Another good one for the Firsts on Saturday – beat RH Corstorphine by seven wickets – scorecard here. Quoting from SNCL’s Division II Roundup: “Freuchie moved into second place with a comfortable win against RH Corstorphine at Public Park. The visitors made 159 all out in 44.3 overs. When Overseas Amateur Jason Biddulph was at the crease a large total looked on the cards but with his departure for 67 the batting collapsed with Scott Galloway capturing 4 wickets for 17. The two Scotts Birrell (66*) and Gourlay (39*) put on 98 to see their side home with 3 overs to spare.” What more could a body ask for?
Photo: Matching winning Freuchie 1st XI
Meanwhile, our Second XI’s 100% record came to an abrupt end. A number of regulars were unavailable for selection, the situation made worse by injuries and call-offs. That said, it was a respectable looking batting XI that took the field against Marchmont. Stand-in skipper Alan Wallace praised Shane Munro for his mature innings of 30 not out and Grant Horsburgh for his contribution, but 139 all out off 47 overs wasn’t likely to be enough. Sadly, so it proved. Robbie Wright bowled economically, but the Marchmont batsmen cruised past our total without difficulty – and without loss. Alan reported that young Ross McMurdo bowled excellently and he had particular praise for the fielding of Cameron Millar and Blair Lawrie. We also have a special thanks to Charles Balfour, who drove up from Newcastle in response to Alan’s appeal for players.
Sunday saw our Thirds at home to Kinross. Both clubs had sides of genuinely mixed ability, but it has to be confessed that our mix was a good deal stronger than theirs. Freuchie batted first, with James Fretwell retiring hurt, but Dale Cowan and Robbie Wright rather took charge at that point, Dale skelping some huge sixes into the football park and retiring when he made his hundred. Robbie was close behind him at that point. He too got to his hundred a few balls later, and likewise retired. That left the way clear for the younger lads, who must have enjoyed batting without any pressure whatsoever.
The Firsts were off to Dumfries on Saturday, destined to go down for the first time this season. Hard work in the field and good bowling from Gour didn’t compensate for a shortage of runs – another 20 for Freuchie in the first innings might have made all the difference, not to mention a couple of dropped catches. Complete scorecard is here. A transcript of Allan Baxter’s report follows; our thanks to "The Fife Herald" for allowing us to post it here.
At Nunholm on Saturday we saw another excellent game of cricket, which ended in victory for the Doonhamers by 4 wickets
Dumfries won the toss and Freuchie batted, the Birrell twins getting the visitors off to a solid start with 62 for the first wicket in 23.2 overs, when Scott Birrell was caught behind off Josh Geary for 24. Skipper Scott Galloway made a brief appearance but was caught on the square leg boundary for a single. Another indifferent shot was that by Scott Gourlay, who played a deplorable reverse sweep to be caught at slip for 14. Then Robbie Birrell was lbw to Geary for a patient 35 off 83 balls with 5 4s. Another wicket fell at 98 but Steve Rowley and Jock Wallace added 50 for the next wicket. Dale Cowan helped Rowley to add 40 for the 7th wicket. There was just time for fair-haired youngster Liam Kelly to make his first SNCL run before the innings closed at 214 for9. The score was boosted by a tally of 37 extras, the highest score on the card. For the homesters, J Goodin took 3 for 38 in six overs, J Geary 3 for 49 from 10 overs. Steadiest bowling of all was by Jim Patterson who bowled his off-breaks for 1 for 20 from his ten overs.
Russell Johnston was caught behind off Scott Birrell, who opened with his slow left arm opposite Dale Cowan, who saw his father spill Tom McBride at slip. Thereafter it was McBride who scored steadily while the other Dumfries batsmen helped him along. Skipper Scott Beveridge was lbw to Rowley for 6 but Geary went on to make 56 in a stand of 126 with McBride in 27.5 overs. By this time, McBride had moved on to 80 off 132 balls and the score was 175 for 3, but Dumfries lost a further 3 wickets, all to Gourlay, before they crossed the finish line in the second last over. Just before the end, McBride completed a determined and well-played hundred, scored off 151 balls with only 6 4s. Gourlay took 4 for 26 off his 10 overs but Freuchie are needing more runs from him and the other recognised batsmen.
