Weekend Sport – Sat 18th May. Cricket – Grange EPL match falls to rain

Stewart’s Melville CC  v   Grange – no play due to rain

Waiting for play to startHeavy overnight rain and persistent drizzle resulted in the cancellation of Saturday’s match v Grange with the final decision to cancel just after 2pm.

Ball sponsor for the day was Ron Scobie, stalwart and former captain of Stewart’s FP sides of the late 1960s and early 1970s. A great supporter of the club despite living in London Ron has family connections with Grange sides of the past.

This week’s matches are against Watsonians at Myreside in the Masterton Trophy on Thursday evening (6pm) and at Arbroath in the EPL on Saturday (12 noon).

Weekend Sport – Cricket. 1st XI end Stoneywood Dyce’s 100% record in East Premier League

Saturday 11th May

Stoneywood Dyce CC     169 for 9 (50 overs – innings closed)    Stewart’s Melville Cricket Club    172 for 3  (42.1 overs).     Win by 7 wickets

The 1st XI gave themselves a lift when they decisively defeated previously unbeaten Stoneywood Dyce by seven wickets with time to spare at Inverleith on Saturday.  S-D won the toss and elected to bat, a decision they must have been regretting when Stew Mel had reduced them to 50 for seven in the sixteenth over.   Professional Shaylen Pillay and Ben Wilkinson, a recruit this year did the damage taking three wickets each with their seem bowling plus a run out mix up between batsmen.   Thereafter S-D set about mitigating the situation against the four spin bowlers they faced in the remaining time eventually reaching 169 thanks mainly to no 9 bat Garreth Wolmarans who made 67 not out from 105 balls.  What seemed a demanding total to achieve was ultimately reached quite easily by Stew Mel with Shaylen Pillay top scoring with 56 not out, Kris Steel making 40, Ben Wilkinson 27 and Hayden Sweet 21 not out.

The win took the 1sts halfway up the league table to 50% from two completed matches and merited a leading feature in the Scotsman’s Monday sports supplement.

The match ball was sponsored by former player from the sixties, David Anderson.

On Thursday the 1st XI open their T20 Masterton Trophy programme with a game against Carlton at Inverleith (6.15pm) and on Saturday face Grange in the EPL at Inverleith (1pm).   It is hoped that a few spectators might attend each game in the knowledge that the clubhouse and bar will open.

For the scorecard click on the following link

Weekend Sport – Sat 4th May. Cricket – First loss for 1st XI

Carlton 284 for 7 (50 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC 98 all out (39.2 overs)

After last week’s abandonment the 1st XI’s 2019 league campaign got underway against Carlton at Grange Loan. Unfortunately our attempts to secure an early win were undone by a raft of bank holiday withdrawals and Scotland quick bowler Ali Evans. Stew Mel won the toss and chose to bowl in dry but very cold conditions. Professional Shaylen Pillay and Hayden Sweet captured the wicket of Carlton opener Kyle Macpherson and restricted Carlton to two runs an over in their opening spell but after they were removed from the attack Carlton’s batsmen settled down to building a significant score aided by no less than 57 extras including 46 wides which will have Alan Veitch searching his books to see if this is some kind of unwanted record.

In the Stew Mel reply Greg Bissett was an early dismissal and the first of four Evans’ wickets caught at slip via a rebound. Thereafter Ben Wilkinson played a cameo innings of 15 with some exquisite shots and Hayden Sweet stuck around for a while for 12. No one else made double figures and the best that can be taken from this performance is that we were missing some important players who might add to the all round capability of the side.

Next Saturday sees our first home league match of the season against promoted Stoneywood Dyce who have surprised most by winning their first two matches.

Thanks to Malcolm Rennie the day’s match ball sponsor who was present to offer his support to the team.

View scorecard – click on link below

Scorecard – Carlton v SMCC 

Weekend Sport – Sat/Sun 27/28th April – Rugby, Cricket, Golf news

Rugby:    Stewart’s Melville RFC     29     Highland     45

The 1st XV’s season finally came to a conclusion on Saturday at temporary “home ground” Raeburn Place.    A game  full of action saw Stew Mel leading by 17-5 and 24-19 before a Highland revival saw them close out the match with a sixteen point margin.    So Biggar end as NL2 champions with 21 wins out of 22 matches and 101 points.   Highland second with 91 points and Dumfries on 79 points just edged us, 78 points, out of third place.    Hopes are high for next season.

