Sunshine on Selkirk as Souters Stay Top of the League

Michael Fenton bowling to Carr on a braw Border day that was just as grand for Selkirk’s cricketers

Selkirk’s unbeaten record in Division Six of the East of Scotland league remains intact after a 10 wicket victory against Dunbar at on Saturday that was just as commanding as the scorecard suggests.

If Philiphaugh, blessed by gorgeous sunshine,  was not quite the Trent Bridge of yore, a place described by the Guardian’s Neville Cardus as “a lotus-land for batsmen where it is always afternoon and 360 for 2”, conditions were at last – that is, for the first time this summer – grand for batting. About bleedin’ time too, batsmen might say.

This being so, it was clear that whoever won the toss would choose to bat first. It was the visitors who won that battle but, as it turned out, this was the only serious reverse suffered by John Everitt’s side.

Credit for this happy state of affairs chiefly lies with Selkirk’s bowlers. Greg Fenton and Jordan Reid put Dunbar’s openers under pressure from the start, bowling good lines and offering no cheap runs to the visitors. The steady accumulation of pressure earned its reward in the tenth over when Dickinson clipped a leg stump full toss straight to Kyle Gillie who took a smart catch at square leg. This, ironically, was perhaps Reid’s worst delivery in a miserly spell in which he conceded just one run off the bat.

Miller then skied Reid to extra cover where Everitt took the catch before Michael Fenton trapped Duff LBW and then produced a splendid inswinger to bowl Wanless. By this stage, with Selkirk conceding just one run an over, it was clear that Dunbar’s innings was both becalmed and besieged.

This was a team effort as Selkirk’s bowlers drew inspiration from their colleagues successes. There was a notable – and pleasing – sharpness in the field too as Selkirk kept the pressure on.

After 20 overs Dunbar had crawled to 20/6 and faced an invidious dilemma: cling on and hope for the best at the price of scoring even more slowly or risk their remaining wickets in a bold counter-attack?

Though Carr enjoyed some success by flashing hard and edging Michael Fenton through third man, in general Dunbar’s batsmen adopted a cautious approach. They battled hard and earned the respect due to batsmen who, though under the cosh, do not throw their wickets away. Selkirk had to chisel them out.

Carr was caught and bowled by Greg Fenton for 15 and, though Amabilino offered some rearguard resistance, the visitors were only able to muster 59 runs.

Everitt and Greg Fenton had put on 127 for the opening wicket in Selkirk’s previous league game and they carried that form into Saturday’s encounter. Though Dickinson managed to extract a modicum of movement with the new ball, Dunbar were unable to prevent the home side’s openers from getting off to a fast start.

Defending such a small total, the visitors had little choice but to set an attacking fields and this necessarily left swathes of open prairie through which Everitt and Fenton could hammer the Dunbar bowling. They rattled along at nearly a run a ball and secured victory in just the 11th over.

This completed a fine victory against a dogged and plucky Dunbar side who perhaps deserved greater reward for their efforts. Best of all, from a Selkirk perspective, was the cheering realisation that this was very much a team performance in which every bowler and fielder played his part.

Finally, this victory is dedicated to club stalwart Kenny Paterson and to the memory of his late father who died last week. The whole club sends its condolences to the Paterson family.

Selkirk beat Dunbar by 10 wickets.

Dunbar Innings:

D Dickinson ct K Gillie b Reid 6
R Miller ct Everitt b Reid 0
S Callow LBW b Parr 2
I Wanless b M Fenton 0
R Duff LBW b M Fenton 4
P Carr ct & b G Fenton 15
A Callow b Parr 0
M Cheetham ct & b Banks 4
M Noble b G Fenton 0
K Amabilino Not Out 13
A Crawford ct Penman b Reid 4
Extras: 11

Total: 59 All Out (34 overs)

Bowling: G Fenton 9-4-19-2, J Reid 7-5-2-3, M Fenton 9-5-15-2, D Fenton 2-0-8-0, Parr 4-1-10-2, Banks 3-2-4-1

Selkirk Innings:

J Everitt* Not Out 24
G Fenton Not Out 29
Extras: 7

Total: 60/0 (11 overs)

Bowling: Dickinson 5-1-19-0, Miller 4-0-23-0, A Callow 1-0-4-0, A Crawford 1-0-11-0


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The Kyle Show as Souters Have Fun in the Sun

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
Extras: 15

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

Langholm Innings:

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
Extras: 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


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Bayern Munich Supporters Club Meeting*

Members are reminded that the Champions’ League final takes place this Saturday and that it will be screened in the club rooms.

