Cricket Club – Season 2021 Review

Winning 1st XI v RH Corstorphine
Back row: Adam McHoul, Callum Steel, Andrew Appleton, Ben Wilkinson, Joe Newman, Vishal Shah, Alan Veitch (scorer)
Front row: Patrick Ritchie, Michael Miller, Steven Parker (captain), Kyle McCallum, Greg Bissett

For the second Covid affected cricket season matches were played with similar restrictions applying to matches for most part, ie no spectators, no teas supplied (bring your own or go without), frequent breaks for disinfecting hands and equipment, no post match bar facilities on grounds.   Restrictions applying to international  travel meant that again the club were without an overseas professional or the assistance of gap year students.   Everyone associated with the club hopes we might be seeing the end of such interventions.

Despite all of the above on the field a near normal programme of matches was followed for our four teams playing Saturday league cricket, the 1st XI in the midweek T20 Masterton Trophy and our Trojans XI providing cricket out with the league on mostly Thursday evenings.

In competitive terms all teams did enough to retain their league status, 1st XI in the East Premier League, the strongest club cricket in Scotland, the 2nd XI in East Division 2, The 3rd XI in East Division 6 and the 4th XI in East Division 7.   Our Womens 1st XI cricket team held their own in the upper reaches of the Scottish Womens Premier league which we had won in the previous two seasons.  In total they achieved a 6-3 win/loss margin.    Emma Walsingham and Katherine Holland each scored 200 runs in aggregate with Emma scoring 106 v GWC.  In addition six matches for a Womens Development XI were played.

A huge programme of junior cricket was provided throughout all age groups from 5 to 8 (All Stars Cricket) to under 10 (Dynamos Cricket), under 12 (20 matches), under 14 (14 matches) and under 16 (12 matches).  David Gibson is to be congratulated in using his sources to recruit sufficient coaches to cover all of this without the normal help of an overseas contingent.

With wins in their final two matches the 1st XI finished in 8th place out of 10 in the East Premier League (4 wins and 12 defeats).   In total the 1st XI played 25 matches, won 6 and lost 18 with one match abandoned. The 2nd XI finished mid table 5th (5 wins and 8 defeats), the 3rd XI 4th (7 wins and 6 defeats), the 4th XI marginally  8th out of 8 (3 wins and 10 defeats).  The Trojans XI played 22 matches winning 12 and losing 7 with a draw and two tied matches.

The 1st XI produced a number of decent batting performances with Michael Miller (404 runs, HS 89), Ben Wilkinson (340 runs, HS 62), captain Steven Parker (333 runs, HS 55), Patrick Ritchie (321 runs, HS 70), Andy Appleton (286 runs, HS 88),  Greg Bissett (232 runs, HS 46) all rising to the occasion individually and collectively with  valuable scores. Eight league fifties were scored.  Bowling wise Joe Newman took most wickets (24) followed by  Vishal Shah (17), Chris Bissett (16).  Kyle McCallum at 4.3 had the best economy rate, followed by Vishal Shah at 4,34.

Andrew Tetley led the 2nd XI run scoring with 248 runs at 35.4 including 103 not out v Carlton being a special performance and 51 v Edinburgh Accies.  50s were recorded also by Mark Burgess, Hamish Murray and Cammy Devine.  Dan Burgess with 20 was the leading wicket taker, ahead of Rohan Kapoor with 17.

Victor Coltherd again topped the run scorers in the 3rd XI with 288 with the added satisfaction of a century, 103 not out v Holy Cross, while Alastair Armstrong was next with 164 and a highest score of 90 v Livingston.  Andy Mcelhatton totalled 163 with top scores of 78 v Livingston and 60 not out v MDAFS.  Hamish Murray scored 75 not out v Morton and Abeer Chowdhury 72 v Holy Cross.   Bowling honours were much spread around the team with the best individual return being Ollie Armstrong’s 5 for 20 v Leith.

