125 years ago (1895)
The club won the short-lived East of Scotland league, which was in its second season, in the last of J D (John) McLauchlan’s eight years as captain. Interestingly, McLauchlan had not attended the School but had become so steeped in the tradition of the club that he thought of himself as a Watsonian. In fact, he was an Edinburgh Academical!
The professional was Bailey (Leicestershire) who recorded the club’s second century (108 not out) against Edinburgh Academicals at Raeburn Place, to add to three fifties, in amassing 357 runs at an average of 59.50. In doing so it could be said he justified his fee of £40 and 10 shillings (equivalent to £5,360 today) – although that resulted in the club going into the red for the first time!
The leading bowler of the year was A W Cameron with 40 wickets, including figures of 8 for 21 against Stewartonians at Myreside, while F J Wass took all 7 wickets to fall in the first-ever match with Greenock played at Glenpark.
100 years ago (1920)
In mirroring exactly the figures of Bailey in 1895 (357 runs at an average of 59.50), A W Angus recorded the 4th and 5th of his 7 hundreds for the club – 107 not out against Royal High School FP and 143 against Clarendon, both at Myreside.
In the latter of these matches T D Watt (who represented Scotland for the third time during the season) took 7 wickets for 19 on his way to becoming the leading wicket-taker with 42. However, the best analysis of the season was A F Wilson’s 8 for 60 in the first game played against Cupar at Cupar.
The match against Gala at Myreside was cancelled – because the Scottish Lawn Tennis Championships were being held on the ground! In total contrast, the most exciting game of the season was against Stewart’s College FP. The club batted first and totalled only 89. Stewart’s were level with their last man at the wicket when a catch was dropped. The next ball was hit high towards mid-wicket when our fielder from deep long-on sprinted round the boundary to take (as reported at the time) “a miraculous catch”! The match was tied – the first recorded tie in our history. There had been a match against Royal High School FP in 1901 when the club made 191 for 5 in chasing down the opposition’s 191 all out when time was called. Under today’s playing conditions this may well be classified as a tie – but in 1901 it was deemed a draw!
75 years ago (1945)
In the final year of the Second World War the club won only two of the 14 games played – although 50% of the other games were drawn, meaning only three games were lost. The most notable performances were both attributable to Ian Bigland who took 7 for 20 against the School at Myreside and 7 for 55 against Gala at Mossilee. A Currie was both the leading run-scorer (166) and wicket-taker (21).
The club owed a considerable debt of gratitude to those – cricketers, rugby players, golfers, et al – who helped over those six years to keep
Batting, bowling, cricketing”
as one club stalwart so whimsically expressed it. This quotation was subsequently featured on the title page of the club’s history published in 1975 and, thereafter, as the title of the newsletter between 1976 and 1986.
50 years ago (1970)
The club celebrated a successful tour to Dublin – the side only running out of steam (attributable to fatigue – or something of that ilk!) in losing the last of seven games by a mere 5 runs at Malahide, which is now the home ground of Irish international matches.
David Bell recorded the first of his 5 centuries for the club with 120 not out against Phoenix on that tour. His total of 516 runs for the season (at an average of 64.50) was surpassed, however, by skipper Brian Adair who had most runs (533), most wickets (60) and most catches by a fielder (19).
Jeff Burton recorded his (and the club’s) second highest return with 38 dismissals behind the stumps. His 44 dismissals in 1968 remains the record.
Ian Dunn was left stranded on 99 not out against Glasgow Academicals at Myreside in a 9-wicket victory when the club was on tour in Dublin.
Unfortunately, the 2nd XI scorebook for the season is one of those missing so details are scant. While no batsman accumulated 200 runs, Stewart McKechnie and David Anderson exceeded 150 – as did Ivor Glynn and John Robertson who recorded scores of 90 against Elldee and 86 not out against Stewart’s FP 2nd XI respectively. Andrew Greening was the leading wicket-taker with 22.
Other noteworthy performances were achieved in the 3rd XI by Stewart Crawford with 7 wickets for 34 against Edinburgh University 3rd XI at Craiglockhart and by Stewart Oliver with 7 for 18 against Leith Academicals 2nd XI at Tipperlinn. The former took most wickets (24), followed by Robin Stark with 19. Geoff Bulmer was the only batsman to record 100 runs.
David Bell won the single-wicket competition for the first of his three successes in the competition.
