After the victory over Edinburgh Uni and with only two enforced changes we headed to Dunfermline with the same hopes as Ally’s Army heading to Argentina in 1978 (apols to our younger viewers but see link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcE86JmIN3E ) The 3s returned as Ally’s army did….
We welcomed young S2 Salaar Ali for his 3s debut and Gregour Carr also joined as to form what, was hoped, would be a deadly spin duo.
Even before our departure young Salaar had put us all to shame – as 10 of us waited in the car park at Myreside it was only Zander who cleverly decided to look for our missing eleventh man in the last place most of us would look… and yes, you guessed it, the keen Salaar was found turning his arm over in the nets. There is a lot us older ones can still be taught by the young pups.
So off across the new Forth Bridge again and we were greeted at McKane Park by a sight not seen before this season, a grass wicket. Skipper Counsell failed again, both by losing the toss, and then clipping the young impressive Dunfermline opening bowler to gully.
Davies and Geoff did the usual repair job until the skipper gave Davies out LBW for the second game in a row. I might be wrong but I’m not sure David agreed with the decision. Dunfermline turned to their spinners and that resulted in the key wicket of Geoff. Unlike, at the event at Windsor, the teams’ tears that followed were not of joy and happiness.
Mike G and David stuck around for a while and fair to say struggled a wee bit against the spinners but Mawdsley jnr did hit one glorious six. Quite sensationally he has decided to celebrate the strike by heading off to Alicante for the week. Students these days…..Safe travels David.
Anyway while we stumbled to 145 we certainly felt we could defend it given the slow nature of the pitch and the quality of our attack.
Hopes were raised as Reido cleaned up the opener’s off stump, Zander followed suit with the other opener, who was again beaten for place and played on. Zander’s impressive opening spell of 5 overs 1 for 9 put him in strong contention for MOM.
Tom came into the attack with Salaar and Tom took the wicket of the big hitting no 4, cunningly stumped by David. Dunfermline were 42 for 3 and the game was on. Salaar bowled really nicely on his debut and was unlucky not to be rewarded. The key moment of the game was to come as Tom forced the number 3 to hit to Counsell, who actually managed to catch it, only to hear the dreaded no ball call.
The 3s stuck gamefully at it in the field with an impressive display and special mention to Mike for some brilliant “un 3s like” fielding
Bunker advised the introduction of Bunker into the attack and lo and behold worked his Paul Daniels magic to get the no 5 to miss his slower ball
Bunker also advised the reintroduction of Reido (hold on a minute who actually is the skipper) and young Jamie almost immediately got rid of the dangerous no 3. Dunfermline were 99 for 5 and 146 seemed a way off.
Gregour entered the attack in an attempt to whirl some turners and while he bowled a few beauties couldn’t make the breakthrough.
Full credit to the Dunfermline nos 6 and 7 who then put on a match winning partnership.
All in all a creditable performance in the field but it was a game we should have won. We suffered from the lack of runs in the last ten overs of our innings. Too many wild swipes and dot balls. But this is all about learning and it was another enjoyable day with the youngsters all doing themselves proud.
After much deliberation, the committee decided to keep it interesting by awarding Geoff his third consecutive MOM award. The dream is still alive.
The good news is that the 3s return to the safe leadership of Mr Bunker for the next two weeks as the skipper takes some time out to consider his future. Look out for some higher quality match reports.