After two rain-outs and an afternoon spent waiting – in vain – for Biggar to arrive at Philiphaugh, Selkirk’s Sunday season finally began at the weekend. Unfortunately, as matters transpired, it would have been no bad thing if Sunday’s fixture against Gala had been corrupted by the weather too.
From this the attentive reader will surmise that it ended badly for the Souters. The attentive reader would be right. It may have been the case that, Selkirk having twice got the better of our neighbours on the Sabbath last year, Gala were due a victory against their old rivals but that is small beer and smaller consolation for Selkirk after a 110 run defeat.
Those who played did their best and if, as it turned out, that best was not quite good enough at least these men played. Those who cancelled their participation on Sunday morning will not be named here. They know who they are. And so do their erstwhile team-mates. As a general rule it is rarely a good sign when the home side can only muster 9 players. May the absentees feel the shame of letting their colleagues down and may they feel it deeply and for some time yet.
Anyway. Gala won the toss and elected to bat. Blair Amos struck quickly to dismiss Rory Hancock for a duck but his opening partner Ross Patterson enjoyed a charmed life until, on 20, he was trapped LBW by Gordon Branston. The Glasgow-born South African-raised Ettrick Valley resident was the pick of Selkirk’s bowlers, finishing with 3/15.
Even so, Josh Irvine and Millar were enjoying themselves at the crease and putting Gala on the road to a decent total. Troubling times called for desperate measures and so Alex Massie brought himself into the attack and, to some observers’ indecent surprise, succeeded in persuading Irvine to hole out to deep midwicket where Rory Banks took a fine catch.
Selkirk, in fact, used 7 bowlers of whom special mention might be made of young Mitchell Branston who was unfortunate not to finish with more than one wicket. He could easily have had a couple more and would, more importantly, have deserved them too.
Elsewhere, Blair Amos took two smart catches while keeper John Graham snared a trio of victims: two catches and splendid slow-motion stumping to remove Millar for 40.
Gala finished with a total of 140/9 from their 40 overs and, in all honesty, this looked a decent target given the vile conditions. By vile I mean, of course, a howling gale flowing down the valleys, a soft pitch and a heavy outfield.
Even so, Selkirk’s response must be considered on the disappointing side of Not Really Very Good.
Matters began poorly as Gordon Branston was plumb LBW to the first ball of the innings. Four overs later Massie prodded and missed and heard the death rattle as his off-stump perished and Selkirk were in, it is fair to say, poor shape. Banks soon traipsed back to the pavilion and the only the weather could save poor Selkirk. Credit to young Pringle, however: he bowled full and straight and earned his reward.
Alas, even the Rain Gods declined to smile on Selkirk. Graham at least made it to double figures but the tail was not in any kind of a happy wagging mood and it is hard to put any kind of cheery gloss on a final total of 30 All Out.
At the risk of seeming like Monty Python’s Black Knight we must hope that this was only a flesh wound and not a grim harbinger of things to come. There is the chance to do better this Sunday when Langholm visit Philiphaugh. The players would certainly welcome and perhaps even need your support.
Special thanks are due to Mike Scott for umpiring on Sunday.
Border Sunday League. Selkirk vs Gala. Played at Philiphaugh on Sunday May13th. Gala won by 110 runs.
R Hancock b Amos 0
R Patterson LBW G Branston 20
J Irvine ct Banks b Massie 20
D Millar*+ st Graham b G Branston 40
R Pringle ct Graham b M Branston 12
S Scott ct Graham b Banks 14
J Halls ct Amos b G Branston 0
J Anthony Not Out 7
C Thomson b Amos 13
D Moir ct Amos b Graham 5
D Hancock Not Out 0
Bowling: Amos 8-0-31-2, Banks 8-0-19-1, G Branston 8-0-15-3, Massie 6-0-26-1, Hughes 2-0-11-0, M Branston 4-0-20-1, Graham 4-0-18-1
G Branston LBW Pringle 0
A Massie* b Pringle 3
R Banks ct A Pail Merk b Moir 8
J Graham+ b Thomson 12
B Gillie b Pringle 1
M Branston b Pringle 0
S Mercer ct Irvine b Moir 0
L: Hughes ct Irvine b Thomson 1
B Amos Not Out 2
Total: 30 All Out.
Bowling: Pringle 6-2-11-4, Moir 5-2-7-2, R Hancock 2-0-3-0, Thomson 1.4-0-7-2