A stunning day for cricket, belying the awful recent weather greeted players and spectators at The Green, to play their fourth match in the East League first division. The last two had been won, and St Boswells 1st XI already appeared to be the kind of team other division 1 sides didn’t fancy playing. This was to be no exception as Edinburgh Academicals stepped out to field on the sun-soaked pitch, having won the toss.
Some good bowling from openers Jones and Williams made St Boswells fight for runs, and Elliot Ruthven and Chinniah Prabhakar fell fairly cheaply. Captain Broom looked initially confident but again fell cheaply. Things weren’t looking easy, but quietly Scott Ruthven was entering the thirties and once joined by keeper Ross Graham the runs positively flowed from their bats, the total passing 100 then 150 before Graham fell to a wild shot caught by bowler Williams. Young Craig Paterson fell soon afterwards, and then Ruthven to an LBW that was clearly going over the stumps, for a marvellous 97. St Boswells’ two pillars of stone, Elliot Hunter and Scott Turnbull paired up and showed how far the ball could travel with sufficient force, taking the score over the vital 200 mark. Both fell in quick succession, and pick of the Accies bowlers, Banerjee mopped up the tail end with Mann to leave a challenging 225 to win.
Accies started strongly with openers De Haan and Maclaren easing them past 50, but the rot was soon to set in as strike bowlers Elms, Elliot Ruthven, Turnbull and Prabhakar all took turns in exposing the middle order. Bringing on Craig McNeill with his apparently easy spin was the hammer blow to Accies, as four wickets fell cheaply, all either caught or stumped to over-optimistic shots. Excellent catching by St Boswells making the result inevitable. They were finally bowled out for 136 with St Boswells winning by 88 runs, and working their way inexorably up division one. Next week we face big-scoring Grange 2 in what could prove a vital test
Other games were not so successful: the much anticipated (from 2012!) Border 20/20 final vs Gala was a very tight affair, won on the penultimate ball by Gala with a boundary from Neil Crooks. Certainly a tense local derby atmosphere, proving Gala have a lot to offer – but also that St Boswells needs to improve our short-form game batting.
The Murgitroyd regional semi-final was played on Sunday, as expected, against a very well-drilled Dumfries team who proved that straight, accurate bowling, and always punishing the bad ball is the key to winning games. Only Stephen Broom performed with the bat, the rest of the (albeit weakened) team falling short on what was – and has been all season – an excellent wicket.