Winter at The Club

Lots of people think that Cricket Clubs only exist in the summer, when the grass is dry and the days are balmy, with the melodious thwack! of willow on leather reverberating across the pitch as the spectators sup beer and gnaw on cucumber sandwiches, with one eye on the clacking scoreboard.

In the winter the grass squelches, the wind blows and the sounds across the pitch are largely the spray of lorries on the A68 and the cackling of crows feasting on worms. But hark! What is that in the clubhouse window? Some lights, some music, people chatting around the bar and the warmth of an overworked gas heater keeping peoples’ coats off. It’s not all cricket at St Boswells Cricket Club. Although on 1st January, it is. It really is – since, well you’ll have to ask Jocky or Roy when it all started, but the New Year match between, approximately, the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and St Boswells CC is something to behold. This year the rain took hold, so while the majority of people were packed into the clubhouse, 15 (or was it 16) fools took to the (artificial) pitch and had a fine old time.

stboscc_newyear2014

And then there’s all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. Already we have a full list of fixtures sorted out for the senior teams; the junior section is in the process of being rejuvenated; the finances are audited and meetings take place; funding is being sought for a new artificial pitch and clubhouse extension; an overseas player is being arranged…and some people even take to the nets when the sun shines. There is a lot of hard work that goes into running a sports club, and we need all the help we can get – so if you have a bit of time then we would love to hear from you. Email secretary@stboswellscricketclub.org to find out more.

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St Boswells Cricket Club Annual Review 2013

Club Sign

The 2013 season is over, and an exciting 2014 is just over the horizon, so here we present a review of a very successful and event filled 2013.

While 2012 was notable for its rain, 2013 was completely the opposite, with the sun blazing (or at the least the rain absent) for the best part of the summer. Because of this we were able to play an unprecedented number of games at senior level, whilst being affected by a lack of players in our development teams.

The First XI, captained by Stephen Broom, played in the East of Scotland League 1st Division which was to prove a greater challenge than the 2nd Division not only for the standard of play, but for the lack of experienced players mid-season. But for the gaps in the team we would have finished a lot higher than 7th place (out of 11), nevertheless we stand well clear of the drop zone, and saw some fantastic performances with bat, ball and hands. Chief among these was the prize-winning batting of Scott Ruthven who scored 668 runs, including 2 centuries, followed by captain Broom on 469. Bowling honours were spread pretty evenly among the top players, Elliot Ruthven being the notable improved performer putting in some frightening pace towards the end of the season. Unfortunately injuries put paid to the, it turned out, 1st team careers of two of our finest bowlers—but it looks as though we have some great talent coming through, not least young Craig Paterson, whose batting and fielding were excellent.

The Second XI (“A Team”) captained by Scott Hunter, played their socks off as a team, putting in some incredible performances both collectively and individually. Elliot Ruthven was the pick of both bowlers and batsmen, as well as vice-captain, but great knocks by Scott Marshall, Craig Paterson, a freak bowling spell by Thomas Goodman (5 for 6) and a match where every St Boswells player who picked up the ball took a wicket, as well as numerous heroic fielding performances, helped secure the Border Sunday League for the second time in two seasons.

20Twenty Winners 2013

The Border 20/20 competition was dominated by St Boswells and Gala, both sides cleaning up their relevant opposition teams, and facing each other in a match that, even weakened, saw St Boswells victorious, and avenging their loss to Gala in 2012.

St Boswells Ladies once again played in the Scottish Womens League and Cup competitions. Many of the experienced players who made up the original team in 2011 have since left for university and work, but with the hard work of Kathryn White and a number of willing parents, the young side (some as young as 10!) played well to finish 3rd in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the cup. With experience and a couple more players the team looks set to challenge well next year.

Youth Cricket suffered badly in 2013. The well-meaning move in training from Tuesday to Saturday saw a big drop-off in players, many of whom also play rugby and football in preference to cricket, meaning it was not possible to field any teams in 2013. Training will return to Tuesdays in 2014, and there is a major Development Plan in progress to try and offset the lack of support from the regional authority, as well as the promise of a Borders Regional Youth Team once again.

