File this in the folder marked Ones That Got Away That Shouldn’t Have. Winless at Kelso since 1999, Selkirk spurned a splendid opportunity to defeat the Tweedsiders at Shedden Park on Saturday.
Chasing 161 on a good track and assisted by a lightning fast outfield Selkirk motored to 90 without loss before a batting collapse of Bangladeshi proportions left the Souters 15 runs short by close of play and lamenting a loss that really should have been a victory.
Johnny Everitt – pictured above – had led the way, clipping the ball of his pads in fine style and driving with authority to reach a blisfully untroubled and elegant half-century. With Kenny Paterson offering stalwart support, there seemed, on the face of it, few reasons why Selkirk ought not to have coasted to a comfortable victory.
Fate, however, was lurking around the corner armed with the lead piping and when Everitt unaccountably shuffled across his stumps and wafted casually but to no great effect leaving himself plumb in front the dread cry “One brings two” was passed from one Kelso fielder to the next.
In fact one brought three. Dunkley deceived Darren Fenton and Paterson with his loopers and Kelso sensed opportunity. Jordan Reid fell to a smart catch in the guile off the impressive, youthful, Davidson and Lee Ooliver fell soon after.
Meanwhile Rory Banks was doing his best to remain calm as wickets fell at the other end. Some lusty driving – fast becoming young Banks’s trademark – gave Selkirk renewed hope. But the question was who could stay with him and see the innings to a successful conclusion?
Your correspondent was one so charged and, it is annoying to report, failed in his duty, driving Cessford to mid-off where G Davidson took a smart, tumbling catch. It was an unnecessary shot that shouldn’t have been played and Massie is at least old enough to have known better and to have made a better fist of resisting temptation.
Overs were not a problem by this stage as Selkirk needed just 30 runs from the final 15 or so overs. Preserving one’s wicket and nudging and nurdling were what was needed, not foolish thoughts of boundaries or over-ambitious attempts at spectacle.
Penman and Graham, alas, failed to exercise the scorers and now Kelso were within two wickets of victory. Chris Highton, making his first appearance for the 1st XI for some time, showed the proper spirit but the fatal, decisive blow came when, with just three balls left of Cessford’s spell, Banks attempted a mighty heave and was bowled neck and crop by the Kelso skipper.
That left Ryan Godsmark, generously stepping into the breach after late and unpopular call-offs, to do his best in desperate circumstances. That he struggled with the task matters not.
And so Selkirk were left to ponder what might have been and reflect on a galling, missed opportunity.
Earlier, Kelso had won the toss and chosen to bat first on a good wicket that, for once, allowed the ball to come on to the bat properly. A hard outfield guaranteed scraped knees for fielders and value for money to batsmen.
Darren Fenton trapped Thompson LBW with just the second delivery of his first over, but thereafter Selkirk began to find it hard going on a good track and a
lightning fast outfield. Grindell and Henderson rode their luck at times but took the score past 50 as Selkirk began to toil in the field in uncommonly hot conditions.
It was Banks who made the next breakthrough with as rank a long-hop as you could ever wish to see take a wicket. Grindell had previously hit Banks for six over midwicket but Paterson had now stationed himself on the boundary and, when Grindell attempted to repeat himself, leapt to clutch a splendid, vital catch.
Cheap wickets were hard to come by, however, and though Banks bowled Henderson Selkirk’s fielding was more ragged than might be considered ideal and, crucially, their bowling too erratic. Ten wides were sent down, while Kelso conceded only two – enough, more or less, to account for the home side’s final margin of victory.
Fenton had Dunkley caught at fine leg for a typically pugnacious 21 and Paterson removed Dagg for 15. However Cessford – whose 4 for 17 with the ball would, one might have thought, have been enough of a contribution – added a rapid 31 before being bowled by Paterson for 31.
Wharton and Henderson saw out the 40 overs without too many alarms leaving Selkirk to chase 161. The visitors knew that a good start was vital and that, most probably, three batsmen would have to make serious contributions. All that was duly produced as Paterson, Banks and especially Everitt batted in fine style. But it wasn’t, in the end, quite enough at the end of a splendid day’s cricket played in perfect conditions and in good spirit.
Selkirk vs Kelso, Border League Cup, Shedden Park, June 5th 2010.
Kelso won by 15 runs.
Kelso won the toss and elected to bat.
J Thompson LBW b Fenton 0
T Grindell ct Paterson b Banks 27
R Henderson b Banks 28
P Dunkley ct Oliver b Fenton 21
N Dagg ct Penman b Paterson 15
S Cessford b Paterson 31
I Wharton Not Out 14
M Henderson+ Not Out 11
G Davidson Did Not Bat
T Galbraith Did Not Bat
C Davidson Did Not Bat
Bowling: Paterson 8-0-18-2, Fenton 8-1-32-2, Reid 8-0-30-0, Oliver 8-0-34-0, Banks 8-1-43-2
J Everitt LBW b Dunkley 53
K Paterson* b Dunkley 29
D Fenton b Dunkley 0
J Reid ct Galbraith b C Davidson 13
R Banks b Cessford 30
L Oliver ct Grindell b C Davidson 6
A Massie ct G Davidson b Cessford 3
T Penman+ LBW b Galbraith 0
J Graham b Cessford 0
C Highton Not Out 2
R Godsmark ct Grindell b Cessford 0
Total: 146 All Out
Bowling Wharton 4-0-16-0, Galbraith 7-0-39-1, Cessford 8-2-17-4, Dunkley 4-0-25-3, Grindell 3-0-14-0, C Davidson 5-0-25-2