Another Amazing Weekend: 26th to 29th June 2014

Ok, it’s been a while since the last blog, but to be honest results have been a bit up and down (up for the “A” Team, ok for St Boswells Ladies and mediocre for the 1st XI) so it takes something pretty special to trigger an epic blog. Here goes…

Thursday 26th June: St BoswelLs vs Selkirk at The Green (Border Twenty20 League)

On a dry and fast St Boswells pitch, cut especially for Twenty20, Selkirk took to the field to play a team known in recent years for making unassailable scores against any weak bowling. Selkirk sensibly put their strike bowlers Greg Fenton and Jordan Reid in to restrict St Boswells’ scoring rate. Boswells’ opener Craig Paterson was out cheaply, replaced by Stephen Broom who pushed the rate up until his stumps were splayed by Rory Banks. Scott Hunter continued, to partner Elliot Ruthven and between them took the score to 60, until Ruthven was caught to a skier, soon after to be followed by Hunter, bowled by Ford. Aussie Mark Williams stayed solid at the crease as he accumulated 30 runs, while at the other end four St Boswells wickets tumbled in the space of 21 runs. With the score at a very attainable 97, Keith Farnish came out to partner Williams, who between them took 16 off the last 2 overs to leave a more respectable score of 113.

In return, Selkirk started brightly, to match the sun slanting across The Green, and the loss of Everitt with a smart catch by ‘keeper Hunter off the bowling of Rory Elms didn’t slow the tempo. Fenton and Banks took the score to 50 in just under 7 overs, partly due to some less than ideal St Boswells fielding, before Fenton was bowled by Kathryn White. Graham, with Banks, took the score onto 68 before being bowled by the off-spin of Williams; and from there the ground seemed to open up for Selkirk. A deep catch by Paterson removed Banks for 33 to White, while at the other end Williams took 4 wickets in 2 overs to give him his first 5-fer at St Boswells (drinks all round!) Jordan Broom and Elliot Ruthven took the remaining two wickets to leave Selkirk 15 short of the total and St Boswells clear winners in what was a good-humoured and enjoyable match.

Saturday 28th June: St Boswells 1st XI vs Largo 1st XI at Upper Largo (East League Division 1)

Rain from a dishrag-grey sky speckled the windscreen of the minibus, as a much depleted St Boswells 1st XI took the long journey to the East Neuk of Fife to play Largo 1sts. This was expected to be a tough match, especially given St Boswells’ disappointing recent form. With both captains missing, along with a number of other first picks, St Boswells nevertheless took one look at the short boundaries of Upper Largo and made plans for some big-hitting, opting to bat first as the rain dried up.

Regular opener Elliot Ruthven partnered veteran Thomas Goodman, making steady progress with decent Largo bowling, until Goodman fell for 15 to a low scorcher from Gillin. Acting captain Stephen Broom stepped up to the crease, and alongside Ruthven gradually moved the score to 60 in 17 overs. At this point it seemed as though 175 would be a respectable score. It was then that Broom started to find the middle of the bat. All this time the match was being watched by around 20 young bulls in the surrounding field who began to find company in the shape of Broom’s projectiles. In the space of 17 balls he hit six sixes – two of them particularly pleasurable following a claim of no boundary from a Largo fielder who had been laying across said line while holding the ball, part of a 26 run over off Largo’s Stevie Warrender. Broom finally fell for 80 in the 28th over to a big hit too many. Overseas player Mark Williams was due a big score, and took the part of the foil, while Ruthven made himself aggressor, passing 75, and then 100 in just 18 more balls. Williams then joined the run party as they both entertained the small crowd of people and the many more cattle with seemingly effortless scoring. By the time Ruthven was out for a magnificent 138, three balls had been lost to the scrubland, and Williams was still winding up. Just one more wicket fell, as St Boswells ended their 50 overs for 309 runs, Williams not out for 69. All this despite Largo bowling not one wide or no ball.

Tea was taken in the nearby church hall, while outside the rain fell. Largo’s innings started in the dry, but that was all the good news the opposition would have, as Ruthven nearly broke the off-stump of Nicky Rintoul, followed by an outrageous combined stop (by 2nd slip Goodman) and catch (by 1st slip S Broom) off the same bowler – teamwork indeed. Andy Warrender and Alex Anderson steadied the Largo ship, which would seem to be needed as the rain began to fall at the 12 over mark, and how it fell! An hour of heavy drizzle came from over the Lomond Hills, darkening the day and causing not a little tension between the two teams: St Boswells who knew that bowling a few more overs would bring the Duckworth-Lewis calculator into play, and Largo who were keen to pack up for the day and not go down in the table. As it was, the rain eventually stopped, and there followed an astonishing spell of bowling from Stephen Broom and Barney Waugh, who managed to complete 12 overs in around half and hour before the black clouds, once again, closed in. The fact that these overs also put paid to four Largo batsmen for just 20 runs, including a brilliant run out by Jordan Broom, showed how important teamwork is in pressure situations. Largo conceded the game by Duckworth-Lewis(approximately 140 runs short), pushing St Boswells up the table, and making the bus journey home one to remember.

And to cap it all, on Sunday 29th June, St Boswells won the 2014 Border Sixes tournament at Kelso, undefeated and barely troubled in any of the matches. Great performance guys!

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