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

Scorecard https://t.co/BRpujyJoi2

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 16th February Wins for Hockey Men and Ladies Cricket Annual Dinner & Awards Evening

Hockey:   ESMS Mens 1st XI travelled to Inverness to play Highland at Bught Park and were rewarded with an 8-2 win which keeps them on top in NL 3 with 8 wins out of eight matches played.     ESMS Ladies 1st XI were also big winners, 5-0 v Dundee University at Ravelston.  With a 9 and 3 record they remain in second place in NL2 four points behind Gordonians.

Rugby:   A planned friendly match with Dundee did not take place – league rugby resumes on 2nd March v Dumfries at Inverleith.   This weekend’s focus is on the Six Nations when Scotland play in Paris.   The bar at Inverleith is open for a large screen viewing of the match.

Cricket:   The Cricket Club had their Annual Dinner and Awards night on Friday evening.   A full report on the evening’s awards can be seen on the Cricket Club’s website at http://www.stewartsmelvillecricket.com


Weekend Sport – Sat 25th August. Cricket / Rugby / Golf

1st XI v Grange for last match of the season

Cricket:    Grange  344 for four (50 overs);  Stewart’s Melville CC   154 for nine (50 Overs).   Lost by 180 runs.

The 2018 cricket season drew to a close for the club with a final league match against Grange, the new league champions, at Raeburn Place.   With ninth place secured a fortnight earlier the club had already retained their place in the Premier League for 2019.   In the event as anticipated Grange’s batting proved too strong for a Stew Mel bowling attack missing professional Shaylen Pillay who returned to South Africa earlier in the week, with Nick Farrar a very accomplished opening bat compiling a score of 120 for the home side supported by Tom Foulds (52) and Neil McCallum, a former Scottish international bat playing his last league match before retirement with 46.    Facing an unlikely target to win the Stew Mel batsmen were faced with aggressive seam bowling on a pitch that suited them from Graham Goudie and Stuart Davidson, another two former capped players.   20-4 suggested another early finish but Hayden Sweet dug in against the rest of the Grange attack to achieve a personal best for the season of 75 (from 86 balls)supported by Sam Tait who resolutely blocked out 117 balls in 98 minutes to finish with 13 not out and leave Grange still looking for the 10th wicket when play finished with the score on 154.   Although well beaten the lasting thought was that with the same approach to batting shown by Hayden and Sam in earlier games we might have finished with more than three league wins.

Rugby:    National League Cup.     Carrick     19 points     Stewart’s Melville RFC    41 points 

Maybole was the destination for the rugby club’s first competitive game of the season with a comfortable win being achieved which takes them into the second round of the National League Cup.

A full report is available on http://www.stewmelrugby.com

Golf:    Third place finish for Grant Forrest on European Challenge Tour Event

Grant Forrest showed a return to form with a 15 under par score of 273 (71,70, 66,66) and third place finish in the 40 man field for the Rolex Trophy in Geneva, one of the more significant events on the tour.   This takes Grant back up into seventh place in the tour rankings with the top 15 at the end of the season winning cards for the main European Tour.


Weekend Sport – Saturday 11th August. Cricket – 1st XI win

Stewart’s Melville CC 226 for 9 (50 0vers); Glenrothes 138 all out (35.3 overs)

There was one result we wanted on Saturday – a win to secure our East Premiership status. This we did by 88 runs, but it wasn’t all plain sailing.

On losing the toss, a rare event this season, not surprisingly we were asked to bat , however it produced our best opening stand of the season by some distance. Kyle McCallum with 49 and Greg Bissett with 42, batting with caution worked very hard to put on 95. Being in such a strong position in the 21st over, it all became a bit of a struggle. Several of our batsman found ways of getting out. Shaylen Pillay made a patient 29 and Steve Parker looking in good form made 18 before being run out. This week again we had a lively last wicket stand with Adam McHoul (24*) and Tom Hilton (9*) putting on unbroken 33 runs – a very vital contribution to help push our final total to 226 for 9. We were not safe at tea, but at least the task for Glenrothes was more challenging.

