What a difference a week makes. Nevermind the cricket, on Sunday Philiphaugh was blessed with something much more unusual than a Selkirk victory: sunshine and a more than just a hint of summer. So much so, in fact, that a drinks break was required for the first time this year. Astonishing scenes.
On the field, Selkirk bested Langholm by 78 runs to get the Souters’ season back on track after last week’s debacle against Gala. Though the final scorecard might suggest this was a comfortable win, the truth is that for a while it looked as though Selkirk – inserted by Langholm – might struggle to post a challenging total.
That they were able to do so owed much to the efforts of Kyle Gillie and John Everitt. Gillie, asked to bat at number 3 for perhaps the first time in his career, responded with a maiden half century that delighted his team-mates almost as much as it surprised them.
True, he rode his luck in the early stages and was dropped badly on 21 but though his first dozen runs were edgy Gillie grew in confidence as his innings progressed. He thumped the ball straight in fine style and clubbed anything short through midwicket during an innings that set an admirable standard for application.
Everitt, meanwhile, was in the process of composing a typically elegant 40, the highlight of which was a brace of cuts through cover. Between them, Everitt and Gillie added 80 runs for the third wicket and rescued Selkirk from a less than wholly promising beginning.
A bumpy track, plagued by inconsistent bounce, made scoring heavy work to begin with as, for an hour or so, the Souters crept along at barely two runs an over. For their part, Langholm bowled accurately but without much fortune.
Everitt finally fell, bowled by Wilson, as he looked to increase the scoring rate and Gillie soon followed for a splendid 56. By then, however, Selkirk were past 100 and on track to posting a challenging total. Massie and Graham added 35 in the last six overs (and could have had more but for the skipper’s disinclination to turn comfortable twos into exhausting threes).
Langholm’s innings never quite got going but that owed plenty to some accurate Selkirk bowling. Amos was first to strike before Oliver struck twice in an over to leave Langholm struggling. Gordon Branston, who would later bowl a fine spell himself, took a grand catch in the gully to dismiss Bell.
That brought Euan Wilson, always a key wicket, to the crease. Though Langholm’s skipper looked in decent nick he was undone by a fine inswinger from Reid that clattered into the middle-stump.
If that owed nothing to luck, Duncan Elliot’s dismissal certainly did. The Langholm veteran was bowled by a shooter that was utterly unplayable.
By this stage, however, Langholm had lost all hope of victory. True, Bell biffed a belligerent 37 but these were but the final flickers of a fire that was clearly on its way out.
And so it proved as Oliver returned to the attack to claim another two wickets for figures of 4-15 before Gardiner concluded matters by tempting Bell into slapping a long-hop straight to Reid at midwicket.
A good all-round performance from the Souters, then, in which almost every team member played a notable part.
Selkirk vs Langholm, Border Sunday League. Sunday May 20th.
Selkirk won by 78 runs.
G Branston ct J Hall b Paisley 4
J Reid ct Elliot b Paisley 3
K Gillie ct A Bell b Wilson 56
A Parr b Gormley 0
J Everitt b Wilson 40
A Massie* Not Out 24
J Graham+ Not Out 10
Total: 152/5 (40 Overs)
Bowling: Wilson 8-2-21-1,Paisley 8-1-13-2, Gormley 8-2-24-1, A Bell 8-0-29-0, C Bell 6-0-48-0, Little 2-0-15-0
R Rae ct Reid b Amos
J Hall ct Graham b Oliver 7
J Bell ct Branston b Oliver 2
E Wilson b Reid 12
A Paisley ct Amos b Reid 2
A Bell ct Reid b Gardiner 37
C Little ct b Branston 3
D Elliot b Amos 0
B Wilson b Oliver 2
C Bell b Oliver 0
J Gormley Not Out 4
Total 74 All Out
Bowling: Amos 8-3-11-2, Oliver 8-1-15-4, Reid 6-0-17-2, Parr3-0-5-0, Gardiner 2.2-0-14-1, Branston 5-1-11-1