Selkirk’s chances of defeating their ancient rivals Gala were, alas, washed out by rain on Saturday. Having won the toss and opting to bowl Selkirk restricted the visitors to 211/9 off their allotted 50 overs only for persistent rain to prevent John Everitt’s men from having a run at the Gala total.
In truth it was a surprise that even 50 overs of play was possible. The weather forecast was grim and the longer Gala batted at Philiphaugh the closer the clouds, clearly pregnant with rain, came. A strong wind was blowing down the valley and if Selkirk’s bowlers sometimes strayed a little towards leg-stump perhaps the conditions had something to do with that. Indeed the bowling was tidier than it was penetrating.
Nevertheless, dropped catches cost the home side something close to dear. Both Ormiston and Boland were dropped twice in the first 15 overs. Had those chances been taken Selkirk would have been well placed to dismiss the visitors in shortish order. It wasn’t until Greg Fenton had Boland trapped plumb LBW with the score on 45 that Selkirk made their first and vital breakthrough.
Ormiston, however, was batting with great patience and discipline en route to a well-composed and sensibly-judged 67. Meanwhile skipper-for-the-day Kris Mein neither occupied the crease nor tired out the scorers, being dismissed by Reid for just 1. Ormiston would eventually be dismissed by Greg Fenton thanks to a fine* catch by Darren Fenton at mid-on.
Mein’s dismissal brought rugby referee Andrew Mcmenemy to the crease and, woe it is to report, he began to lay some lumber upon the Selkirk bowling. So much so, in fact, that one felt it was a shame the rugby season has finished. Surely he could have been better used refereeing a game in Romania or some other place miles from Selkirk? As it was, he biffed away in fine stlye, inclung one excellent six over long-off, before and eventually slapping Reid to midwicket where Wilkie took a sharp but vital catch. That was the end of that and not before time either.
Ormiston and Mcmenemy had put on 81 for the fourth wicket and Gala were 173/4 at this stage. Thereafter Reid struck quickly, however, displaying no small measure of athleticism to take a one-handed and diving catch to dismiss Hancock before the batsman had got off the mark.
Thereafter and had it not been for some lusty swiping and smashing from Millar Gala would have been restricted to a total below 200 runs. The Brothers Fenton (Greg and Darren Editions) snared another wicket apiece while skipper Everitt ran out Lawrie with a direct hit – his, Everitt’s that is, second such success of the season.
And that was that. On a batting track that offered little obvious assitance to bowlers, 200 might have been about par for 50 overs. But then the rain began to fall. And fall. And fall again. So that was that. Alas. Bloody rain, eh? This is Scotland, this is cricket and these are the crosses we must bear.
G Ormiston c D Fenton b G Fenton 67
D Boland LBW b G Fenton
K Mein* c M Fenton b Reid 1
J Irvine c R Banks b Graham 26
A Mcmenemy c Wilkie b Reid 43
R Hancock c&b Reid 0
A Lawrie Run Out 2
D Millar Not Out 24
S Patterson c Penman b G Fenton 0
R Patterson c Wilkie b D Fenton 0
R Pringle Not Out 2
Bowling: M Fenton 10-2-38-0, D Fenton 10-1-24-1, J Reid 10-0-46-3, G Fenton 10-2-36-3, J Graham 5-0-30-1, R Banks 4-0-15-0, R Wilkie 1-0-10-0
*A fine catch indeed and taken over Darren Fenton’s left shoulder too. A catch that will, frankly, live long in his memory and to hear it related in the weeks and months and (god-help-us) years to come would have taxed some extraordinary combination of Derek Randall and Jonty Rhodes, neither of whom could have had much chance of holding on to the ball. Them not being Gazelles, you understand.