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With the 2012 season on the horizon, we thought we would take the opportunity to get you up to date with all the goings on in the club, and what a last few months its been!
From this season, our first XI will now play in the East of Scotland Cricket Association (ESCA) – Division 2. It all started back in November when Lang-holm announced they were leaving the Border League to join the Eden Valley League in Cumbria. They cited a 7 team Border League as being too few teams & wanted to “play competitive games all the way through the season with promotion or relegation keeping things interesting”. Even with 7 teams it was less than ideal, this bombshell left the prospect of a 6 team league therefore at a Players meeting our club voted by a large majority to explore the option of joining the ESCA (if we were able to join into a competitive league). Over the course of November and December there were many meetings, lots of emails, and on more than one occasion a sense of hope and disappointment as the situation changed from positive, to doubtful, then back again. Thankfully, the fact that there was also reconstruction happening in the National League structure, meant that in December 2011 we were granted entry into the 2nd Division. We got the highest available slot thanks to being 2011 Border League Champions, Gala got Div3, Kelso Div4, Selkirk in 6 and Hawick Div 8. Melrose didn’t apply.
There is much talk round the club of this feeling like the 2006 preseason when we had our brief adventure in the National Leagues, and it was greatly down to those happy memories as to why our club decided to take the risk of trying something new. The prospect of having competitive league games every single Saturday (18 in all), along with the opportunity to visit new grounds, play new teams & generally move away from playing the same teams 4 or 5 times a season, meant that we had to grab the opportunity. We are under no illusions that this will be a very tough challenge – but it’s one that everybody is relishing!
St Lucian Cletus Signs!
To help in our campaign, we are extremely happy to announce the signing of St Lucian International player Cletus Mathurin for the 2012 season. He is a 29 year old West Indian right hand bat and medium -fast bowler who has represented St Lucia in the Stanford 20/20 competition. During our tour of St Lucia in 2010 Cletus showed himself, even injured, to be a formidable player and with our move into the ESCA his all-round cricket ability will be highly valued. As well as playing, Cletus will be taking his place in the coaching setup at both junior and senior levels. We very much look forward to welcoming him in April for pre-season training.
The Border League Lives on
….albeit in a different format. We made it clear when pursuing the ESCA option that we would still be looking to put teams into whatever Border Leagues were in operation in 2012. The Border Reserve League, now becomes the Border Sunday League. Our team competing in this will be known as “St Boswells A”. This league will be the main form of cricket for Melrose, and will also include Hawick & Wilton, Kelso, Langholm, Manderston, Penicuik Gala and Selkirk, while Biggar will also pick up a fixture against each of the “Reserve League” teams as a friendly.
The midweek Border 20/20 competition continues, and The 20/20 Murgitroyd knock out cup also returns — we have been drawn away to Dumfries.
Captains & Chairman
Steven Broom continues as 1st XI Captain after a successful 2011 season where the Villagers went undefeated in the League. Craig McNeill takes on Vice Captain duties.
Gavin Deans is St Boswells “A” captain, ably assisted by Ryan Borthwick & Rebecca Waldie is Ladies captain, with Kathryn the Vice Captain.
David Henry takes on the Chairmanship of the club and is in the progress of implementing several key changes in the running and organisation of the club. Along with a new committee there has been a feast of activity going on at the club these last few months to prepare for the new season and ensure our backroom operations are geared up to match our big ambitions.
St.Lucia Tour Update
The 2013 return to St.Lucia is now less than a year away . The tour has been sold out for some time now and there is much anticipation about this touring party being much stronger and ready for the challenge. Whilst the itinerary is still being thrashed out, we hope to be able to play at the St.Lucia National Stadium (twice!), the Gros Islet Pitch and of course we have a memorable return to Mon Repos, home of our favourite Rastafarian Tho-mas Goodman (and Cletus).
As the 2010 party found out, the Home sides don’t exactly lie down, they all love to bat and hit big Sixes! At some point during 2012 the official ‘2010 Tour Feature Film’ will be available and premiering at the Clubhouse. So keep an eye out for that and also watch out for the ‘Website Blog address‘ as a way to keep up to speed with the 2013 Tour going on’s. As per last time, the touring party will be up-dating this daily, live from St.Lucia. To get a flavour of what to expect you can still check out the last one at http://stboswells.blogspot.co.uk
New Double Lane Nets
Our new double lane Artificial Grass Net Area has now been completed. Thanks to some amazing fundraising work by Gary Nicol, we managed to get this project started towards the end of last year. Its been quite a task, and has left our ground in a bit of a state over the winter, however with the better weather now arriving the push is on to get the surrounding area sorted out. Our thanks go to our pa-tient neighbours who have had to put up with this looking ‘below its best’. We have been desperately needing this improvement to enhance our training options. The players cant wait to get stuck in on it.
As well as the nets, we announced in the last news-letter that we had now been granted planning permission for an extension and internal re-layout. We have put that on hold for now whilst we conduct a review to see whether we could add further internal space into the plan we take forward. Either way, there will be a huge amount of grant applications and fund raising required to make this happen. For now we will soon be refurbing the bar area.
New Website, Twitter & Facebook Pages
As well as this new Newsletter format, we’ve been hard at work setting up new ways to communicate to our Members and the whole Village. You could say we have joined the digital age.
Our new Website is a work in progress, there will be new content added throughout the season. This, our new Twitter account (@StBosCC), and our new club Facebook page are all live & available to visit.
We are also very keen to move the way we commu-nicate away from letters through the post, to the three forms above & these more detailed newsletters which we would like to email. To do this we are creating a member database. Please help us build this up by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name. Include any other email addresses you want to add also.
Join in / Play / Help us!!
We always need more players. We have a Men’s 1st XI, a Sunday “A” Team, midweek 20/20s & Friendlies. All standard of players from budding Flintoffs to complete beginners are very welcome. Full coaching is given. We also have a Ladies team coached by Kathryn our full Scottish Ladies international. On top of that we have a thriving junior section running teams in the Age groups U11, U13 & U15s.
To continue the good progress we continually need more helpers and members. Whether you fancy scoring, umpiring, generally just keen to help out, or even just want to drink in the cheapest place in St Boswells, we would greatly appreciate it. Help us grow the club to become a real part of the community.
Our thanks once again go to Gordon Barkham who maintains the ground to a very high standard & Ian Athey who is continuing as scorer. Special mention goes out to Agnes Laing who after countless years of service, is stepping down as Membership and 100 club secretary and passing over to Ryan Borthwick. Many thanks to the Committee also for their tireless work behind the scenes.