Cricket:    East Premier League – 1st XI (9 for no wickets) v Aberdeenshire.   Match abandoned after only one over.

It was along way to travel on Saturday for only one over of play.   A persistent drizzle delayed the start to 2pm and supposedly 40 overs a side.   Put in to bat we got off to a flier with nine runs in the first over before the drizzle returned leading to the umpires taking the players off.   Heavier rain followed and the match was abandoned at 3.30pm.

Next up is a second away game on Saturday v Carlton at Grange Loan (12 noon).   Carlton against expectations lost their opening match on Saturday to newly promoted Stoneywood Dyce.

Golf:    Best Professional finish for Grant Forrest

Grant Forrest recorded his best professional performance to date finishing in sixth place in the European Tour event in Morocco yesterday.   On a Par 73 course measuring 7600 yards Grant had rounds of 75, 70, 69 and 74, doubled his prizemoney for the season and moved up to 69th place in the tour rankings – a big step towards retaining his playing rights for 2020.  After eight holes of the final round Grant was in second place one behind the leader  and figured prominently in Sky’s TV coverage of the event.   This week he is in the field for the China Open and then the British Masters at Southport the following week.

FP News Online NOW

FP News – Editor’s Position Vacant 

Have you enjoyed the 2018 edition of the FP News? / Have you ever wondered how the articles are sourced and how the magazine is brought together? / Now is the time to find out!

Our current Editor, Bob Young, is retiring after 5 years and we are therefore looking for someone to continue the ongoing development of the magazine on a voluntary basis – the job, unfortunately, doesn’t command the salary of a Fleet Street Editor.

The ideal candidate should be a self-starter, possess a keen eye (preferably two) for detail and bring a positive outlook and fresh ideas to the role.

The brief is wide–ranging – the travel not so far ranging – and will source material and news stories; through contact with other FPs and friends; various SMC & ESMS websites and social media; the school archivist; newspaper articles; 3rd party contributors.  Liaison – in the best possible taste, of course – with the Club Secretary, Treasurer and the ESMS Development Office will be both productive and beneficial.

Overall, our new Editor should be motivated by the personal satisfaction of getting things done to a high standard while managing the end of year deadlines to enable the magazine to go to print for issue in January each year.

If you are interested in this voluntary position, please contact Charles Wilson on email;

Check out WHAT’S ON 2019

Weekend Sport – Sat 20th April. Cricket – Win for 1st XI at Stirling

The Wallace Monument dominates Stirling’s ground

Stirling County 153 all out Stew-Mel 156-4

Man of the match: Ben Wilkinson

Ball sponsor: Bert Barclay


Weekend Sport Sat 13th April – Season’s Opener for Cricket Club

Stewart’s Melville CC     140 all out;    Stewart’s Melville College 1st XI     132 all out.

The Club prevailed in a match of fluctuating fortunes to win the traditional Season’s opener by 8 runs after scoring 140 off 36.1 overs.

It was agreed to play a 40 overs a side match with 12 players in each side, no more than 11 fielding at any time. SMCC batted first in sunny but cold conditions. The bulk of the 140 runs scored came from new recruit Ben Wilkinson (39), this year’s cricket gap student from Australia, Sam Langley (21) and 2018 school leaver Chris Hill (32). In reply, Harry Johnstone opening the batting for SMC was the only bat in the top half to make double figures with a solid 30 in 56 minutes including three 4s as the school side struggled to 52 for 7 after 21 overs. A recovery by Mario Mercantonio (27) and Cameron Ede (30) batting 8 and 9 took the school side to within sight of victory and needing only 11 runs to win with two wickets and seven overs left. At that point Sam Langley back for a second spell grabbed the final two wickets and the win finishing with 5 for 19. Asad Amir, recruited from Edinburgh Accies took 3 for 13 off 5 overs in his first match for the club. Cameron Ede 4 for 17 off 6.1 overs and Sam Tait 2 for 15 off 8 overs were the best of the school’s bowlers.

