Family business on the cricket pitch at Selkirk

The sun shone on the Souters on Saturday with an eight-wicket cricket victory over Border rivals St Boswells at Philiphaugh.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:27 pm
A recent Selkirk CC team line-up - back, from left, H. Murphy, J. Hughes, A. McNeil, K. Paterson, J. Graham, J. Henderson. Front, D. Heard, I. Gardiner, G. Fenton (captain), R. Banks, K. Singhtoor (picture by John Smail)

Selkirk started with 10 men and chose to endure the hottest part of the day in the field.

The visitors may have had instant anxiety about batting first after an opening delivery from M. Fenton knocked over the opener, J. Broom. However, older sibling Steven stepped in to uphold the family name and, after a slow start, he looked likely to score big with prodigious drives and well-placed cut shots.

However, a wonder catch from M. Fenton, diving over his right shoulder at second slip, off his brother’s bowling, sent S. Broom on his way. Ironically, the hosts were sloppy in the field for large parts, Hughes personifying this inconsistency with one good catch and a fluffed easier opportunity a few overs later.

The visitors took advantage of opportunities to roll past 100 with 10 overs remaining.

S. Laidlaw (35) batted out the last 10 for St Boswells, taking them to 144 for the loss of six wickets, and must have thought that his batting would be his most significant contribution to the outcome.

D. Gardiner and M. Fenton were the pick of the Selkirk bowlers, with Gardiner also taking a sharp catch off of his own bowling to remove the methodical R. Young (21).

St Boswells would have fancied their chances more if they knew Selkirk hadn’t chased down such a total at Philiphaugh for over four years. On that occasion, R. Banks hit 74 runs to get a win.

On Saturday, having quickly got his whites on to make up numbers, late arrival Banks was also quickly called on for batting duties with opener Paterson falling in Blackie’s second over.

Blackie (1-23) was the dominant St Boswells bowler on Saturday and the Selkirk top order found it difficult to get him away.

However, some similar fielding from the visitors meant Banks and G. Fenton (36) were unperturbed until the latter was stumped, stepping forward defensively from the crease and misreading a ball from White (1-25).

Again, with the total at 90, it took the bold stepping forward of an older sibling to restore the family name, with Greg’s older brother Michael finding form with the bat, rattling 30 of the required runs to keep pace with Banks (73).

It could have been a different story for the visitors if Laidlaw, prominent with the bat, had taken an easy catch at mid on with Banks still finding his feet.

Banks made the villagers pay and his personal total included nine well-rapped fours and, in the blistering heat, four energy-sapping threes. Selkirk finished on 145 for the loss of two wickets, with nine of the 40 overs remaining.

This was a neat welcome win for Selkirk with a difficult trip to Haddington this week, where the hosts will be seeking revenge for a loss to the Souters at the start of the season.