Glenrothes, in spite of their ‘no wins’ season to date, have batsmen who can score runs – indeed they have been very close to winning at least 4 games this season. Our bowlers stuck to their task – 2 early wickets helped. It took a while to shift their middle order, and 48 runs for the 6th wicket to take them to 131 showed they weren’t giving up easily. However, we moped up the lower order quickly and the celebrations were soon underway.

Saturday sees our last home match of the season for the 1st XI against Watsonians with a 12 noon start with a final match against league leaders Grange at Raeburn Place on Saturday 25th.

Weekend Sport – Sat 4th August. Cricket 1st XI v Carlton

At Inverleith – Carlton  245 for seven (50 overs);   Stewart’s Melville CC    72 all out (26.2 overs)

Notwithstanding our earlier league win against Carlton Saturday’s match ended with another comprehensive defeat for the 1st XI.    Adam McHoul stood in as captain for the unavailable Greg Ruthven and Steven Parker.   With Kyle McCallum ruled out with a calf injury our batting was thus somewhat depleted and this was reflected in our score.

Whatever the outcome of matches our captains have had remarkable success in winning the toss and on doing so again Adam elected to bowl first on a pretty green pitch.   Shaylen Pillay and Tom Hilton once again caused the early opposition batsmen some issues restricting Carlton to 37 for 2 from 12 overs before being replaced by Chris Bissett and Adam McHoul and then Sam Tait who bowled the next seventeen overs as Carlton took the score onto 106 for the loss of one further wicket.   With a platform established Carlton added another 139 runs in the remaining 21 overs with Rory McCann the Merchiston school coach and a former Irish internationalist finishing on 90 and Arun Pillai finishing on 72.

Hayden Sweet and Greg Bissett opened our batting against Scotland World Cup bowler Alastair Evans and Omar Ahmad before Hayden was run out in the tenth over with the score at 17.   No one played an innings of any substance thereafter as the next eight wickets fell in only nine overs with the score just 46.   Our last two bats Zaki Thompson and Tom Hilton then held out for a further 30 minutes adding 26 runs in the highest partnership of the innings.   Thoughts now turn to next weekend’s crucial match against bottom of the league Glenrothes when a much better performance is hoped for.  A win then would secure the club’s place in the top division for another season.

Weekend Sport 28th July 2018 – Cricket 1st XI away to RH Corstorphine

RH Corstorphine   154 for 5 (25 overs);   Stewart’s Melville CC   74 all out  (22.1 overs)

Match reduced to 25 overs a side

With the heatwave ended  prolonged rain overnight and on Saturday morning meant a lot of time hanging around at Barnton waiting for the umpires to agree conditions had improved sufficiently to allow a reduced overs match.   Ultimately cricket got underway at 4.10 pm (instead of 12 noon) with RHC winning the toss and electing to bat.  Opening bat, Robert Taylor facing Shaylen Pillay didn’t seem tuned in when he hit the first ball of the match straight to midwicket (unnamed to save embarrassment) and was dropped only to be bowled by Shaylen with the very next ball.   Things didn’t get any better for Stew Mel as the remaining bats pushed the score along at 6 runs an over although four further wickets were taken, two each for Adam McHoul and Sam Tait.    The Stew Mel reply never reached the required rate with only Hayden Sweet (26) and Kris Steel (21) achieving double figures.   In reality the early dismissal of professional Shaylen Pillay for a duck left the team facing an uphill struggle and supporters wondering if all the waiting around for the game to start was worthwhile.   Three home games now follow against Carlton next week and Glenrothes the following week, the two teams we defeated in the first half of the season and then Watsonians who we didn’t play at Myreside due to a rare day of heavy rain.   Thereafter only an away match at Raeburn Place against league leaders Grange remains.

On Saturday following the match with Carlton the club hold their annual race night in the clubhouse (upstairs) starting at 8pm.   All supporters of the club are encouraged to come along.