Members are also reminded that £2.50 a pint is the best value in the town.

*Chelsea fans are also welcome. Yes, even Chelsea fans. SCC is a broad-minded club.

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The Boys of Summer (1982 Edition)

CLASS OF ’82. Members of Selkirk’s title-winning team line up at Philiphaugh. Back row: K. Cassidy, B. Wilson, J. Smail, G. Reid, M. Scott, B. Hunter, M. Lauder, A. Webster (umpire). Front: J. Hunter, L. Muir, R. Brett (captain), T. Anderson (chairman), A. Turnbull (vice-captain), K. Anderson, M. Ford. (Photo: Grant Kinghorn)

THE last time Selkirk Cricket Club’s 1st X1 lifted the Border League trophy was in 1982, and to mark the 30th anniversary of this achievement the club held a special players’ night at Philiphaugh earlier this month.

Around 20 former players and officials attended, including 1982 captain Roly Brett, vice-captain Allen Turnbull and the club chairman in 1982 Tom Anderson.

“It was great to meet up with old team-mates,” said Mr Brett, “and brought back a lot  of happy memories. That season was particularly memorable, as Selkirk also won the Border Knock-out Cup and Border Sixes title. Those were the days!”

During the evening a plea went out to former players to lend their support and experience to the current crop of players, by returning to the club as often as possible and helping the club continue to grow and develop.

The Committee would like to thank John Smail for organising an evening that was much enjoyed by all present.

The picture above is how they look now but this is how the title-winning side looked in their pomp:

Border League Champions 1982: how many faces do you recognise now?


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A Bloody Sunday for Selkirk

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.

Gala Innings:

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

Total: 140/9

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

Selkirk Innings:

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
Extras 3.

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

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Selkirk Too Big for The Wee County

Michael Fenton was in excellent, belligerent form on his return to Selkirk colours.

Played three, won three is the message from Philiphaugh and Selkirk sit atop Division Six of the East of Scotland league after a commanding 97 run victory over Clackmannan County’s 2nd XI on Saturday. The visitors from the Wee County, having made the long trip from Alloa, won the toss and opted to give the home side first use of a wicket that, given so much appalling weather recently, predictably looked perfectly-suited to seam bowling.

The logic behind fielding first was impeccable so one may imagine the despair Clackmannan’s skipper felt as Selkirk’s openers put on 127 runs for the first wicket. In any circumstances such a partnership would have been rightly considered remarkable; that it was produced in such testing conditions made it all the more notable. As Clackmannan’s bowlers toiled dutifully but without reward the first ten overs produced just 17 runs. Kay led the way for the visitors, his first six overs costing just four runs. A slow outfield helped ensure that even when the batsmen timed the ball sweetly they could not count on receiving full reward for their shots. Indeed, Selkirk would only hit 7 boundaries in their innings.

Having seen off the new ball, skipper John Everitt and Greg Fenton began to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by Clackmannan’s supporting cast of bowlers. \after 20 overs the score was 65/0 and the hundred was registered just seven overs later. Everitt was happy to let his younger partner lead the way as both openers registered half-centuries. All good things must come to an end, however, and Fenton holed-out to cow corner in the 32nd over. His 70 runs were scored from 92 deliveries. Rory Banks fell quickly to Bryan-Nicholls before Everitt slapped a drive to extra cover and was dismissed for a patient and classy 52.

