1stXI beat Loretto by 12 runs
Cargilfield 107-5 (20 overs)
Despite the narrow win, in truth, the result was never in doubt and with 23 runs required from the final over, Harry D was able to relax knowing that the result was a forgone conclusion. That said, Loretto played some good cricket with the ball and with the bat, and it was good to be in a more competitive environment for the boys and we will have learned a lot today which should stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.
Did I mention the weather?! Ah, no…..well, today's match was played in possibly the coldest and wettest conditions that I have umpired in. We started in very light drizzle at 2pm, but the rain got progressively heavier as we went on, making it difficult to score runs and get a grip on the ball. Some of the boys had turned blue, and the umpires required a complete change of clothes afterwards! One of those days you look back on and say “Did we really play in that?”
Given the weather, we decided to just play a 20 over game - a wise move! We batted first, and losing Harry in the 2nd over run out was not the ideal start; Freddie soon followed in the same fashion, the result of not being committed to the single, so we were 17-2 in the 6th over and struggling a little in the face of some steady accurate Loretto bowling. Todd came in to join Jack A and together they put on 46 runs in 7 overs which steadied the ship somewhat; they ran very well between the wickets and Jack in particular was quick to punish anything wide outside the off or leg stumps. He still needs to work hard on playing the ball straighter and keeping his back foot still rather than playing inside out which exposes his stumps, but he batted very sensibly today and when he was out in the 15th over for a well made 33, we had 78 on the board with 5 overs remaining.
This brought Max and Jack S to the crease and they scored an excellent 29 runs between them, and both batted very sensibly taking quick singles, frustrating the bowlers and nudging us up to 107 off our allocated overs. A good effort in the conditions and considering we had 3 run outs in the top order!
By now, the rain really was beginning to hammer down, so we did not take tea but just carried on. Bowling and fielding was not going to be easy, but I really was impressed by the way that Todd encouraged the side constantly from behind the stumps, keeping everyone focused, on their toes and trying hard to ignore the inclement weather. Very quickly we had Loretto 15-3 in the 6th over and it looked for a moment as though the game would be over very quickly; both Harry D and Vinjero bowled tight spells, were difficult to score off and were assisted by some remarkable fielding, including a wonder catch from Max at short third man, diving full stretch and somehow managing to hold on! Amazing. Then, as the rain kept falling and fingers got cold (and I do not just mean the umpires!), Loretto began to rebuild and an excellent 4th wicket partnership of 40 in 6 overs began to edge them closer and closer to their target, and then a partnership of 21 for the 5th wicket took them even closer……however, having rotated the bowling a little, it was time for Edward and William to come on and bowl and both did so quite superbly. They both bowled their 4 overs very economically and accurately, tied up the Loretto batsmen who suddenly found it almost impossible to score a run. Their best player was superbly caught at cover by Harry A – quite how he managed to hold on with such cold hands I am not sure – and then that was that.
Hats off, boys.. To get through that, to keep going, to keep our fielding standards so high in the atrocious conditions took some doing. The ball was a bar of soap and the pitch a quagmire…..but we still got a game of cricket in and came away with a well deserved win in a game where we could have subsided had we not shown the mental toughness which this group of players definitely have in abundance. Well done indeed, and hopefully we have all dried out by now…..!!!