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Senior Roundup – 24/6/21

1st XI

Rowan Cup vs Uddingston – 10/6/21

The 1st XI looked to bounce back from their humbling at the hands of Majid Haq and his Prestwick team in the first league match when they faced off against Uddingston in the Rowan Cup, a tournament the Doggies won in 2018.

After getting the required toss loss out of the way, Tweeds and Harry made their way out the middle looking to make a fast start. And things began promisingly with the captain supporting Stirling’s big opening batsman, Harry Booker, as a mixture of slack bowling and attacking strokeplay ensured that the home side were soon racing along at over 8 and over! However, as happened during the previous league match, a solid start was squandered as, once the two opening batsmen were removed, the Stirling innings effectively ground to a halt. Tighter bowling and regular wickets ensured that the home side only managed to reach a slightly disappointing 100, getting bowled with just 1 ball left of their allotted 20 overs.

If Stirling were to stand a chance defending 100 against a team with the pedigree that Uddingston has (the South Lanarkshire side are the reigning WDCU Premier Division champions), they needed to come out with all guns blazing and maintain a high level of energy and effort throughout the innings.

Right from the off, accurate and aggressive bowling, fantastic fielding and brilliant energy from the whole team ensured that immense pressure was put on the chasing batsmen, a pressure that would be maintained throughout the innings. Wickets soon followed and, from the moment the first wicket fell, Stirling never loosened their grip. Wickets would keep falling at regular intervals and none of the Uddingston batsmen got to grips with the challenge that faced them. When the final wicket fell with the score on 61, the home side burst into celebration, while the Uddingston men were left disconsolate and wondering where it all went so wrong.

The heroes of the win were undoubtedly Stirling’s bowlers, who imposed themselves on the game from the very first ball and never once relinquished their grip. Opening bowler Akram Shakoor lead from the front, taking 3 for 9, but it was Harry Booker who stole the show with remarkable figures of 4 for 8!

Stirling’s next Rowan Cup opponents will be Drumpellier, with the quarter final tie being played at New Williamfield on Tuesday 29th June.

League at Langside – 12/6/21

The 1st XI travelled to Langside (formerly Weirs) looking to continue the momentum gained in their Rowan Cup victory and record their first league win of the season. As has become tradition, captain Matthew Tweedie duly lost the toss but, somewhat surprisingly on a pitch that usually offers plenty of assistance to the bowlers, was asked to bowl first. And, as predicted, the Langside batsmen struggled to score runs and survival quickly became their main aim. Wickets began falling at regular intervals, with the young number six Muj Khan the only Langside batsman to offer any sort of real resistance. Khan batted with composure and poise that belied his age, mixing a solid defence with bursts of well executed attacking intent. Despite his efforts, however, Langside never looked like posting a challenging total with their innings eventually petering out at 106. The fact that nearly a third of Langside’s total came from extras served to demonstrate just how hard the home team’s batsmen found the task of scoring runs.

106 was never going to pose a serious challenge to Stirling’s batting line up, especially as the sun that had been beating down throughout the day served to dry out both the wicket and the outfield. And so it proved, as Stirling cantered to a completely comprehensive 9-wicket victory. Harry Booker and young South African Branden McMullen were the not out men, scoring 44 and 54 respectively.

League at Ferguslie – 19/6/21

Looking to build upon the positive results over the last couple of weeks, the 1st XI travelled to Ferguslie (a team many will have tipped for league honours) full of confidence. This positivity showed as, batting first on a tricky deck and often riding their luck against some good bowling, the Stirling batters battled their way to a more than handy 223 for 5 from their 50 overs. Leading the way was captain Matthew Tweedie who recorded his best score of the season with 74. His opening partner, Harry Booker, also contributed in building a solid base, falling 1 run short of his 50.