2013 was also the year of our second tour to St Lucia, where a rag-tag team of sun-worshippers took on the might of the local clubs with mixed results, but again some wonderful memories and close links were made. Off the pitch, the club has seen an excellent financial year, helped by well-attended social events and match days in the sun. We are also planning changes to the clubhouse, and all sorts of off-season events to keep the club in the spotlight. Plus we have a few other surprises up our sleeve for what is bound to be an exciting 2014.

Club Officials

We are still looking for someone to take up the positions of Chair and Junior Convener – both Ali McIlroy and Gerald Smith have retired from cricket duties. Please contact the club if you are interested.

The following officials were elected at the 2013 AGM:

Secretary: Keith Farnish
Treasurer: Irene Hume
Fixture Secretary: Richard Young
Membership Secretary: Hollie Robson
Women’s Cricket Convener: Kathryn White
Bar Convener: Ryan Borthwick (assisted by Rory Elms)

Ross Graham continues to manage sponsorship.

Keith Farnish is Child Protection Officer.

The First XI has joint captains for 2014, duties being shared by Kathryn White and Craig McNeill.

St Boswells “A” will be captained by Steven Laidlaw in 2014, assisted by Elliot Hunter as vice-captain.

Other Management Committee members are Ross Graham, Dougie Hume (St Boswells AFC representative), Fiona Paterson and Craig Paterson.
A big thank you to everyone who helps keep the club going – we couldn’t manage without you.

Training

Training normally starts at the beginning of April each season, depending on weather. Indoor training will be organised when time permits.

– Adult Training is every Tuesday and Thursday during the season, from 6pm to dusk.
– Ladies Training is on Friday 6 – 8pm.
– Weekly Junior Training is on Tuesday from 6pm

Once again a big thank you to all our sponsors, members, helpers, officials, players, parents and supporters. To continue the good progress we always need more people to fill these roles. Whether you fancy scoring, umpiring, generally just helping out, or even just want a drink in the cheapest place in St Boswells, please contact us.

We are proud to consider the club as part of the local community, so if there is anything you would like us to be part of then don’t hesitate to contact our Secretary at secretary@stboswellscricketclub.org.

Here’s to a successful 2014!

AGM Announcement

St Boswells Cricket Club Annual General Meeting is taking place on Friday 22nd November at 7pm, at the Clubhouse, The Green, St Boswells. All members are welcome to take part and discuss important matters related to the club. Please send agenda items (no AOB on the night) to secretary@stboswellscricketclub.org.

The current Chairman is retiring from the post, so we need a person who is willing to formally represent this successful and exciting club, and chair meetings. The position is not time-consuming – the club is run on a day-to-day basis by other officers – but vital in ensuring the club has a strong direction, so having an interest in the success of the club is important. Please call Keith on 01835 822692 or email as above if you would like to be considered.

All other officers as well as the management committee are also up for election at the meeting.

The Captains for 2014 have been elected by the playing members, as follows:

1st XI: Captain – Kathryn White / Craig McNeill (joint captaincy), no Vice-Captain
2nd XI: Captain – Steven Laidlaw, Vice-Captain – Elliot Hunter

St Boswells Enjoy A Perfect Weekend

July and early August was not a good month for St Boswells 1st XI, having lost 4 of our 5 games – admittedly with a few injuries affecting the attack, but some poor batting not helping. As the end of the East League season approached, the drop to Division 2 wasn’t likely, but was certainly a slim possibility. With this in mind, we really had to pull our socks up and produce some special results.

The two games scheduled for the 17th and 18th August began with some trepidation as we travelled to Dunfermline on Saturday with the rain falling in sheets as the team bus crossed the Forth Road Bridge.

Play was delayed but the sun eventually came out and the covers came off, St Boswells won the toss and choose to bat as the game was reduced to 35 overs per innings. Scott Ruthven and Rich Young started steadily, with Young especially despatching the bad ball for boundaries. Two quick wickets came with both openers falling to Norman. Steven Broom and Elliott Ruthven quickly built a sensible partnership to take the score to 110, however Broom fell, caught on the boundary, two runs short of his half-century.

