We have just heard that we are to be awarded a substantial grant from Cricket Scotland under its “Investment in Club Coaches” scheme. To put it mildly, we are delighted! Our own Dave Christie will undertake the role of Head Coach, guiding the efforts of all our qualified coaches and assistants.
The scheme is part of Cricket Scotland’s efforts to have clubs investing in coaching and better facilities, rather than simply bringing in ‘hit men’ to win matches. Long term growth, rather than short term league positions – we think that has to the target for our club, and we are – to repeat – delighted, both that Cricket Scotland is taking this practical approach and that we should be direct beneficiaries.
We know that the future of our club depends on bringing our youngsters through to the senior teams, and this grant will be a major boost to our efforts. Indoor practices for juniors have already started and outdoor sessions will begin on Fridays as soon as evening light is good enough. In the last few years, we have been seeing 70 to 80 kids in the park on Fridays, and this grant will let us do even more for them than we have been doing. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indoor nets are planned to start at St Andrews School in Kirkcaldy on Friday 28th January, from 5 to 7 pm. They will run for eleven weeks, which should see us into outdoor practice sessions.
Dave Cowan (the Coo) takes over as captain, with Michael Jackson (Jacko) as vice captain. Second XI appointments have still to be made.
We are planning that Junaid Mahsood will be back with us this year as fast bowler and coach – arrangements are well under way.
We will be competing in the Indoor Sixes tournament again this year – first fixture Friday 21st January.
Great news: There had been a threat that the Strathmore Union would bring in a rule that no player might take part in a Division III game if he had played in two SNCL fixtures. We think that would have made it impossible for us to continue in this league, which would be a huge loss to our junior development plans. It’s great to report that the move was rejected at the Union AGM on Sunday past.
And just to remind about a few things from the end of 2010 -
Ross, Grant, Joe, Blair and Galzo, some of the 2010 trophy winners
……….. and some of the revellers at the Hogmanay hooley
Saturday 22nd, First XI at home Corstorphine – meet at 11.15
Scott Galloway, Dave Cowan, Scott Birrell, Robbie Birrell, Scott Gourlay, Dale Cowan, Steve Rowley, Jock Wallace, Mike Jackson, Liam Kelly, Stewart Gibson
Saturday 22nd, Seconds away to Marchmont, meet at 10.30
Blair Forrester, Alan Wallace, Robbie Wright, Shane Munro, Lee Duncan, Grant Horsburgh, Ross McMurdo, Rory Brown, Chris Hunt, Blair Lawrie, AN Other
Sunday 23rd, Third XI at home to Kinross, meet at 11.30
Dave Cowan, Scott Galloway, Greg Birrell, James Fretwell, Shane Munro, Robbie Wright, Rory Brown, Grant Horsburgh, Max Brown, Liam Kelly, Ross McMurdo
I like to think that my personal outlook is ‘generally optimistic.’ However, when it comes to matches – of any kind – where I have any sort of interest in the outcome, my hopes for success for a given side or player seem often to be the kiss of death.
But this weekend? Wow! On Saturday, Galzo and his men beat SMRH by three wickets. Kenny and his crew beat Corstorphine and Galzo and his lads beat Breadalbane on Sunday. It would be hard to say which of these results gives most satisfaction, but I’ll have a go at that in a minute.
A ‘five for’ for Steve Rowley – 5 for 20, no less, plus 3 for 16 for Scottie Birrell led to SMRH all out for 114. Stevo was also top scorer with 33 not out, Galzo close behind him with 32. It would have been good to have lost fewer than 7 wickets, but there was a lot of criticism of the pitch. Max points for the lads, though, and Stevo has to be man of he match.
Meantime, at home, Corstorphine had compiled 233 for 6 off 50 overs, a pretty daunting target. However, Jock Wallace got 52, Lee Duncan a magnificent 108 not out (his first century) while Robbie Wright weighed in with 26. We finished with 234 for 6 of 40.2 overs. The only downside was that Alan Duncan – Lee’s dad – retired hurt. Speedy recovery, Duffer.
On Sunday a mixed team visited Breadalbane. We would have had more young lads in the side had there not been a U15 match scheduled for the day (which in the end did not take place). Our aim in seeking entry to the Strathmore Union is to get more competitive cricket for our younger players, and on this showing, it’s going to work out really well. Everyone had a good time (well, almost everyone) while the like of Liam Kelly and Chris Hunt got a chance to show what they are made of. “I didn’t realise how good these guys are!” said Galzo. May be too soon to say that this is a plan that will deliver what we are after, but so far, so good.
Tough to pick what has pleased me most, but my pick is the Third XI outcome – not just the result, but the involvement for our promising juniors.
Two bits of good news. First, Galzo, Allan Baxter and I attended last night’s Strathmore Union AGM, where Freuchie was elected to join the Union. Second, we know that we are entered for the Indoor Sixes starting in January.
