In conditions that can only be described as “hysterical”, although some other words certainly sprang to mind when looking through the rain-soaked and wind-battered windows of St Boswells Cricket Club, the teams were solemnly chosen for the annual Village vs Club New Year’s cricket match.
The game had, as always, been going ahead, regardless of the weather but, with a yellow warning for wind and rain hanging over the Borders, the match promised to be something different from previous years.
The Village team, named the Blue Coo, in honour of the donor of a bottle of Glenmorangie for the winners, was captained, in the loosest possible sense by local farmer Grant Todd backed by a core of St Boswells personalities plus ringers in the shape of last-years 1st team captain Craig McNeill and Scott Hunter taking keeping duties.
The Club team was picked from the whoever was in the clubhouse at the time, captained by this year’s 1st team skip, Steven “Winnie” Laidlaw. It was certainly not a done deal.
Club batted first, opened by Winnie and Farnish, the former to be undone immediately by Mucky’s spin on a splodgy pitch, backed by a fierce gale. No helmets required today – the ball was barely clearing knee-height. Marsh came in and went out, then a little resistance in the form of Rory and Joey, with Farnish exemplifying the problems of the day skidding from wicket to wicket in walking boots. Jack then came in to speed the run rate, but with only chairman Jim Thomson bravely backing up the final score of 38 for 6 (all out) seemed fair, if disappointing. Catch of the day came from Spencer – given the wet ball and pace no one is quite sure how he held onto it.
The Village team came out confidently. The wind had eased a little (to whip up later to foil at least 2 catches) but the rain was now lashing. In a pun-filled innings, the opening pair of Gareth and Spencer rained on the Club’s bowling parade, while Grant Todd’s drink-fuelled captaincy whipped up a storm in the middle. Steady batting from all, especially Gareth who carried his bat and is a key signing for 2015, easily led the Village to a 3 (or was it 4) wicket victory, and only Elms in the last knockings made any real impact with the ball for the Club.
So, the Village got the whisky and the, still to be found, ceremonial quaich (we suspect it’s in someone’s front room). The teams along with far more clubhouse drinkers continued into the evening helping with club funds, and contributing to the new synthetic pitch which should be installed in time for the new season.
St Boswells Cricket Club wish everyone – players, supporters and helpers alike – a very happy new year and are looking forward to a successful 2015.