The 4th XI’s batting was led by Euan Robertson with 199 runs (best 55) and Rory Anderson 199 (best 56).  Four other batters scored 50s throughout the league season.  The leading wicket takers were Abdullah Christy 18 and Rory Anderson 14 (best 4 for 28 v Watsonians).

In mens youth representative cricket the club Joe Newman was included in the Scotland under 19 squad v Cumbria in July, James Gordon made the Scottish under 17 squad and Harry Armstrong the Scottish under 15 squad. Harry Armstrong, Jamie Cain, Dan Burgess, and James Gordon played for Eastern Knights’ winning team in the Under 17 District Championship.   Hopefully further representative honours will come their in future.

Several of the women’s team and younger members of the club received representative calls during the season.  Lucy Forrester-Smith, Emma Walsingham and Pippa Kelly played for the Scotland under 15 team. Iona Lowry, Molly Paton, Katherine Fraser and Emma Walsingham were called up for the Scotland under 17 squad to play Yorkshire at the end of July.  Subsequently seven of our women’s team were included in the Eastern Knights under 18 squad of twelve to face the Western Warriors U18s at the end of August – Catherine Holland, Emma Walsingham (captain), Pippa Kelly, Iona Lowry, Emma Phipps, Molly Paton and Rosie Speedy.   Beyond that Katherine Fraser and Katie McGill won international honours with the senior Scotland women’s team.

At the other end of the age spectrum President Greg Bissett became only the third player in the club’s history to pass 4000 runs for the club – it has taken some time but is some achievement when club’s mostly play only one weekend match.

The cricket club’s website contains a wealth of information both current and historical and can be viewed as www.stewartsmelvillecricket.com while anyone wishing to communicate on any matter referred to above or otherwise can Email stewmelcricket@gmail.com .

Officers for the season

President – Greg Bissett, Secretary – Euan Campbell,  Treasurer – James Crispin, Junior cricket – David Gibson, 1st XI captain – Steven Parker,  2nd XI captain – Rohan Kapoor, 3rd XI – Simon Edgar, 4th XI – Fraser Laidlaw, Communications – Mark Allan

10th September 2021

2021 Cricket Season opens at Inverleith

Friendly match : Stewart’s Melville CC 230 for 7 (40 overs); Edinburgh Academicals 234 for 5 (37.2 overs)

The 2021 cricket season at Inverleith opened on Saturday with a friendly match against Edinburgh Academicals. The 40 overs a side match was played under the Covid rules for cricket matches introduced last year. The Stew Mel side was more representative of the 2nd XI than the the 1st XI which it was labelled and despite an innings of 95 not out by Mark Burgess a total of 230 for 7 proved insufficient as Accies passed the score with 22 balls remaining with five wickets left. A second wicket stand of 166 between Max Banks and Omar Altaf after the early loss of captain Andrew Cosh set up Accies for a comfortable win.

Club’s Beginnings – Early Playing Field at Ravelston

In 1886 former pupils of Stewart’s College induced the Merchant Company to lease for recreational purposes ground at Ravelston known as Honeyman’s field from the governors of Trinity Hospital at what is now the junction between Queensferry Terrace and Ravelston Dykes. In 1894 the Merchant Company acquired grounds at the present Inverleith before integrating Scottish Rugby’s next door “Union Field” in 1926.

Much more on this subject will appear in the club’s coming FP News.

Cricket Club AGM – Thursday 21st January 2021, 7pm (via Zoom)

The Cricket Club are holding their AGM via Zoom on Thursday 21st January at 7pm.

The agenda has been distributed via an edition of “News from Inverleith” to members on the Email contact list.

If you think you should have received a notice and wish login details for the meeting please Email stewmelcricket@gmail.com .

Cricket Post Lockdown

The lockdown imposed by the Scottish Government  in March ultimately led to competitive league and cup competition in Scotland being abandoned for the season when it became apparent that even 50% of the organised programme would not happen with August 1st being targeted by the cricket authorities for some kind of resumption.