Strathmore Union first: We applied to join Division III of the Union with the aim of getting Sunday games giving more development opportunities for our juniors. We have a lot of promising juniors who are not quite at the stage of a guaranteed place in the Second XI and they need competitive matches to keep them involved and develop their playing skills. We’ll be aiming to field as many as possible of our older juniors, with a sprinkling of senior players to give the team some weight. Three clubs had applied to join the Union, Gordonians seeking to get back into the Union, ourselves and Stenhousemuir keen to get into Division III. Gordonians will go back into Division II; the vote went against Stenhousemuir, leaving the three of us biting our nails for a few minutes, but we were delighted to see a near-unanimous vote in our favour. We’ll report further as plans develop.
Indoor Sixes: We were bitterly disappointed not to participate in this tournament in 2009; invitations were sent by e-mail, and for some reason, we never received ours. By the time we realised that the draw had been made, it was too late for any adjustments. However, Cricket Scotland confirmed today that we are indeed in the draw for the 2010 competition. More to come on that one too.
AND THE AGM! Don’t forget that this is in the clubhouse at 2.30 pm on Sunday 6th December. All members – players especially – are urged to come, members of the public cordially invited.
Our AGM on Sunday 7th December was the best-attended for a long time. A cynic might suggest that this was because we had such a stinker of a year on the field in 2008 and a lot of people thinking things needed fixed, but that would be quite wrong. The mood of the meeting was very positive and actions before and since testify to that.
Just the one bit of not-so-good news: We have known for a long time that our Centenary Year President Alan Duncan was going to step down. We bent his ear mercilessly about staying on, but in the end admitted defeat – for a good cause. Alan looks after Grey Lodges in Dundee, a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting learning, leisure and local action in the community. His operation had a difficult year in 2008. He knows it’s going to be even tougher next year and we know that what Grey Lodges do is very important in Dundee. Maybe they need him more than we do. Let’s recognise that if we had a bad year on the field in 2008, we had a great year off it – our pre-season tour to Ireland, our mid summer cricket festival and our fixture with the Cross Arrows in September – all down to Alan’s enterprise and contacts. He remains with us as a committee member (and says he’s in training to get back into the first team!).
Not easy to find a replacement, but we think we have a good one in Ian Paterson. Patsy’s involvement with us came about through the football club, but he’s been a committee member (and 2nd XI batsman of distinctive style – say no more) for the last few years. We had our first committee meeting with Patsy in the chair on Monday night, with more buzz about the place than we’ve seen for a while.
That in turn comes from one of the most gratifying outcomes of the AGM – more players on the committee. Freuchie Cricket Club is about cricket, first and foremost. If our committee has maybe been a bit short of active players in the recent past, it’s not now! Scott Birrell and Scott Gourlay come back, Steve Rowley joins us, Robbie Birrell and Alan and Jock Wallace are still with us, and two really positive additions – junior member Robbie Wright and football club member Davie Houston. Development of our junior players is absolutely crucial, and having Robbie on board will help in that, while the mutually beneficial relationship of the cricket and football clubs is so important for us all. Good on ye, Davie Houston!
Robbie Birrell takes over as club captain and is already making an impact. Indoor training starts in January, with a programme of events already mapped out, and we’ll have the experience of Dave ‘Coo’ Cowan as vice captain. Second team leaders have yet to be elected.
We are also – gulp – working to bring in a pro for next year. We’ve said before that while our overseas players have not necessarily been highest scorers or wicket takers, week in, week out, they have provided a strength in the team that we visibly lacked in 2008. Even more important, we must have top-level coaching in place to bring on our juniors and younger players. Why ‘gulp’? Gulp and gulp again, because we look like pushing our finances to the limit, and there’s a lot of nail-biting about our plan. But we have no wish to be financially comfortably-off and sliding out of the SNCL leagues.
Onwards and Upwards!
There was a player’s meeting recently, well attended by senior players – and, we are delighted to say, by two of our ‘senior juniors’ – but seriously lacking in those more commonly turning out with the Twos. Let’s be precise – there was only one guy at the meeting who has been a Twos regular this year. Come on, guys – we need to see all players helping to plot our course for the future. More of that in a moment.
Robbie Birrell was elected unanimously as captain for 2009, Alan Wallace stepping down after what everyone agreed had been a very difficult year. More of that in a moment as well. Dave ‘Coo’ Cowan was unanimously elected as vice captain, with some delicately euphemistic words from Dave Christie. ‘Delicate’ like “then he needs to get himsel’ fit. Get some o’ that weight aff.” Coo has been plagued with injuries for a long time, but he still has so much to offer, both as a player and as a reader of the game, and we all hope that we can indeed see him back as a playing regular next year. Elections for second XI captain and vice will be held at a date to be advised.
Now to the bits alluded to above – ‘all the players’ and ‘a difficult year.’
One of the big factors in our ‘difficulties’ was the fact that we had no overseas players. In the last few years, our overseas players have not necessarily been our highest wicket takers or run-scorers, but they have always been very, very, useful players who did a lot to add to our home-grown guys. The problem has not been about finding candidates – it’s been about getting accommodation for them. So we have a team of three guys charged with the task of finding us suitable players for 2009, and another team responsible for making sure there will be accommodation for them.
