With the sun predicted to continue to shine on the Scottish cricket season, lets take a look at this week’s events at Stirling County!
The undoubted highlight of the week is Tuesday’s T20 quarter final tie at home to Drumpellier (last week’s match fell afoul of a rare rainy day). The forecast is looking good, so with any luck the tie will be completed this time! If Stirling win the match, starting at 6.15pm, we will likely play the semi-final just two days later (full details yet to be confirmed).
At the weekend, the 1st XI attempts to continue their winning league form when they entertain Dumfries at New Williamfield. Meanwhile, the 2nd XI will be travelling to East Kilbride in a bottom-of-the-league clash at Torrence House. On Sunday, the Sunday XI will be returning after a two week hiatus with a SPCU development league match away against St Modan’s.
Finally, East Renfrewshire will once again be using the top pitch on Saturday in a local derby against their near neighbours Renfrew, while Callander return to New Williamfield to take on Largo 2nd XI.
Looking to bounce back from a difficult defeat against Glasgow Accies last week, our intrepid J2 stars will be making the trip across Glasgow to Partick this Friday when they take on West of Scotland.
After being washed out last week, our ladies team will be glad of a cracking forecast for Thursday. They will be making their way to Westquarter to continue their journey in the excellent Trossachs T10 competition.
- 1st XI vs Drumpellier (Home - Rowan Cup) – 28/6/21 at 6.15pm
- Ladies team vs Westquarter (Away – Trossachs T10) – 1/7/21 at 6.30pm
- J2s vs West of Scotland (Away – WDCU) – 2/7/21
- 1st XI vs Poloc (Home – League) – 3/7/21 at 12noon
- 2nd XI vs Torrence House (Away – League) – 3/7/21 at 12noon
- East Renfrewshire vs Renfrew (New Williamfield – League) – 3/7/21 at 12noon
- Sunday XI vs St Modan’s (Away – SPCU Dev League) – 4/7/21 at 1pm
- Callander vs Largo 2nd XI (Home – League) – 4/7/21
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).
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!
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.
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!
After the last few cricket-packed weeks, in which there has been pretty much non-stop cricket at the club (including both County games and Cricket Scotland representational games), things are relatively quiet this week.
The undoubted highlight of this week’s senior games is the Rowan Cup quarter final at home to Drumpellier. After the previous round’s convincing win over Uddingston, the 1st XI will be hoping to keep their winning run going and book a place in the semi-final!
On Saturday, the 1st XI will be hosting Poloc as they bid to make it three league wins in a row and continue their rise up the table. The 2nd XI, fresh from their confident victory over Glasgow Accies 1st XI, will be travelling to Glasgow to take on another 1st XI in the shape of Hillhead. Both games have a 12noon start.
Our J2 kids get a chance to build on their recent success when they welcome Glasgow Accies to New Williamfield. With the opportunity for games few and far between at the moment, our youngsters will be itching to get back out on the field and show everyone what they can achieve!
Our youngest members will continue their tour of the local Kwick Cricket Festivals when they make their way to the Dunblane Laigh Hills on Sunday. The event will begin at 10am with the best parking situated next to the town’s cathedral.
Finally, after the success of last week’s match against Dunblane in the Trossachs T10, our ladies will be travelling to Callander. Using a soft ball and with the emphasis on simply having fun, we hope that this initiative goes from strength to strength and continues to offer cricket to women of all ages and abilities! The game is scheduled to start at 6.30pm.
- 1st XI vs Drumpellier (Home - Rowan Cup) – 24/6/21 at 6pm
- Ladies team vs Callander (Away – Trossachs T10) – 24/6/21 at 6.30pm
- J2s vs Glasgow Accies (Home – WDCU) – 25/6/21
- 1st XI vs Poloc (Home – League) – 26/6/21 at 12noon
- 2nd XI vs Hillhead (Away – League) – 26/6/21 at 12noon
- Dunblane Kwick Cricket Festival – 27/6/21 at 10am