In 2010 it was played in a foot of snow, with the ball being lost on numerous occasions. 2011 was a little kinder, with a combination of slush, ice and floodwater making for a filthy match. The 2012 St Boswells New Year Cricket Match was, in contrast, played on a beautiful day – wet in places to add a frisson of squelch, but otherwise ideal Borders cricket weather.
With the boundary set out to avoid the worst of the ground-edge mud, the barbecue sizzling and the bar stocked to bursting, it was just a short wait to see if the crowds would turn up to enjoy the day. And they did. By match time (12.45pm) the pavilion was full and the eager cricket-loving (and perhaps mud-loving) spectators were spilling onto the patio to bathe in the unexpected sun.
The brave players were kitted out in a combination of tartan, denim, a variety of rugby kits and, of course, St Boswells Cricket kit. Bowe even braved full whites! As is traditional, a St Boswells Cricket Club “select” XI, this year led by Craig “Mucky” McNeill, played a Buccleuch Hotel “even more select” XI, captained by Grant Todd. The 10 over (any more and Fred the groundsman would never forgive us) match was played in excellent spirits – including not only the bottle of port at the bowler’s end, but the whisky at the batsman’s end for the Buccleuch team’s successes.
To say the outfield was slow is perhaps an understatement. Some excellent bowling from both teams and controlled batting and, in some cases spectacular running and sliding, made for a tight match. No one is quite sure how many runs St Boswells were victorious by, but they won and the port cup was passed back to The Villagers to take pride of place behind the bar for 2012.
A big thank you to all the organisers, players and everyone who attended – this certainly bodes well for a great 2012 season.