In conditions that can only be described as hysterical, two teams took to The Green for the annual St Boswells Cricket Club v Village 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 year’s first team captain Craig McNeill and Scott Hunter taking keeping duties.
The club team was picked from whoever was in the clubhouse at the time, captained by this year’s first-team skip, Steven Laidlaw. It was certainly not a done deal.
Club batted first, opened by Laidlaw and Keith Farnish, the former to be undone immediately by a spin on a splodgy pitch, backed by a fierce gale. No helmets required – the ball was barely clearing knee-height.
Needless to say, wickets fell at a steady pace, Farnish exemplifying the problems of the day, skidding from wicket to wicket in walking boots, and, with chairman Jim Thomson bravely backing up the run rate, the final score of 38 for 6 (all out) seemed fair, if disappointing.
The Village team came out confidently. The wind had eased a little, but the rain was now lashing. Steady batting from all, especially Gareth McRae who carried his bat well and is a key signing for 2015, easily led the Village to a three (or was it four) wicket victory, and only Rory 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.
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.