Turkish Song of the Damned

Let’s play Hunt the Silver Lining! If this Castleholm debacle is the worst performance of the season and if the ignominy of it all prods players towards self-improvement then it will (or may) not have been an entirely wasted day.

But that’s about all that can be drawn from this disappointment. True, it was better than last year’s expedition to Langholm. Then Selkirk subsided to 25 all out. On Saturday the club did twice as well. 54 all out, even on a soft, bowler-friendly track at Langholm is no sort of a total, however, and it was not a surprise when Langholm, led by Gregor Park, motored past it with the loss of just one wicket.

Gallingly it had all begun rather differently. Greg Fenton and, making his season’s debut, Thomas Penman had begun slowly but solidly, seeing off Duncan Elliot and the new ball.  With each opener reaching double figures there was every reason to hope that a competitive total might be posted.

Alas Colin Turk was on hand to change the course of the match and not to Selkirk’s favour either. He bowled Penman for 10 and Greg Fenton swiftly followed, caught off the bowling of Johnstone.  Fate then intervened to play its part in the drama: some overly-enthusiastic* umpiring adjudged Everitt LBW and then delivered exactly the same verdict to Banks, leaving the Selkirk innings holed beneath the water-line and taking on water fast.

Patterson, so often a steadying influence, was unable to save the innings this time and though Darren Fenton offered some resistance, he fell to a fine catch taken by Reid. Gardiner, meanwhile, was sent packing by a direct hit from Pool. Turk finished with the improbable figures of 4 for 8 from his 8 overs.

The one thing that might be said is that at least some Selkirk men showed some application. They may have posted a miserable little total but they took their time – 30 overs in fact – about getting there. Here too, however, the silver lining seems terribly thin and, on closer inspection, probably not even made of (or even coloured) silver either.

Still: this Saturday’s game against our ancient rivals Gala offers the perfect opportunity for redemption and the chance to put the club’s Border League campaign back on track.

*An obvious candidate for the Buckfast Moment. Nevertheless, Darren Fenton’s exhuberant appeal for run out takes the palm, principally because the fielder appeared to forget that a run out must hit the stumps, not the batsman. Once we get the hang of the rules, you know, there’ll be no stopping us. (Thanks are also due to Malcolm Ford for coming out of retirement to ensure Selkirk arrived in Langholm with a full XI.)

Langholm vs Selkirk, Castleholm, May 14th 2011. Border League. Langholm won by nine wickets.

Selkirk CC – 1st XI

Greg Fenton            ct Stewart b Johnstone 14
Thomas Penman (Wkt)    b Turk 10
John Everrit*            LBW Turk 1
Rory Banks            LBW Turk 0
Kenny Paterson        b Johnstone 0
Darren Fenton            ct Reid b Ashton-Smith 13
John Graham            b Turk 0
Ian Buckley             ct Ashton-Smith b Little 6
Jordan Reid            ct Ashton-Smith b Little 2
Iain Gardiner             Run Out 1
Malcolm Ford            Not Out 0

Extras: 7

Total: 54 All Out (29.5)

bowling: Elliott 4-1-9-0, Johnstone 8-4-15-2, Turk 8-3-8-4, Little 6.5-1-13-2, Ashton-Smith 3-1-5-1

Langholm Innings:

Andrew Bell        b Greg Fenton 13
Gregor Park* (Wkt)    Not Out 36
Colin Turk            Not Out 6

Extras: 5

Total 60/1 (9.5 overs)

Bowling: Paterson 3-0-17-0, Buckley 2-0-13-0, D Fenton 2-0-16-0, G Fenton 2-1-1-1, Reid 0.5-0-7-0

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