And ‘all the players’? In the season just past, we sometimes had difficulty in getting two teams on the park on a Saturday. When Bill Frindall was with us for our Centenary Dinner, I was telling him about our concerns over player numbers. “It’s the same all over,” he said, “shortage of players leading to clubs having to merge, in many cases to clubs going out of existence.” We have to make sure that doesn’t happen to us, and that calls for more commitment from some of our people. Remember the picture of the ninety or so kids taken up the park this summer? We have to make sure that a decent proportion of these kids come through to the senior teams, and that the club is competing a senior level when they get there. The AGM is on Sunday 7th December at 3 pm, and that’s going to be one of the items on the agenda. Make sure you are there to help.
C’mon, reporter! There’s been plenty happening, and never a cheep in the blog!
The pre-season tour to Northern Ireland has come and gone. Good time had by all, despite being untimely ripp’d from our kips to leave here at 5.45 a.m. for the Stranraer to Belfast ferry. Good crossing followed by tour of Bushmills distillery, whose 400th Anniversary coincides with our 100th. All conducted in excellent spirits, so to speak, and we left them a bottle of Freuchie 100. We’d have to confess that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their twelve year old single malt, mind you, “I’m just not sure about that one – could I just have another wee taste …?”
The only thing wrong with the whole trip was a shortage of players – only ten travelling and one of them not fit to play. We played Eglinton on Saturday with two players loaned by the hosts, one of them catching their opener at slip. What’ll that do to his prospects for the rest of the season, do you think? Despite that success, we’d have to admit that we got a bit of a doing.
We played Brigade Cricket Club on the Sunday, bolstered by one of our Eglinton loan players, but the result wasn’t much better despite some real power batting from Stevie Rowley and a fascinating cameo innings from Patsy. A meal and an evening’s entertainment followed that, with some very quiet people in the bus home on Monday.
Our sincere thanks to Eglinton and Brigade, and there’s a possibility of our hosting a return fixture in 2009.
We’ve been joined by Michael Jackson and Andy Sutherland, who were with Perthshire last year, by Bevan Smith from South Africa and Shane Kennedy, originally from Ireland but now resident here. Cosmopolitan, eh?
Our opening home game with Penicuik on Saturday past was cancelled, our pitch like the proverbial pudden, but the seconds journied to Carlton and scored a win, so they’re off to a flier.
The Firsts are off to Stirling County this Saturday, with the Twos at home to Heriots. Rain, rain, go tae Spain …. Rainy rainy rattlesticks, dinnae rain on me … Any form of prayer you fancy!
Our Campion Homes sponsored tops are due back from Blue Crags, (the Auchtermuchty company who are doing the embroidery), so we hope for a presentation ceremony this weekend.
Alan Wallace sends us the following report:
For the third consecutive season Freuchie attended the Scottish Media indoor 6 a side tournament at Ravelston (Scottish Cricket Academy) in Edinburgh and were successful in reaching the finals. In 2006, at the first effort Freuchie won the overall tournament and followed it up in 2007 finishing third, with second overall this year.
After seeing off Preston Village and Murrayfield DAFS off in the opening games, Freuchie met and beat SMRH in the semi finals. Freuchie played the Bank of Scotland Corporate team in the final. In the end the Bank won a close game with five balls remaining.
(If there are any errors in the scores below, they are down to my typing. John A)
Freuchie v SMRH.
|3||Scott Gourlay||ct J Moran||A Brook||19|
|4||Scott Birrell||Not Out||27|
|6||Alan Wallace||Not out||5|
|Total||164 for 1|
|1||I V Shah||c R Birrell||S Galloway||3|
|2||G Birrell||ct & b||R Birrell||10|
|3||A Brook||run out||12|
|4||R Hammod||not out||29|
|5||M Coyle||run out||15|
|6||J Moran||run out||17|
|Total||107 for 5|
Freuchie v Bank of Scotland
|1||R Birrell||run out||9|
|2||S Galloway||c Maiden||A McLeod||10|
|3||S Gourlay||not out||29|
|4||S Birrell||not out||33|
|6||A Wallace||st Maiden||R Campbell||5|
|Total||110 for 4|
Bank of Scotland Innings
|3||G Maiden||not out||19|
|4||R Campbell||not out||24|
|Total||112 for 0|
Archie Cowan, father of Dave, grandfather of Dale, was one of Freuchie Cricket Club‘s notable characters. To quote the late Andrew Grant, famous both for wicket-keeping and for recitations “Ye aye get somethin’ special frae Airch, supposin’ it’s juist the wey he gets oot!” There was more to Airch than that, though. He scored his runs and took his wickets, and you always knew when he was on the park. The side had a more confident feeling when he was playing. And a few more laughs.
Sadly, Airch is no more, but as you will have gathered, is warmly remembered. Mary and the family put up a trophy in his memory, to be contested each year between us and our old rivals, Falkland Cricket Club. The extent of the various league and cup involvements for both clubs has made it difficult to arrange this season, but we are delighted to say that it’s on for this Sunday.
One o’clock start at Freuchie Park, Sunday 16th September. A Last Hurrah for the 2007 season. Be There!