Ross Graham entered to try and see the team to a defendable total. He and Ruthven batted sensibly, hitting the bad balls and taking quick singles. Ruthven soon fell, and with Craig Paterson lasting only one ball, Scotland international Kathryn White came to the crease and she and Graham both took boundaries and singles when the opportunity arose. Ali McIlroy joined Graham after White was caught in the covers, and the two proceeded to take St Boswells’ score 187 for 6 wickets.

After an enjoyable tea Dunfermline began their innings in the sun, however bowlers Rory Elms and Elliot Ruthven quickly pegged the batsmen down with aggressive bowling. Elms struck first with the wicket of Asaduzzaman for a duck, and Ruthven joined him in the wickets column soon after.

With rain approaching St Boswells rushed through the overs to ensure a result was achieved, and play was stopped when the rain dutifully fell after the 21st over. However the weather did not last long and the players returned. Young, White and Broom bowled well and took important wickets thanks to some tight lines, some sharp stumpings by Graham, and excellent catching by Paterson and McIlroy.

With Dunfermline nine wickets down, Paterson came on to take the final wicket with his fifth ball and ensure St Boswells took the maximum 20 points for the game and a celebratory journey back home via Edinburgh.

On Sunday St Boswells hosted Eastern Knights Under 18 at the Green and again the match was affected by the weather. Some early showers allowed the match to begin 25 minutes late and reduced to 45 overs per side. St Boswells’ captain Steven Broom again won the toss and again chose to bat on a soft wicket with moisture in the air.

Elliott Ruthven and Ross Graham opened with attrition as Eastern Knights’ openers Adams and Khan hit good areas on a difficult batting pitch. Ruthven fell quickly, and Graham soon after, to bring Broom to the crease, joining Austin Lockington with St Boswells on 41-2 in the 13th over. Eastern Knights’ first and second change bowlers continued to bowl tight and pick up the wickets of Craig McNeill,  Scott Marshall and Craig Paterson.  Lockington capitalised on bad balls to get to his half century, however he was soon caught on the boundary with St Boswells on 104 for the loss of six wickets. James Gillan and Scott Hunter fell quickly, but Gavin Deans stoically saw the team to 143 before Rory Elms was caught to give Eastern Knights a target of 144 for victory.

As the second half began with the wind blowing fiercely in from the South West, opening bowlers Scott Marshall and Elliott Ruthven were miserly as batsmen Acheson and Carmichael found it difficult to score. Eastern Knights continued to lose steady wickets as the run rate began to increase, and St Boswells started to pile on the pressure after a dropped catch by Scott Hunter was quickly picked up and thrown for a direct hit to run out Eastern Knights’ skipper Aslam.

Acheson, however, thought otherwise and rode his luck on a number of occasions as the momentum started to shift in Eastern Knights favour as they continued to pick up important ones and twos to keep them in the game.

St Boswells were still the favourites when Elliott Ruthven came on for his second spell to try and put pressure on Eastern Knights’ lower order. However the change proved a turning point in the momentum of the game. Some quick bowling from Ruthven took the edge of the bat only for the ball to deflect of the glove of the diving Graham onto the nose of “Bossils” captain Broom. As the bloodied captain left the field to visit the BGH with a broken nose, St Boswells found themselves with only 10 men on the park and Eastern Knights slowly creeping towards their target.

As the game entered the final over Eastern Knights were 139-8, needing five runs for victory. Gavin Deans took the ball for the final over. The first ball went for no runs, however the batsmen were able to scamper a single off the second. A good shot off the third went for two, taking Eastern Knights to 142 with 3 balls to spare. Deans’ nerveless bowling took the wicket of Simpson, and with two balls to spare Eastern Knights were nine wickets down needing two runs for victory – and all possible results possible. Eastern Knights’ number 11 Khan drove the next ball to mid off and called Anderson through for the single, however Elliott Ruthven was calm in the ensuing chaos and expertly threw down the wickets to run Khan out, winning the game for St Boswells by 1 run.

