Selkirk’s quest for a third consecutive promotion remains firmly on track after a commanding 105-run victory over Dunfermline Carnegie at Philiphaugh last Saturday.
A fine all-round team performance means the Souters remain top of Division Four and with only four league fixtures remaining, the Souters’ prospects for promotion remain on the fit side of healthy.
Skipper John Everitt won the toss and on a day blessed by sunshine and a firm wicket opted to bat first.
It proved a wise decision as he and Greg Fenton added 50 for the first wicket. Both openers fell in identical fashion – caught at slip off deliveries that bounced more than they had expected. Nevertheless, Everitt (20) and Fenton (48) had set fine foundations for Selkirk’s innings.
These were built upon by Stuart Skeldon, whose endless patience proved too much for the Carnegie bowlers as Selkirk’s number three nudged and hurdled his way to an unbeaten 63. At the other end, Rory Banks took a different, more aggressive approach as he raced to a splendid 92 off just 75 deliveries. He was especially severe on anything short and took full advantage of the opportunities offered by a visiting bowling attack that was more politely generous than its captain would have liked.
Since a score of around 200 was reckoned to be about par, Selkirk’s total of 249 for 5 always looked like being a severe test for Carnegie and so it proved. Sustaining a run rate of 5.5 runs an over is no easy task at Philiphaugh, even in perfect conditions such as those pertaining on Saturday.
Carnegie’s task was made more difficult still when Jordan Reid struck early on to bowl Philip. Reid and Greg Fenton gave nothing away and as early as the sixth over Carnegie now needed to score at a run a ball.
They never looked like doing so. Though Honeyford made a determined 77, he never assaulted the Selkirk bowling with the kind of high-risk, high-reward attack that might have kept the visitors in the hunt for an unlikely victory.
Following his heroics with the bat, fortune continued to smile upon Banks as his slow-medium pacers took two wickets for just 12 runs. Everitt and Darren Fenton lent solid support as Carnegie abandoned any thoughts of winning the game and concentrated on batting their full complement of overs.
Special mention should be made of young Kyle Easson who not only took a fine catch at fine-leg, but also claimed his first wicket in senior cricket when he came on to bowl the final over of the Carnegie innings.
This was a fine and comprehensive victory that leaves Selkirk knowing that only a calamitous late season collapse can deny them promotion to Division Three.