As August 2012 draws to a close, so does another cricket season.
It has certainly been an unprecedented one for me since I came into post as the Borders cricket development officer, not least because of the weather, but also for a set of very remarkable achievements by all of our clubs.
As I write, St Boswells (Div 2), Gala (Div 3), Kelso (Div 4) Selkirk (Div 6) and Hawick (Div 8) sit on top of their divisions in the East District League. Gala, Hawick and Selkirk have already won their divisional titles and a win in their final games will secure St Boswells and Kelso the Division 2 and 4 titles; regardless.
On the surface this is certainly a good news story for Borders sport and something of a shot in the eye for those who have been too quick to write off a very fertile area of cricket.
Congratulations to all of our clubs for having the foresight and good sense to field teams with many an Under-18 taking part. It is perhaps worth noting that when Kelso travelled through to the Murgitroyd T20 finals day they did so with no fewer than seven under-18s (including a Scotland under-17 international).
Indeed, youth has been at the very heart of the success stories in Borders cricket. Further congratulations should go to both Josh Irvine (Gala) and Tom Galbraith (Kelso) both of whom added Scotland Under-17 caps to the Under-15 ones won in 2011.
The above would be sweet enough to write about if not for the fact that for the fifth successive year a Borders Area team has won an Eastern Region Inter Area Championship age group trophy; this year at Under-14s and captained by Gala’s Jack Halls, who has already started to make a name for himself in Gala’s first XI. This is also the third year in succession that Jack has lifted a regional trophy; not a bad start to a cricketing career.
While I am congratulating all of those associated with the above achievements I would like to pass on my personal thanks to all involved in Borders cricket from players young and old, schools, clubs, an army of volunteers that includes parents, coaches, groundskeepers, scorers and teamakers that make my job the most worthwhile there has ever been. Thank you and here’s to 2012 ... what a vintage!