Once again, this group of boys performed. It would be easy at this stage of the term, with many minds elsewhere thinking of new beginnings in September, to treat this final outing for the 1stXI as something of an afterthought…..well, not after what I said to them pre match, it would not!?! The way they represent the school, right to end, says a lot about them as individuals and also as a group, and I was nor disappointed.
We won the toss, chose to bat and despite losing a clearly unfit skipper early doors, closely followed by Freddie who popped one to mid wicket, it was Todd and Jack who put on 80 for the 4th wicket in one of the nest partnerships of the season. The outfield was ‘lush’ shall we say, and with their fielders all in close (fielding positions did not come in to it!), it was either one if it pierced the infield or 2 if it almost reached the boundary - run scoring at a rhythm was not easy, but both boys showed real patience and focus in the heat as they built their innings very sensibly indeed. Todd fell just as a 50 was there waiting for him, but it was fitting that he had his best knock of the term in his final game, but Jack went on and fully deserved his debut 50 for the 1stXI with an excellent drive through point. He had been unable to attend any winter net sessions and so having started behind the eightball at the start of the season, he has worked incredibly hard to try and catch up and his hunger for batting in the nets and looking to improve his technique has been rewarded. A proper innings which promises much for next year. Seb came in and played some more exquisite shots through cover as well as smashing some short balls through midwicket as we pushed the score over 150 in our 25 overs. More than enough.
As ever we bowled very tightly indeed and run scoring was difficult with Todd once again, vocal and encouraging behind the stumnps. VJ snared their opener with an excellent catch from Harry at wide first slip and Edward bowled the other opener. we were held up for a little while with a stoical partnership, but then Max came on and old golden arm did not disappoint! In just 22 balls, he took 6 for 6 and totally ripped through the Ardvreck middle and lower order. Game over. Another win. Season 2019 done and dusted!
And so we come to that sad time when boys move on and the inevitable passing of the baton on to the next generation. Cricket at Cargilfield is in safe hands, with considerable investment by the school in outdoor facilities and a culture within the children and means we take our cricket seriously, something which to me, is so important. To see two U12 boys today standing up with the bat and the ball, and putting in those match winning performances says a lot and I know they will be keen to step up and lead from the front, along with others, next summer. To those who have perhaps had bit part roles this year, your time will come next summer after another winter int he nets; learning by playing with better players is all part of the experience, and this year’s Leavers have been excellent role models throughout the year in how to train, in how to play and in how to conduct yourselves afterwards win or lose. I shall really miss them and they have contributed much to what have been outstanding rugby and cricket seasons by the 1stXV and 1stXI.
It has been one of the very best cricket seasons in my 15 years at Cargilfield, with no one player dominating which is rare at this level, and that is testament to the hard work everyone has put in over the winter….but my standout moments go back to the Autumn Term. To be level at 10-10 at half time with Belhaven, previously unbeaten for 4 years since they were U9s, and then score over 40 unanswered points in a quite unbelievable 2nd half of very fast paced and high quality prep school rugby. Very satisfying indeed and the spark which showed these boys what they were capable of. And secondly, Harry piping on Remembrance Sunday, up in the wilds of North Yorkshire, with Aysgarth and Cargilfield boys and parents lined up together in quiet reflection and remembrance, before playing one of the toughest prep school games of rugby I have ever witnessed. A defeat, yes, but that is not the point. We do not play sport to win every game; we play sport to learn, to improve as individuals and as a team, and to come together and share moments like these that we remember long after the result in forgotten.
Thank you, boys, for all your efforts for this year and good luck to those moving on. And a big thank you to you, the parents, for your constant support of the children whatever the weather; it makes such a difference and hopefully we shall bump in to each other ’somewhere ages and ages hence’.
Enjoy the summer.