The match ball sponsor for the day was former Principal, David Gray, who continues to take an interest in the club’s activities from afar.

Next Saturday sees the club’s 1st and 2nd XIs travel to New Williamfield to take on Stiring County in a double header of friendly matches.

Weekend Sport – Sat / Sun 30/31st March. Rugby and FP Golf

Rugby:   Decisive Win for Rugby Club

Stewart’s Melville RFC    57     Falkirk    10

The 1st XV achieved another big win on Saturday scoring nine tries with six conversions, six of the tries coming in the second half after leading 19-3 at half-time.   The win leaves them on 77  points equal with Highland who however have played two fewer games in NL2.   We are due to play Highland in the match postponed from the Calcutta Cup weekend on Saturday 27th April before which Highland have games against Peebles (away) on Saturday and Howe of Fife (home) the following week.

Golf:    FP Golf Club’s Spring Outing

The FP Golf Club enjoyed fine weather for their first outing of the year at the links course of Monifieth on Sunday.    Despite the sunshine and only a slight breeze the course did not play easily and Euan Parker  took the scratch prize from Scott Noble with a round of 83 after a count back.   Donald Lowe with 40 Stableford points had no challegers for the handicap prize.  Robin Mather won nearest the pin at the short 14th but Bert Barclay scooped the twos sweep with the only two of the day at the same hole.   Twenty-one members took part.

Weekend Sport Sat 23rd March – SM Rugby continue winning ways in Cupar

Rugby:    Howe of Fife    17    Stewart’s Melville RFC   36

The disappointment of last Saturday’s big game against Highland being postponed was soon eclipsed by what could only be described as an incredible comeback by Scotland. Whilst many felt gutted that we didn’t win, settling for a draw in the circumstances was, once the dust had settled, the more pragmatic option. We know all about ‘could have’ games at Stew Mel!

Great conditions for a display of running rugby at Duffus Park on Saturday. Bright sky, no wind, no rain – what more do you need?! A few changes were noted as Kyle Dixon replaced Adam Greig on the left wing, while, with Happy in the far-flung rainforests of Asia, Geoff Angco took up the inside centre position. Cormac McCracken came onto the bench, Ally Scott came in for our leader Momo and a special mention must be given to Ruaridh Stewart at number 8, making his return after his season was unceremoniously put on hold during the home game against Peebles. It takes a great deal of courage to come back, so well done!

Our last meeting with Howe was very much a one-sided affair as they struggled, initially, to raise a team, and, thereafter, injuries left them with only 12 players on the park, and, eventually, led to a premature final whistle. I was sure on Saturday that they would not want a repeat of their player number issues – and, more importantly, the scoreline! Howe have a proud tradition and throwing in the towel was never going to be on the agenda this time.

Stew Mel kicked off (I guess) northwards, playing ‘downhill’, and, from the start, our dominance was evident in the opening exchanges. That said, kicking appeared to be the preferred tactic of both teams from the outset, with either the bounce of the ball creating uncertainty or clearance kicks not quite finding touch. Stew Mel also conceded several penalties in the early stages, giving Howe some respite. It was a scrappy start, but, eventually, after around 10 minutes. a lucky bounce was well retrieved by Chris Baikie, who touched down by the posts. The successful conversion by Euan Bowen made it Howe of Fife 0 Stew Mel 7.

The ball was well taken at the restart by Matt Sanderson and some territory was gained with the assistance of Doug Randall. A knock-on from Howe gave Stew Mel the scrum and an impressive drive over the half way line resulted in a wrestling match in midfield but little fluency behind the scrum. Quicker ball soon came, giving Kyle Dixon the opportunity to make progress down the left wing; debutant Geoff Angco followed suit in midfield, and, with James Ferguson close at hand five meters out, the try was inevitable. With 25 minutes played it was Howe 0 Stew Mel 14, Euan again being successful with the conversion.

