2021 pre-season roundup
Despite the inclement weather and some availability issues, all of the club’s teams are now up and running for 2021! The 1st, 2nd and Sunday XIs all managed to complete games last weekend, while the Wednesday team were also able to get their Stirlingshire midweek league campaign underway.
After an aborted start to the season at Stenhousemuir, in which only 13 overs were possible, the 1st XI travelled north to take on fellow a fellow SM Cricket sponsored team in the shape of Meigle. The team from north of Dundee are playing in the Eastern Premier division for 2021 and promised to provide a suitably tough test for our players. And so it proved, with Meigle ending up victors by 5 wickets.
Batting first, Stirling struggled to build a challenging total and could only muster 125 all out from 37.2 overs. Only Harry Booker and Akram Shakoor really threatened to get going with the bat, scoring 37 and 34 respectively. Our bowlers did put up a decent fight in response, but ultimately couldn’t defend such a low total, with Meigle reaching their target after 30.4 overs and for the loss of 5 wickets. These five wickets were spread evenly across five bowlers.
After their first friendly suffered an early call-off, the 2nd XI enjoyed a glorious day for cricket at The Arns last Saturday, taking on a strong Clackmannan side. Struggling to score runs batting first on a bouncy artificial wicket and against some good bowlers, the visitors eventually scored 152 for 5 from their 45 overs. The main contributor was veteran Paul Bielby who, largely thanks to finally finding some timing and quick runs in the final few overs, finished on 62*.
Their low total was, realistically, never going to be enough against the strong batting line-up that Clacks fielded. Despite starting well with good bowling from Andrew Baxter, Alasdair Banks and Ollie jones, dropped catches and assured batting from the Clacks players eventually saw the home side running out comfortable winners.
Last weekend the Sunday XI bucked the losing trend when they put on an assured display to see off an always dangerous St Modan’s. In MJ’s first game as Sunday XI captain, his young side put on a fantastic display to chase down a challenging total of 200 to win by 3 wickets! The unquestioned hero of the day was Moray Sharpe, who scored a stunning 131 not out! Highlighting the importance of the Sunday team for junior development, the game also saw future Stirling star Aaron Gairns take his first senior wicket in what was only his second game for a senior team!
The midweek team had a soggy start to their Stirlingshire League campaign against Milngavie on Wednesday May 5th. On a damp and tricky wicket, came up just short against the men and women from the West Stirlingshire. Chasing a difficult target of 137 from 18 overs, our midweek warriors managed a respectable 119 for 5. Moray Sharpe and Jonathan Bowes top scored with handy contributions of 37 and 32. Special mention should be given to Aaron Gairns who acquitted himself well in what was his first senior game!