Tommy Elgin retired as treasurer after 13 years in order to take up his appointment as President of the Scottish Cricket Union (now Cricket Scotland). He had previously served for 8 years as secretary of the club, immediately before and after the Second World War and had captained the club in 1949, the year in which he became the only member to take 100 wickets in a season (104 at an average of 9.63). Ten years later (1959) he became the first of only two players (the other being Douglas Cowan) to take 1,000 wickets for the club. Outwith the club, he served as secretary and treasurer of the East of Scotland Cricket Association from 1948 until 1952.
25 years ago (1995)
Batsmen were to the fore this year with 8 centuries recorded across all three XIs – only in 1991, when 9 hundreds were recorded, has this been exceeded:
Nathan Ball 113 against Stewart’s-Melville FP at Inverleith (in an opening partnership of 207 with Stuart McConnachie who contributed 68) for the 1st XI
Richard Jones 115 for the 2nd XI against Grange 2nd XI at Raeburn Place
Jamie Mayer 104 for the 3rd XI against St Modan’s FP at Myreside
Jamie Mayer 100 not out for the 3rd XI against Penicuik 2nd XI at Myreside
Neil McCallum 101 not out against Cedars CC at Myreside (the first of his four for the club)
David Rainey 124 not out against Corstorphine 2nd XI at Union Park for the 2nd XI (the second of his three for the club}
Ken Scott 106 for the 1st XI against Stenhousemuir at The Tryst (his second for the club)
Ken Scott 139 for the 1st XI against Falkland at Myreside (his third – and final – for the club)
In addition to his two centuries, vice-captain Ken Scott recorded five half-centuries in heading the run-scorers (and averages) with 817. The only other player to exceed 500 runs was professional John Pollard (515) who was also the top wicket-taker with 64, including a best return of 7 for 73 in a win by two runs over Edinburgh Academicals at Myreside.
In the Abbot Ale Cup match against Stewart’s-Melville FP, referred to earlier, the highest-ever 1st XI total of 325 for 7 was recorded – overtaking the 294 for 4 against Royal High School FP in 1911, while equalling the 2nd XI’s club record 325 for 3 against Stewart’s-Melville’s in 1991. It is currently the fourth highest 1st XI total. Later in the season the record fell to the 3rd XI’s 337 for 5 against St Modan’s.
At Raeburn Place, in the league, the 1st XI successfully chased down Grange’s 263 for 5 with three balls to spare and, in so doing, equalled the highest previous score batting second to win a match – 265 for 2 against an East Lancashire XI at Myreside in 1929. This chase is now the fourth highest to win batting second.
In a league match against Corstorphine at Myreside the 1st XI was dismissed for 41 – with seven of our batsmen recording ducks! This was the last year in which the 1st XI played in the East league with the advent of the Scottish Cricket League in 1996.
As noted above, David Rainey had a century against Corstorphine. In the same game he took 6 wickets for 18 – only the second occasion on which a player has recorded a hundred and taken five wickets in the same match. The only previous such performance was by J H Purves who (in 1925 for the 1st XI against Brunswick) made 103 not out on the first night of a two-evening game and the added 6 wickets for 20 on the second night to ensure a comprehensive victory. Ian Torrens (also in the 2nd XI, but against Freuchie) almost followed suit but fell short by two runs of a century– his 98 a prelude to returning 6 for 64 with the ball.
Ian Torrens had most wickets (19) and the second-highest number of runs (288), but the leading run-scorer was Stuart Lockhart with 362. Also in the 2nd XI, a win in the home match with Stirling County was achieved by 2 wickets thanks to Alan Chalmers hitting a six off the third last ball of the game!
In the 3rd XI, Jamie Mayer’s two hundreds noted earlier led to him recording most runs (348), with Alan Chalmers (250) and David Maguire (207) being the other principal contributors with the bat. Douglas Forsyth again took most wickets (17), followed by Graham Swan (16) while the ageless Ivor Glynn also chipped in with 11.
Martin Macari (Batting), Tim Bunker (Catching) and John Pollard (Single Wicket) were award winners. The Bowling trophy was withheld.
The club president was Peter Duncanson, while Keith Flannigan 1st XI captain and Patrick Edington continued as secretary of the East of Scotland Cricket Association for the 7th year. Stewart Oliver retired as club secretary after a record 22 years.