The first difference for the club was lockdown preventing the normal importation of overseas players and coaches to assist the club so that arrangements made with Alex Ranson  (school), Shaylen Pillay (mens/junior cricket) and Hannah Short (womens/junior cricket) and gap student players had to be cancelled.

Eventually the playing of matches against other clubs was permitted from 8th August with “Covid safe” rules introduced meaning no pavilions to be open, no seating around grounds and no spectators allowed with numbers at any match restricted to 28 including players, umpires and scorers, matches played within local areas only and no car sharing on the way to matches. Special match conditions were introduced to encourage social distancing on the field of play.

The mens 1st XI (above) defeated RH Corstorphine on Saturday 5th August

For the 1st XI a programme of Saturday 40 overs a side matches and midweek 16 over a side matches were introduced involving Carlton, Grange, Watsonians, Corstorphine, Heriot’s and ourselves.  That meant no games with Stoneywood-Dyce (Aberdeen), Forfarshire (dUndee), Arbroath and Meigle.

The East of Scotland Cricket Association (“ESCA”) split their 70+ participating teams into pods based on location and ranking so that our 2s, 3s and 4s had games arranged centrally for every Saturday.  In addition the club continued the practice of playing intra club matches both midweek and Sundays open to all seniors and older juniors as well as some midweek external Trojans matches (pretty much involving 3s and 4s players).

A small number of womens cricket matches took place were arranged also in conjunction with our “partner club” Edinburgh South.

From the beginning of July practice nets were allowed for young cricketers subject to pre booking, restricted numbers and limited access to coaches.   While similar practice arrangements were later introduced for senior players the club found it administratively easier and more productive to continue playing intra club matches.

For the senior teams external games started on Tuesday 11th August when the 1st XI played Watsonians at Inverleith 16 overs a side with a 6pm start.  Further “T16” matches followed against Grange (18th August), Heriot’s (20th August), Carlton (1st September).  The wet weather endured mostly post lockdown prevented the match against Corstorphine being played while a deluge brought an early conclusion to the match with Grange.  We were on the wrong side of the result in  the matches with stronger  Heriot’s, Carlton and Watsonian selections.

At the time of writing the final Saturday match with Carlton is a few days off yet.  Grange and Heriot’s and Watsonians were comfortable winners and Corstorphine were defeated.

Each Saturday the club fielded four full teams in senior mens cricket  and on Sundays weather permitting intra club cricket has taken place.   Since the July resumption of practice 97 juniors (75 boys and 22 girls) have taken part in junior club activity while 27 boys and 14 girls have played in senior mens or womens cricket in the period  from 8th August.

The Womens joint team with Edinburgh South (above) defeated Carlton on Sunday 16th August.

Cricket Club AGM

The Club’s AGM was held on Tuesday 21st January at Inverleith.

Lawrance Reilly continues as President with Greg Bissett continuing as Vice President. Steven Parker continues as 1st XI captain.

Other appointments:

Secretary – Bert Barclay; Treasurer – James Crispin; Captain 2nd XI – Adam McHoul; Captain 3rd XI – Sim Edgar; Captain 4th XI – Fraser Laidlaw.

Junior Convener – David Gibson; Child Protection Officer – Steven Kerr.

Committee – Michael Miller, David Sharkey, Euan Robertson.

