June has been a sweeter month than May for Selkirk cricket club and Langholm became the latest side to traipse home defeated from Philiphaugh. Selkirk, then, advance to the next round of the National Murgatroyd 20/20 Knock-Out Cup after a 49 run victory that was just as comprehensive and comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
Both sides were short-handed and this, allied with a fast outfield, placed an additional premium on bowling accuracy. Unfortunately for the visitors they found John Everitt and Greg Fenton in fine form, with the Yorkshireman in particular, helping Selkirk off to a fine start.
Indeed the openers took Selkirk past 50 off just eight overs before a nonsensical piece of running from Fenton – hitting the ball firmly to midwicket and setting off in pursuit of a non-esixtent and scarcely needed single – left Everitt three yards short of his ground. Disregarding the old advice about once bitten, twice shy Fenton proceeded to run himself out, this time misjudging a run to square leg. Credit on both occasions to Jack Pool who kept his cool to run both batsmen out but, from a Selkirk perspective, Fenton’s running between the wickets left more than a little to be desired.
Rory Banks, batting at three, arrived at the crease determined to give the bowling some welly. He was especially severe on Steven Johnstone and, in a Champagne Moment worthy of Test Match Special, smashed one six over the wall at the River End and into a car parked in front of Briar Cottage. It was a mighty hit and the stand-out moment in a Bothamesque innings of powerful driving and pulling that took Selkirk past the 100 mark in rapid time.
Banks was ably supported by Darren Fenton before he fell, for a splendid 55, to Euan Wilson. By that stage, however, the damage was done and Selkirk knew they would have to bowl especially poorly to lose the game. Paterson was bowled by the final delivery of the innings but a score of 155 was more than enough.
Langholm’s innings got off to a fine start with Pool pulling anything and everything through midwicket. After two overs the visitors were 25/0 and on track to make a real game of matters. Nevertheless, the pressure of having to score at eight runs an over duly told: Paterson bowled Pool in the third over and then, in the fourth, Darren Fenton induced Park to play on and, at a stroke, Langholm were in more trouble than they could escape from.
Wilson fell for one, caught by Banks off Greg Fenton and when Darren Fenton had Stewart caught behind, the visitors had slumped to 34/4. True, Elliot and Johnstone steadied the ship adding 41 runs for the fifth wicket but it was too little, too late. Paterson was sufficiently confident of victory that he could afford to turn to some of his more occasional bowlers: Massie bowled Johnstone for 12 with a ball that, cunningly, didn’t turn at all while the watching troop of supporters were also treated to the rare sight of Banks Sr turning his arm over.
When Elliott failed to get to the pitch and skied Massie to Greg Fenton at cover the last vestiges of whatever faint hopes Langholm still dared to harbour disappeared and Selkirk trotted out comfortable winners.
This wasn’t a perfect performance by any means – a brace of run-outs and a trio of dropped catches saw to that – but it was, nonetheless a thoroughly satisfying afternoon’s cricket that sees Selkirk progress to the final of the Southern Section where they will play either Dumfries or Gala.
Selkirk vs Langholm, National Murgatroyd 20/20 Knock Out Cup, at Philiphaugh on June 27th 2010. Selkirk won by 49 runs.
Selkirk CC – 1st XI
J Everitt Run Out 25
G Fenton Run Out 21
R Banks ct Elliott b Wilson 55
D Fenton Not Out 28
Kenny Paterson* b Wilson 11
L Oliver Did Not Bat
A Massie Did Not Bat
J Graham Did Not Bat
I Gardiner + Did Not Bat
I Banks Did Not Bat
Extras (1b 8lb 6w) 15
Total (4 wickets, 20 overs) 155
Bowling: Steven Johnstone 4-0-40-0, Graham Park 4-0-27-0, Duncan Elliott 4-0-27-0, David Little 4-0-24-0, Euan Wilson 4-0-35-2
Langholm 1st XI
G Park* b D Fenton 6
Jack Pool b Patterson 19
E Wilson ct R Banks b G Fenton 1
S Johnstone b Massie 12
C Stewart + ct I Gardiner b D Fenton 1
D Elliott ct G Fenton b Massie 37
D Little Not Out 8
J Bell Not Out 2
R Rae Did Not Bat
Extras (2b 1lb 20w) 23
Total (6 wickets, 20 overs) 109
Bowling: K Paterson 2-0-5-1, L Oliver 4-0-25-0, D Fenton 2-0-6-2, G Fenton 4-1-14-1, J Everitt 3-1-18-0, A Massie 4-0-17-2, I Banks 1-0-15-0