It’s been a busy time for St Boswells teams, but certainly not without interest, and with some very respectable results overall. Unfortunately there have also been some dramatic and disappointing losses, which makes it clear that we have a bit of work to do in certain areas. Here’s a summary from the different teams.
St Boswells 1st XI (ESCA Division 1)
1st June saw us play Grange 2 – a team only not in the National Leagues by virtue of the 1st XI already being there – at Grange, missing star batsman Scott Ruthven, and suffering, having been given a challenging (make that next-to-impossible) score of 276 to win. The sheer class of Grange showed through, but going from 70-4 to 71-9 (Scott Turnbull injured while bowling) probably qualifies as the most dramatic batting collapse in St Boswells’ history.
On 8th June, a threadbare Dunfermline team arrived to beautiful weather, and the need for 3 more players! Supplemented by a St Boswells fielder and a couple of travelling stand-ins, St Boswells nevertheless faced some decent bowling, making the astonishing score of 313 for 1 all to our credit. A blistering century by Stephen Broom finished off an innings started by an opening stand of 150. Dunfermline never looked likely to get near, being all out for 102.
A much more evenly matched pair of teams met at Holy Cross on July 15th. This was expected to be tight, but a, as it turned out, match-winning innings of 114 from Scott Ruthven, accompanied by some handy knocks elsewhere, left St Boswells on 233 for 5. Holy Cross battled as best they could against some wonderfully accurate seam bowling from Rory Elms, Elliot Ruthven and Kathryn White, but it was left to Chinniah Prabhakar to mop them up with a final analysis of 4 wickets for 16 runs, leaving HX all out for 152. At this point it looked as though St Boswells were heading towards bigger things.
Back to back away and home games against league leaders Carlton 2 took place on 22nd and 29th June. The weather was the clear winner away from home, with a mere 8 overs being bowled before the captains decided tea was to be the day’s highlight. The home game was even more unfortunate – 5 key first team players missing to holidays (next time, synchronise diaries, guys) and a few others meant debuts for 2 of the (ahem) more recreational players. Considering the attack available, Carlton were held to a creditable 208 for 8, with Scotland Womens star Kathryn White being the key bowler. Victory was possible until a collapse in the top order left only keeper Ross Graham able to gain any credit, and St Boswells all out for 116.
St Boswells “A” Team (Border Sunday League)
Hawick and Wilton play their 1st XI in the Border Sunday League, which means they should have been a tough proposition on June 2nd. As it turned out, St Boswells had a far stronger side, but still a genuine 2nd XI. Elliot Ruthven was a towering force in the St Boswells innings, batting first, reaching 119, and almost carrying his bat, including 17 fours. He was accompanied on his journey by a rampant Scott Marshall, who hit 61 in the blink of an eye, and an impressive young Joseph Flynn, scoring 36 on his debut. The score of 259 was a wall for Hawick to scale, and with impressive bowling from all the St Boswells regulars, along with Thomas Goodman’s unhittable deceptors, they could only manage 118 for 6.
Sadly, that was all the “A” Team action from June, with a Sunday left free for a great Village Week rounders match, and Selkirk being unable to field a team at home, which doesn’t bode well for the Border League (Kelso having already pulled out during the season, and Melrose beforehand).
There have also been a few very entertaining 20/20 games, which take place on Thursdays. Both Kelso and Hawick were soundly beaten in June, but Gala bit back, leaving St Boswells somewhere near the top of the league, with a few games still to go.
St Boswells Ladies
It’s been a season of big changes for the Ladies Team, having lost quite a few key players to universities, other parts of the country and national duties. This has been balanced out by the joining of quite a few very young players, along with the improvement of others, plus latterly the promise of more senior players creating a potentially good squad for coming years.
There have only been two games in June, both National League matches. The first at home, saw a very well turned out Ayr team – much improved from last year – providing good competition for St Boswells, but unable to match both batting and bowling. It was great to see our younger bowlers, despite their inexperience, take wickets and restrict Ayr from coming close. The second match, on a rain-interrupted Sunday at Carlton, was a different proposition. With players missing, and a Carlton side all of university age or older, the result was never in doubt. However to see three young St Boswells players bat for the very first time on such a hallowed ground, was wonderful – and a good time was had by all.