Season over – 1st XI lose heavily to new Champions

Forfarshire 309 all out; Stewart’s Melville CC (49.3 overs); Stewart’s Melville 177 all out (49.5 overs). Lost by 132 runs. Match ball sponsors – Stewart’s Melville Rugby Club

The weather for the last league game of the season was for maybe the first occasion as good as could ever be hoped for, sunny, hot and no wind to speak of.  Our visitors, Forfarshire, had secured the championship for the first time last week and seemed in celebration mode throughout  fielding their very strongest team.  No surprise then when Forfarshire won the toss and chose to take the opportunity of showing off their batting prowess.   To the surprise of the few onlookers  by the eighth over Forfarshire were three down for 27 runs, Chris Greaves, Roy Johnston and Umar Mohammed having fallen to Shaylen Pillay and Andrew Wallace.  Given their batting strength all through their line up the confidence of the visitors was not diminished and their middle order led by current Scotland star Michael Leask who piled up 128 runs (18x4s; 2x6s) for himself took their score beyond 300 before they lost their final two wickets being all out for 309 which ordinarily would look far beyond  Stew Mel’s capabilities.   To capture all ten wickets was an achievement in itself  but for the first time this season all four of our slow bowlers were scored off heavily.  Shaylen Pillay had the best figures with 2 for 25 off 8 overs, Andrew Wallace finished with 3 for 48 off 9 overs.

Michael Leask – top scored for Forfarshire

Facing such a large total there was disappointment among home ranks when the normally quick scoring Kyle McCallum was out in the first over to the pacey Scott Cameron for 2.  Greg Bissett and Kris Steel then held out against the visitors attack into the 16th over taking the score onto 36 when Kris was bowled by Umar Mohammed for 17 followed quickly by Greg Bissett out lbw for 14  to Brock Ditchman.  By then the required run rate was an unlikely 7.6 an over and while not achieving that there followed an excellent partnership of 88 in 102 balls between Shaylen Pillay and Hayden Sweet (45 with 4 fours), Shaylen went on to score 62 off 83 balls with 9 fours before eventually being seventh out lbw to Michael Leask’s off spin chasing quick runs with the score then on 172 with 3 overs left.   In a disappointing end to our innings we lost the last three wickets for the addition of only five more runs being all out when Sam Tait was comprehensively run out off the second last ball of the innings.  In truth we were never likely to match Forfarshire’s Leask inspired scoring rate which would have been beyond most teams in the league.

Our final league record was 3 wins and 9 defeats leaving us in ninth place for the third successive year but two wins better off than relegated Aberdeenshire.   We were perhaps a little unfortunate in that of our six no result matches five of these were against teams in the lower part of the league where we would have had hopes of success.   Reaching the semi-final of the midweek T20 competition including wins against Grange, Watsonians and Carlton was a pretty good outcome but the season will be most remembered for its miserable weather and the number of cancellations.

Till next season.

View scorecard  http://www.stewartsmelvillecricket.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Scorecard-SMCC-v-Forfarshire-24.08.19.pdf

Cricket East Premier Matchday 15 – 1st XI lose at Goldenacre

Saturday 3rd August

Stewart’s Melville CC 77 all out (27.4 overs); Heriot’s CC 78 for 5 (26 overs). Lost by 5 wickets. Ball sponsor – Colin Brown

After last week’s weather cancellation the 1st XI resumed their East Premier League campaign against Heriot’s at Goldenacre having won the first match earlier in the season.

Captain Steven Parker won the toss and chose to bat first despite having won the first match batting second. Kyle McCallum (18 runs) and Mike Miller (20 runs) started profitably against the pace bowling of our former player Elliot Ruthven and Joe Kinghorn-Gray, ex RHC putting on 30 runs before Kyle stranded out of his ground was bizarrely run out by Hayes van der Berg after he had failed to take an overhead catch at mid off. Ben Wilkinson followed caught low down in the same position off Kinghorn-Gray with the score on 41. Shaylen who replaced Ben at the crease started confidently the score quickly moving onto 63 before he was caught behind for 15 off the bowling Michael Shean who had replaced Elliot Ruthven. The slow bowling combination of Shean and Scotland and Derbyshire player Michael Watt then appeared unplayable on a helpful wicket as we slumped to 77 all out with five of our bats failing to score.

