct!
It was claimed that Captain Foulds and Vice Captain Taylor were also out that night but I feel this is more porky pies from Mr Taylor as there is no way Fouldsy could have put up with his chat all night without somebody to palm him off to!
The following week was the beginning of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and where every man and beast worldwide becomes the greatest football pundit. This is no different at Kirkhill with everyone having their say on the goings on in Brazil. Various bets have been placed with bookies and team mates and it remains to be seen who actually knows their football.
The following Saturday the 1st XI had a home game against Holy Cross. Upon news that he had been promoted up the order, Calum Steel decided to celebrate hard at his Penicuik High School Prom. The young lad look sharp in his suit which looked more suited to court dock as opposed to a lavish dinner hall.
We ended coming out second best to Holy Cross with the less said the better. The behaviour post match was much more mellow than the previous weekend!
This weekend sees the 1st XI head to Fife to take on league leaders Glenrothes. The game is due to be live streamed online by the Glenrothes sponsors. The Penicuik hairdressers have been coming under strain this week as the boys head in looking for their TV haircuts!
So will the form change for the 1st XI and replicate that of the 2nd XI who are 5 from 5?
“So if Thommo’s injured, who’s skipper” enquired Davie Adams as we surveyed the non-existent grass wicket at a soaking wet Whitestone Park on Saturday.
“Seeing as you asked, it is you” was the reply. First decision was a no brainer. No wicket prepared, grass far too wet, so no game or play on the arty. Skipper Adams chose the latter.
He then won the toss and cheered us up by choosing to bowl. A rousing team talk followed with a plea not to take the win for granted and to ignore the opposition’s recent results. “They have got some decent bats and bowlers and a few who can hang around” said the new skip, proving he does his homework.
So we took to the arty with Grant Davidson and Cammy Crawford steaming in. The Peebles openers seemed determined to be circumspect with very little in the way of attacking strokes offered, so much so that the first runs off the bat came in about the 5th over. Indeed in his opening spell, Cammy’s figures were 5-4-2-0. It would have been 1 wicket but Dave Ainslie could not hang onto the world’s hardest chance at 2nd slip which hit hand then shoulder and rebounded agonisingly out of reach. It has been described as “four runs saved” by one Penicuik player.
At the other end Grant had been pounding in and hitting the carpet hard and was rewarded with the first wicket, a sharp chance excellently held by Michael Ainslie behind the stumps. At least of the clan can catch. 12 for 1 in the 8th.
This brought the league’s top scorer to the crease and we expected an onslaught. But nothing happened. Kingsbury replaced Crawford and Liddle replaced Davidson and still nothing happened. The Peebles batsmen seemed determined to show every ball a straight bat in a display of defence which was effective in its own right but would have tested even Sir Geoffrey’s resolve.
Drinks at 25 overs and Peebles were about 56 for 1. I kid you not. After drinks there was more stretching of the batsmen’s hamstrings until Michael clung onto another snick to remove the opener Murray off Pistol Pete Kingsbury. 60 ish for 2 off 30. This brought Ally Wallace to the crease and he woke up the other batsmen, Caddick and they began to score a few runs. Cammy came back on and induced a top edge from Wallace, finally pouched by Michael between his legs. “If you had dropped that I would have knocked you clean out” was his words of thanks to the keeper.
Caddick was still going strong, hoiking and swiping and Nauman Hafiz, who had replaced Cammy was suffering. He suffered even more when Duggie Liddle nonchalantly reached up to a ball straight at him on the boundary – and punched it over the bar for 6.
The fielding was by now getting sloppy. A few dropped snicks and a missed stumping left Nauman even more frustrated and he felt the best thing to do was knock the stumps over. So he did. Twice. Leaving Peebles on a competitive 146 for 5 after their 45 overs.
So a bigger target than it should have been but eminently achievable if we batted sensibly. In the absence of skipper Thommo, skipper Adams sent out Dave Ainslie and Grant Davidson to blunt the opening bowlers and set a platform for victory.
Wallace was steaming in and seemed to feel that the way to win was to try and bounce out the batsmen. If he had attempted to bowl at the stumps at all then he would have stood a chance but even I can duck a bouncer that starts at the bowler’s feet. A few lucky clouts for 4 from Grant and a few class cuts from Ainslie and the score was advancing until the twelfth over when I came over all funny and after a wild swipe was bowled. Don’t know what for as I don’t have the book but was probably 112. Or so. 40ish for 1. In came Greeno who was determined to ignore the rather unfriendly comments from his neighbours and uncharacteristically began to play himself in, in a manner that would have pleased the World’s Greatest Living Yorkshireman. Google it if you are younger than 40.
Grant was still smiting and clouting until he was caught just short of the boundary for 38. Everyone, especially the fielder was amazed that he held the straightforward catch. In came Michael Ainslie and the slegding increased until it was plain nasty. Michael answered it in the best way and he and Greeno set about steadily reducing the required target until Michael had a moment of madness and proceeded to pelt down the pitch until Penicuik’s Greatest Living Yorkshireman screaming “By ‘eck nae lad” at him turned him around. Despite Peebles’ best efforts to cock it up, they eventually managed to run him out for about 20ish.
In strode Cammy Crawford and Greeno began to open up, with a lovely six off the returning bouncer Wallace. The bad chat got out of hand with both batsmen being targeted in what was completely unnecessary nonsense which threatened to get out of hand and required the Peebles skipper to step in and have a word with his wicket keeper about his constant chirping when the bowler was running in.
By this stage we had progressed to 126 for 3 in about 26 overs and Ali Wilson decided that Mrs Greeno, who had by now turned up, needed to know that he husband was on 48. His stage whisper could be heard at Kirkhill. This evidently woke Cammy up and he dispatched the next 5 balls for 20 with a display of pure power and aggression. It took Umpire Ainslie to remind him that Greeno was only 2 short of his 50 to persuade Cammy to block the last ball rather than send it for another 6.
Into the 27th (ish) over and bowler Caddick was keen that a 50 was not going to be scored off him, sending a ball quite wide. “No wider please bowler” said the suddenly generous Umpire Ainslie. Greeno evidently felt that he had to go big as he charged the next ball; top edged and ran the winning single to leave himself on 49 not out.
So victory by 7 wickets and another valuable 20 points for the good guys. Also appearing in this match were Nick Brown who fielded well and Ali Wilson who scored superbly. Grant Davidson has a ginger beard.
Match report for the benefit of the Under 18’s.
We 1. LMAO. LOL.