When the visitors took to the field, no one could have imagined the excitement that was to happen later on. Ferguslie lost wickets at regular intervals, but with start player R Henry holding the innings together, the champions from 2018 always felt they were in the game. As the final overs approached, it even looked like Ferguslie might pull off an unlikely victory. Unfortunately for the men from Paisley, the loss of talisman Henry for 85 and some tight bowling at the death from the Stirling bowlers resulted in a dramatic 1-run victory for the Doggies!

The win moves Stirling up to 3rd in the table and they will be looking to make it three league wins in-a-row as they host Poloc on 26th June. Before that, they will be facing Drumpellier at New Williamfield in the quarter final of the Rowan Cup (start time 6pm).

2nd XI

League vs Victoria – 12/6/21

After conceding the tie to Galloway the previous week, a young and inexperienced side took to the New Williamfield turf against Victoria, a team whose approach to batting is more T10 than test match. And when the home team were reduced to 111 all out, a complete mauling at the hands of the ultra-aggressive Victoria batsmen looked on the cards. It is to the credit of the young county side that they all fought valiantly to the end, eventually loosing by 5 wickets. In fact, if the Stirling batting line-up could have added a few more runs, an unexpected victory could have been on the cards!

With the bat, only Jason Jones (31), Stephen Hopper and Alasdair Banks (both scoring 18) got into double figures. In the field, everyone contributed, with all the juniors contributing through brilliant fielding and some good catches. The wickets were shared between Andrew Baxter and Hamish Paterson, taking 3 and 2 wickets respectively.

League vs Glasgow Accies – 19/6/21

With the sun shining and batting on a flat New Williamfield deck, the Stirling batsmen knew they needed to improve upon the previous week’s batting efforts if they were to stand a chance of winning. And boy did they improve, with Fergus Martin’s imperious unbeaten century guiding the home side to a score of 191 for 1 from 46 overs (4 overs were lost to a brief rain shower). Fergus was ably supported by fellow opener Jason Jones (39) and Moray Sharpe (27*).

Given the opportunity to defend a reasonable total, the Stirling bowlers certainly didn’t disappoint. Led by young Alasdair Banks, who recorded the best figures of his short senior career with 4-40, the county players bowled out Accies for 169 to win by a comfortable 21 runs. Picking up two wickets apiece, Jonathan Bowes and Moray Sharpe provided useful support to the young Alasdair’s starring role!   

Sunday XI

League at Dunfermline Wanderers – 6/6/21

MJ and our Sunday cricketers looked to continue their winning start to the season as the ventured across the Forth into the Kingdom of Fife to take on Dunfermline Wanderers in a Sunday development league match. Unfortunately, MJ’s unbeaten start to his captaincy was destined to come to an end as the home McKane Park outfit emerged winners by 15 runs. Setting a formidable 176 for 6 from their 30 overs. The 6 wickets were shared about, with MJ and Fergus Martin both picking up two apiece. In Stirling’s reply it was only really Tom Jones who was able to put up much resistance, scoring 100* as County finished with 161 for 4.

Friendly at Linlithgow – 13/6/21

The Sunday Team’s run of away matches at the start of the season continued with a short trip south to Linlithgow CC (formerly West Lothian). MJ’s team got back to winning ways, largely thanks to being able to set a solid score batting first. The score of 191 for 8 was always likely to prove too much for a young Linlithgow side, who finished on 115 all out.

While largely everyone contributed with the bat, it was young Craig Sharpe whose contribution was most telling as his fifty laid the foundation for the total that would ultimately win them the match. In the field again wickets were spread around with Stuart Elliot recording the most impressive figures with 3 for 14. He was ably supported by Aaron Gairns who bagged 2 wickets as well as managing to run out the opposition’s opener!

The Sunday XI finally have a home game this weekend as they take on Broomhall in a friendly.

Wednesday XI

While the other teams have been involved in no end of drama, Andy Weir’s Wednesday XI have been quietly going about their business of winning. Several wins on the trot (including those against Doune, Milgnavie and Gargunnock) have seen them rocket to the top of the West Stirlingshire evening league! With only a few games left to play, there is a real chance that the Wednesday XI will emerge as league winners come the end of the season!

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