With a 100% record from the weekend, St Boswell will hope that they have done enough to remain in Division 1 in their first year; and as they host Holy Cross at the Green this coming Saturday, the villagers will hope to end their season on a high note.

To add to the efforts of the 1st XI, St Boswells Ladies made the long trip to Dumfries, short of players, but with a keen desire to win this vital league and cup match. A couple of sparkling batting performances by Scotland internationalists White (83*) and Waldie (50*) in just 20 overs, for 2 wickets, made the task of Dumfries extremely difficult. Tight bowling and fielding by a determined St Boswells team, despite the gaps in the field, meant Dumfries were restricted to 100 for 5. This leaves St Boswells in the semi-final of the Scottish Women’s Cup, to play Carlton in what will be a tough match.

June 2013 Roundup

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.

SCORECARD (opens in new window)

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.

SCORECARD (opens in new window)

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.

SCORECARD (opens in new window)

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.

SCORECARD (opens in new window)

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.

Moving On Up, Mainly

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.

2 Out Of 3 Ain’t Bad

A new season and a new division for the 1st XI, and matches are inevitably going to get more competitive, especially when you don’t have an overseas player. However, St Boswells have another trick up their sleeve – more anon…

The Ladies team played their first match on Sunday 12th May against George Watsons Ladies, and it was something of a baptism of fire for the predominantly junior team. A great half century from Jo Dixon wasn’t enough to post a high enough total, but George Watsons were made to bat well and the loss will be a big learning experience for the team.

The “A” Team managed to play 2 of their 3 matches, with the Langholm match (at Langholm) unfortunately conceded due to a lack of players – crossing over with the rugby 7s season will always be a problem in the Borders. A defeat to a strong Gala team, despite excellent bowling and fielding was almost inevitable, but kudos to all the players for working hard on a very wet pitch. The second match was against Manderston who are now the only Borders team who do not field an East League team (Kelso and Melrose are East League only). The rain for Manderston’s innings was persistent and the ball constantly wet, but excellent bowling and fielding restricted the opposition to 100 runs. Craig “Bubba” Paterson was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 29. The 101 runs required were easily sought – Elliot Ruthven top scoring with 36.

On to the 1st XI, who played their first match away to MDAFS – confusingly at Leith due to a sudden pitch change – and always struggled with some expensive bowling, and only Rich Young really making an impact with 4 for 41. The total of 188 should have been achievable, but again early season rustiness failed to wash off and St Boswells were bowled out cheaply for 96. Captain Broom scored the lion’s share of the runs. With a disappointing start behind them, the return of batting icon Scott Ruthven was welcomed, but it was a team effort that put St Boswells first home innings – against Edinburgh South – well out of the opposition’s reach. Opening scores of 42 (E Ruthven), 55 (S Ruthven) and 51 (C Prabhakar) showed the batting strength available. The score of 224 was too daunting, and astounding bowling figures of 2 for 7 runs in 10 overs by Scott “Tumsh” Turnbull, with support from the rest of the cast, tidied up Edinburgh South, 90 runs short.

The third match, on 11th May against Watsonian 2 was a corker, but could have been so much easier. Opening the batting and almost carrying the bat through the innings, Scott Ruthven managed to chalk up a huge 134, the highest score by a St Boswells player in recent years in any type of game. It was made even more impressive because no other player scored more than 19; but perhaps on another day another player will have shone. The St Boswells bowling was uniformly tight, with honours shared across the board – Elliot Hunter with the best figures of 3 for 23 in 10, leaving Watsonians 50 runs short and out of overs. The party went on well into the night – not because we had won the league (we are edging up), but because the clubhouse is a great place to have a party!

1st XI SCORECARDS (open in new tabs)

vs MDAFS: http://www.cricketstats.org.uk/esca/2013/index.php?table=0&stats=0&scorecard=1/0810

vs Edinburgh South: http://www.cricketstats.org.uk/esca/2013/index.php?table=0&stats=0&scorecard=1/1005

vs Watsonians 2: http://www.cricketstats.org.uk/esca/2013/index.php?table=0&stats=0&scorecard=1/1011