Meanwhile, the Seconds were at home. Captain Kenny reports:
This Saturday saw the 2nds play Leith FAB at Muir Road. After Kenny WINNING his first toss of the season he decided to put the visitors into bat. Freuchie’s bowling started strongly with a couple of early wickets but Lovatte of Leith decided he wasn’t going to hang about, hitting a quick 50, and with help of his fellow players he had Freuchie thinking they were going to be chasing a high score. However, after drinks Freuchie didn’t give up and after a continuous fall of wickets, ended up bowling Leith all out for 198 with Lovatte unbeaten on 83. The pick of our bowlers was Blair Forrester with a 4-for and Ian Patterson (president) taking 2 for just 9 runs, while young Ross Mcmurdo was the pick of the fielders.
After tea, Freuchie’s innings saw an early wicket with Allan Wallace out for just 4. but Blair Forrester and Robbie Wright batted on, with Blair getting his 50 and Robbie Wright scoring 26. Stuart Gibson and Kenny Crichton carried the team win what was in the end a fairly easy win. Blair scored 87 to go with his 4 wickets. Freuchie have now made it 3 out of 3 for the 2s. Once again Kenny was very pleased with the great team effort.
(Secretary’s note: I was watching the late stages of the innings and it didn’t look all that comfortable to me!).
Injuries and call-offs meant that we didn’t settle on the Third’s team to go to Meigle until late on Sunday morning, but the unexpected availability of Stuart Gibson (early finished work) Chris Hunt (home from holiday), Gordon Mutch (dragged out by his cousin Robbie Wright) and the addition of Robbie Birrell saw us with a very respectable side. For Meigle, it turned out to be a bit of a one-man show, our former player, Arun Trivedi, getting the home side to 212 for 2. “Ouch,” you would have thought. Not so. Liam Kelly batted well for 39, while skipper Dale Cowan hit 115 off 75 balls – six sixes and six fours among them – until caught on the boundary. He had been well supported by Grant Horsburgh, now joined by Robbie Birrell, who hit the winning run.
After the disappointment of having to cancel the Third XI game last weekend (two XIs on a Sunday is nigh-impossible for us) it was great to see our participation in the Strathmore Union doing just what we hoped it would – opportunities for our young lads to get competitive games, supported by a few of the senior players – and especially good to see Mutchy back in the side.
We won!! Well done to the lads on Saturday, despite rain and Duckworth Lewis we managed a good win against Dumfries – scorecard here. This goes a long way to helping secure our stay in SNCL Division 2. We look forward to Weirs on Saturday and hopefully another win, well done again.
Only 3 games left of the season so lets just get our heads down and do our very best to finish in the highest possible position.
I’d like to mention Fergus Black who makes his debut for the 1st XI on Saturday, he has looked very good at training so deserves his chance in the team.
Firstly my apologies for not providing a Captain’s Corner last week, things were very hectic. Very briefly on last week’s games, we were beaten in the league by Corstorphine and unfortunately were also beaten by Falkland in the last over of the Fife Cup Final. The scorecard from the Corstorphine game is here.
The very good news from Saturday last week was we won against Prestwick in a bottom of the league clash! Scorecard here. It was very fitting due to it also being our Sponsor’s Day which was a great success. Thanks to everyone who made it possible and helped out on the day.
Everyone contributed to the game and if we can keep playing to this standard I’m sure we can survive in SNCL Division 2.
Onto Saturday this week and we’re at Falkland, we will be hoping to avenge the early season loss against them, in which Duckworth Lewis played a major part in this defeat!