Photo – Mikey Miller plays forward

Given the success of Heriot’s slow bowlers we opened with Greg Ruthven and Hayden Sweet with Kyle McCallum replacing Sweet after one over. Heriot’s reached 23 without loss and seemed on their way to a comfortable win when the pursuit of runs against a turning ball resulted in a succession of wickets so that the score became 44 for 5 and Stew Mel hopes of achieving something special were raised. Hayes van der Berg and Keith Morton then chose to pick their shots carefully so that after 26 overs Heriot’s achieved the anticipated win leaving Stew Mel to wonder how many more runs might have tested the home side more. Greg Ruthven bowled his 10 overs straight off taking two wickets for just 20 runs with Kyle McCallum one for 17 off seven overs and Sam Tait two for 27 off 8 overs making things difficult for the Heriot’s batsmen.

We have three Saturdays to go in the league season with home games to come against Watsonians, RH Corstorphine and league leaders Forfarshire. Aberdeenshire remain in the relegation spot two wins behind us.

View scorecard http://www.stewartsmelvillecricket.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Scorecard-Heriots-v-SMCC-03.08.19.pdf

Cricket – Grange win league Slog Fest in truncated match at Raeburn

Saturday 20th July

 

Grange 262 for two (22 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC   162 for two (22 overs).   Grange won by 100 runs.

After heavy overnight rain Saturday’s league match was reduced to 22 overs a side starting at 4.35pm just 15 minutes before the cut-off by which time the ground was bathed in warm sunshine.

Steven Parker won the toss and elected to bowl, Grange opening with Scotland squad player Ollie Hairs only recently returned after several years down South and former Scotland bat Ryan Flannigan.   The first three overs produced 16 runs without loss before Hairs who favours “slog sweeps” both sides of the wicket “teed off” with 2, 4, 6, 4 off the final four balls of Hayden Sweet’s second over.  He continued in that vein for the rest of innings eventually scoring 179 not out off 81 balls with 17 fours and 12 sixes with only Shaylen Pillay and Andrew Wallace conceding less than two runs a ball from their bowling.   The highly thought of under 19 Scotland cap Tom MacKintosh batting at no 3 scored a fine 48 in more classical style with 5 fours and one six).   It didn’t go unnoticed that a very catchable chance was put down early in Hairs’ innings.

The Stew Mel response facing an impossible task was what in normal circumstances was to go along at very good rate of  seven plus runs an over with Shayle Pillay opening with Kyle McCallum reaching 53 not out while Kyle made 36 (3 fours and 2 sixes) off just 24 balls.   Ben Wilkinson at no 3 made 16 off 17 balls and Hayden Sweet 40 not out off 28 balls.   So Grange duly collected the win points in their pursuit of league leaders Forfarshire while we are still seeking the further league win that will probably ensure league safety for another season.

Before the match a minutes silence was observed by the players and umpires following news of the untimely death of Watsonian’s groundsman and former Warwickshire and Scotland player Willie Morton which caused the withdrawal from our side of his Myreside colleague Kris Steel.

View scorecard   https://smcfpclub.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-20-GRANGE-STEWMEL-match-scorecard.pdf

Cricket Club suffer last over T20 Cup semi-final defeat

Friday 19th July

The Cricket Club’s 1st XI suffered the disappointment of a last over defeat in last night’s East of Scotland’s Masterton Trophy T20 Competition at the hands of RH Corstorphine at Barnton last night.

Batting first in a match reduced to 17 overs a side by some heavy rainfall before the scheduled start time Stew Mel scored 89 for 9 in their 17 overs with RHC passing that that total on the fourth ball of the last over with nine wickets down.    RHC’s professional Mohammed Saad batted throughout their innings for 61 not out with no one else scoring more than five as wickets fell regularly.

While it was disappointing to come so close and be denied the win there was satisfaction that in the course of the competition wins had been achieved against Watsonians, Grange, Edinburgh Accies and Edinburgh CC in the group stage and against Carlton in the quarter-final match.

A full report appears on the Cricket Club website http://www.stewartsmelvillecricket.com