Joe Baillie, this time, took the ball well at the restart and made further inroads, aided by Ally Scott. James was involved again as Stew Mel encroached on Howe’s try line once more and Matt Sanderson was unlucky not to get over, some good defending from Howe preventing another score. There was a brief injury stoppage but momentum was soon regained and Ruaridh Mitchell, positioned fortuitously on the right wing, drove over. 30 minutes played, Howe 0 Stew Mel 19. Another couple of good phases by both forwards and backs followed the restart this time, releasing Kyle Dixon on the left wing to get the bonus point try. 35 minutes played, Howe 0 Stew Mel 24.

The lead appeared comfortable at this stage. James retired early with a calf injury to be replaced by Seb Trotter, though, and Howe suddenly took the initiative, throwing caution to the wind, and, with kick & chase and strong running, gaining good field position for the forwards to drive over. They did this not once but twice in succession, aided and abetted by a poor Stew Mel restart. That made it Howe 10 Stew Mel 24 at half time.

Despite having ‘allowed’ Howe back into the game, Stew Mel started the second half brightly, with some good hands amongst the forwards giving Fraser quicker ball to play with. This pressure resulted in a lineout on Howe’s 22; although they eventually managed to kick to touch in desperation, this only served to bring the lineout back to a similar position. Further pressure ensued, but, unfortunately, a knock on prevented any immediate progress.

Stew Mel were dominant in the scrum by now, driving the Howe pack back, disrupting their ball and making it harder for them to launch any effective attacks. Howe had, however, certainly upped their tempo and were attacking effectively whenever the opportunity arose, putting together some reasonable phases with 60 minutes on the clock. A facial cut to Chris Baikie saw Connor McKay entering the fray, and, as always, his presence was felt by the opposition. A penalty eventually came Stew Mel’s way, and, after some good forward play, Ruaridh Mitchell once again found himself on the right wing with a similar outcome. 65 minutes played, Howe 10 Stew Mel 29.

Our scrum dominance at this stage was key to turning the tables and putting more pressure on our hosts. Kyle Marshall replaced Doug Randall, fresh legs always being welcome at this stage. Perhaps the best and most ‘typical’ Stew Mel move of the match eventually saw Jamie Sword cantering over for another try and a successful conversion. That made it Howe 10 Stew Mel 36 with 70 minutes gone. With the clock counting down, Howe again emerged from the ashes and produced a strong finish, eventually being awarded a penalty try after a string of penalties against Stew Mel. Final score Howe 17 Stew Mel 36.

It was, perhaps, not the performance we were hoping for, but a bonus point win will do even if the term’ winning ugly’ is an apt description of our afternoon at Duffus Park. There were spells where we showed what we are capable of, but, also, some very scrappy play where ball retention was difficult and too many basic errors were made. You can, of course, only perform as well as your opponents allow, and Howe certainly made it hard at times. A ‘Noddy’ guide to not conceding penalties would also have been a useful read prior to this encounter. Bottom line, we conceded too many, whether justified or not. The consolation penalty try was clearly the end result.

That said, there were still some outstanding individual performances from, in particular, Matt Sanderson, who was building an ‘interesting’ relationship with his opposite number. Euan Bowen was creative at 10 and Ruaridh Stewart showed no ill effects from his layoff, whilst Kyle Dixon, Ally Scott, Geoff Angco and Cormac McCracken all played their part. Howe clearly have some good players and are, I think, still very much in the development stage, mixing youth with more experienced personnel. We have been there, too, and it does come good in the end!

Our game against Falkirk on Saturday was supposed to be our last but the season drags on. See you then!

Kevin Murchie

Weekend Sport – Sat 16th March – Weather wins at Inverleith but compensation in Calcutta Cup match

Rugby:  Late winter snow, wind and rain meant the much anticipated NL2 match with Highland and the other club matches planned for Saturday fell to the weather.   With the final day of the 6 Nations Championship available on large screen TVs the pre match lunch arranged went on as planned and the bar was packed for the Wales-Ireland match and the Calcutta Cup match which followed.     Those present were rewarded by witnessing first hand Scotland’s amazing second half revival and eventual draw in the company of a raucous support.    The match with Highland is now likely to be played on Saturday 20th April – venue to be announced.     This Saturday coming the 1sts play Howe of Fife in Cupar with a 3pm start.

Hockey:  No league hockey took place with both Mens 1sts and Ladies 1sts still challenging at the top of their respective leagues with four and three games to play respectively.