Weekend Sport – Sat 21st July 2018. Cricket – 1st XI v Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire  189 all out  (49 overs)      Stewart’s Melville CC    174 all out (49.3 overs)

Captain Greg Ruthven won the toss for the umpteenth time this season but in a change of tactics elected to bowl first on a green wicket, a rarity this summer.     The tactic seemed to work in so far as the visitor’s batsmen  struggled against opening bowlers Shaylen Pillay and Tom Hilton with the exception of Chris Venske batting at 2  in an innings of 3 hours and 10 minutes struck 113.    Shire’s final score of 189 was not considered beyond our capabilities but required more than achieved in any other league match this season.   In reply openers Kyle McCallum and Greg Bissett were dismissed with 20 on the board leaving our hopes of challenging the target mostly in the hands of Shaylen Pillay, Mikey Miller and Hayden Sweet.   On this occasion Shaylen and Mikey set about the task with purpose and put 101 for their partnership taking the score to 121 for 3 in the 35th over.   Fifteen overs to score 69 to win was certainly achievable but with no one showing much confidence in supporting Shaylen we both lost wickets and drifted behind the required run rate forcing Shaylen to go for a big hit in the 48th over and being caught on the long on boundary with the score on 157.  Nine out, prospects of the win gone  and still 14 runs required to collect bonus points Chris Miller and Tom Hilton did well to defy pavilion expectations and take the score up to 174 in the final over before Chris was caught behind.   The two bonus points gained were welcome but the feeling was that this was an opportunity for 10 win points lost.

Scorecard:    http://www.totalcricketscorer.com/TCSLive/TCSScorecard.aspx?id=69287

Weekend Sport – Sat 14th July. Cricket 1st XI at Forfarshire

Stewart’s Melville CC     90 all out (34.3 overs);    Forfarshire    91 for 2  (13.3 overs)

At hot and sunny Broughty Ferry, Captain Greg Ruthven won the toss and chose to bat first but thereafter things did not go quite as planned.   Openers Hayden Sweet and Greg Bissett batted with care and attention putting on 28 runs in 40 minutes when Hayden fell lbw to a ball which flicked off the back of his leg.   Misfortune enough but Mike Miller followed next ball, also lbw to opening bowler Scott Cameron who bowled aggressively throughout his 10 over spell taking 3 wickets and conceding only 10 runs.  The wickets of Greg and Shaylen Pillay, both caught,  followed quickly reducing  us to 32 for four.   The rest of the innings was the inevitable struggle and the total of 90 was far from a score that would stretch the home side’s powerful batting line up.   Shaylen Pillay and Tom Hilton opened our bowling and were successful in removing both Forfarshire openers for 6 runs.   This brought together two of Scotland’s World Cup batsmen Craig Wallace and Michael Leask who went along untroubled at a run a ball securing the win in only the 14th over.   In summary this was a disappointing performance although expectations for a win had not been high against one of the leagues best sides.     The twitter followers among the team and supporters then suffered further as the league’s bottom side Glenrothes seemed to be heading for an unlikely win against Arbroath before capitulating to a six run defeat losing their last five wickets for 13 runs.

Saturday sees the 1st XI back at home for a 12 noon start against Aberdeenshire who we defeated in the corresponding match last season.   Let’s hope for a repeat.


Weekend Sport – Sat 7th July. Cricket

Heriot’s CC    346 for 2 (50 overs);    Stewart’s Melville CC    48 all out  (20.2 overs)

On the hottest day for playing cricket likely ever experienced by the sixteen non South Africans in this match a make shift Stew Mel bowling attack were put to the sword by the four South Africans in the Heriot’s side after the home side won the toss and elected to bat.   After Johannes Potgieter left the field first wicket down at 41 his compatriot’s Elnathan Meiri (139 no) and Hayes Van Der Berg (149) took their toll on all we put up against them in a second wicket stand of 305.   Greg Ruthven suffered least with 56 runs being taken off his 10 overs while the others will mostly hope for better days in the matches to come.

If the tea interval spared our bowlers from further distress it soon extended to our batters with only opener (South African) Hayden Sweet (17) making double figures.    Looking for positives among the mayhem we would pick out the appearance of our not out batsman Jack Pennell, an early “graduate” from the revitalised junior section operated in the club by Pete Wilkinson and now David Gibson playing a first match since returning from University in Newcastle.

Although of little consolation – for the stato’s amongst us this was neither the most runs conceded in a match by the 1st XI nor the lowest score made.

Next up is a visit to Forfarshire, now in third place, who on Saturday became the first side this season to inflict a league defeat on Grange.   Life does not get any easier at the moment !