At 136/3 with ten overs left the stage was set for either a dispiriting collapse of a madcap dash to the finish line. In the event, the result was a little of both. Selkirk, pressing for quick runs, lost wickets at regular intervals but Michael Fenton, making a welcome return to cricket, took command of the situation, unleashing a series of powerful pulls and drives that reminded his team-mates how much they have missed him in recent years when work commitments have prevented him from representing his club and town. He led thw way as Selkirk plundered 27 runs from the final two overs to set a total that, given conditions of pitch and outfield, always seemed likely to prove formidable.

As, in fact, it did. Kenny Paterson produced a typically nagging, parsimonious spell with the new ball but, just as Everitt had been mildly overshadowed by a junior partner earlier, so it was 18 year old Jordan Reid who took the honours with an opening salvo of 2 for 6 from 7 overs of accurate medium-pace bowling. At 6 for 3 Clackmannan were plainly, so to speak, on the back foot and though Carman and then Rasul struggled manfully the visitors never looked like scoring at the required run-rate.

Nevertheless, Selkirk needed to keep their concentration and show some patience trusting that, eventually, fortune would turn their way. It was Rory Banks who made victory a formality. The atmospheric conditions had a Viagra-like effect on his gentle medium-pacers as Banks swung into action. A wicket in his frist over was followed by a brace of scalps in his second and Clackmannan’s innings was irretrievably broken, shipwrecked and washed upon a rocky, hostile shore. Since Banks had earlier taken a splendid diving catch at midwicket to dismiss Rasul, it was an afternoon in the field to remember for the Murray Place youngster.

The Souters’ challenge is to now to take advantage of this early season momentum. Their next assignment is a trip to Edinburgh next Saturday to play Teuchters CC.

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KP Nuts West Lothian; Selkirk Cruise to Victory.

Despite missing skipper John Everitt and vice-captain Rory Banks, Selkirk proved much too strong for West Lothian 3rd XI at Beeslack School in Penicuik on Saturday. Stand-in skipper Kenny Paterson led the way as West Lothian were dimissed for just 64 runs, a total which Selkirk overhauled for the loss of just a single wicket. Paterson, who had bowled without much luck against Falkland the previous week, took 5 for 25 as West Lothian’s batsmen struggled to make any headway against Selkirk’s accurate bowling.

Only Brown, swiping and hitting more often than he swiped and missed, troubled the bowlers. Taking advantage of the short boundaries – half the distance of those found at Philiphaugh – he hit five sixes in an adventurous, sometimes fortunate, innings of 39. His luck ran out, however, when he top-edged a thigh-high full toss from Greg Fenton to Blaine Gillie who took a good, solid, catch at deep square leg.

Earlier, Paterson had been deprived of a hat-trick when keeper John Graham spilled Brown first ball up. That was the only dropped chance of the day, however, as Selkirk’s catching showed (welcome and overdue) signs of improvement.

In other respects the trip to Penicuik was a reminder of how fortunate the Souters are to enjoy the excellent facilities at Philiphaugh. No pavilion at Beeslack meant changing in the car park while the outfield more surely resembled a meadow than a cricket-field; indeed a flock of Blackface sheep could profitably be employed to cut grass so long in places that it was barely an exagerration to wonder if it might be possible to lose a ball in the most overgrown corners of the outfield.

Not that such concerns troubled Selkirk’s batsmen. Though Greg Fenton was dropped twice he, Jordan Reid and Darren Fenton saw Selkirk home in rapid fashion. Reid hit one six while Darren Fenton clubbed a brace of “maximums”.

This, however, was another victory set up by seam-bowling supremacy. Indeed, Selkirk’s bowlers have made life easy for the club’s batsmen this season; in two matches the Philiphaugh outfit have only needed to bat for 16 overs in total to overhaul the paltry totals posted by their vanquished opponents.

Stiffer tests doubtless remain ahead and West Lothian were hampered by only bringing nine players to the party (though Selkirk only had ten themselves). Nevertheless, since West Lothian won nine games and lost only four in this league last season there are, perhaps, reasons to hope this might prove a successful season for Selkirk. Next week the Souters host Clackmannan County 2nd XI who, having lost their opening two games will presumably arrive at Philiphaugh lean and hungry and desperate to kick-start their season.

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