Zorro Bryce’ cuts them to pieces!

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Well another Sunday morning, the bottles and champagne corks have been tidied away after another stunning Thirds victory – or was that Calum Martin and Tom Counsel’s consumption after Friday’s celebratory school leaving party ??. It was just as well for the health of team-mates that Calum and Tom were in different sides – many of the Third’s are too young to inhale alcoholic fumes of that level. Fortunately no drug testing in Division 5 . Calum was so nervous of his first outing of the season with the victorious Thirds that he hadn’t got to sleep till after 4 a.m

We were honoured to have Sarah Bryce, the current Scotland Ladies opening batsman/wicket keeper in the side. She confirmed that having played against many of the top Ladies county sides, including Hampshire and Derbyshire, her season’s ambition was in fact to play for the Thirds on the plastic wicket at Myreside against the mighty Old Contemptibles C.C.

Other changes included youth policy changes bringing in Dunc Cockburn –for his smile and white teeth -in case of bad light, Fraser Cousin for brother Angus who had tonsillitis and Calum Martin (who had turned down the Seconds ,to be promoted to the Three’s) joining younger brother Ross , the more experienced at this level. One of the teams youngest sides with no Davies , Mawdesley or Counsel- it was like a kiddies day out !

The Watsonian home fans were spoilt for choice – having witnessed the Lions victory that morning they had the choice of the First team playing Stewarts Melville on the main square or the youthful Three’s taking on one of the top sides from Inverleith Park . (There was some other game at Craiglockhart , Seconds losing to Kirk Brae I think?!)

The fans were beginning to throng the boundary with families Reid , Martin , Cockburn jostling for the best vantage point . Even the legendary Stewart Oliver and the President , Keith Flannigan,were seen perambulating the boundary- pretending to watch the First’s game .

The crowd also included some young drunk South African , who nobody knew ,who had just appeared and proceeded to provide helpful advice to the OCCC batmen . We think he was Africaaans and his name was ‘Tossa’- as OCCC kept shouting “ shut up Tossa “.
The skipper magnanimously allowed the OCCC skipper to win the toss, who chose to bat.

Watsonian’s skip was spoilt for bowling choice with 10 bowlers in the side but decided to open himself , the oldest member, as it is too tiring warming up again in the middle of the innings. Jamie Reid at the other end kept the average acceptable.
The artificial wicket provided a bit of extra pace and bounce (ah, memories !) and the bat was regularly beaten with cross bat shots to the very short boundaries moving the score along . Skipper struck first with a full length lbw , surprisingly given !– considering the total lack of interest of the rest of the team -with nobody else appealing -as such umpiring decisions in Div 5 are collectors items ! The batsman was half way off as the skipper waited patiently for the expected congratulatory high fives.

Jamie ‘Reido’ regularly beat the bat into Sarah’s tidy glove keeping to ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaah’s from the excited youngsters ! Reading the ‘plastic’ like a book the Skip felt taking pace off the ball–or in the case of the skipper’s end -putting pace on the ball – would be the answer. Rory High came into the attack and the score rate fell and the pressure mounted and ,as expected, the other opener fell, bowled , by a subtle ‘lob’. Squeezing the runs the fielders were brought in at which point the batsman suddenly launched into a cross bat thrash which ‘Cooosin’ at midwicket did not quite pick up and the ball crashed into his thigh , and he overlooked the possible rebound ,– silly Cooosin ! Few inches either side it would have been ‘snookered ‘ .(quite amusing !) Fairly straightforward chance – hard lines Rory !

Next into the attack –the bleary eyed Calum Martin who ranked up the pace as the ball flew passed the batsman’s flailing bat. He eventually made contact and the ball sailed for 6 off the top edge – then another just dropping short for 4. An interesting field placing with 2 third men Cousin , senior, and Dunc Cockburn on the boundary – both in catching positions ! After some secretive chat a yorker followed and the stumps were totally messed.

Next from the box of allsorts came Mark Somerset with flight and guile and another wicket fell to a good catch by Rory High at mid wicket as the batsman mis-read a ‘sneaky ‘ one . Mark also induced a good catch very well taken by Sarah behind the sticks .
The very short boundary meant batsman were ‘over compensated’ for crap shots and the score continued to mount. Olly Roberston bowled good length but radar was slightly off – maybe had been in close proximity to Calum and fumes affected his accuracy.
Devon Vehlow used the breeze to good effect and looked dangerous helped by Sarah’s good glovework . He flighted a fine delivery which totally deceived the batsman whose stumps were knocked back .

The most consistent bowler was Ross Martin who slotted into a good rhythm and line /length as the batsman tried to accelerate and deserved a wicket with Coosin taking good catch at midoff . Coosin himself came on to also pick up a wicket as Jamie Reid came back to polish off the last 2 batsman , bowled – up in the slot .

Overall a good performance from all in the field, behind the stumps ,and well done the bowlers in windy conditions restricting OCCC to 178 all out which was helped by the very short boundaries . Still a good score to get being slightly light on batting this week.
A masterclass in run chasing followed after a fine cup of tea and some cake!
Sarah Bryce and Rory High walked purposefully to the middle chasing just over 4 per over.
Rory drove a couple of fine straight boundaries whilst Sarah pounced on anything short , like Zorro, with the blade cutting the ball to the boundary either in front or behind square as their skipper tried to stop the flow of runs. The bowlers didn’t know where to bowl as Stevie Roberston (our very own Robbo’s brother!) attempted a few short balls which Sarah pulled through midwicket to the boundary as the blade flashed.

Rory hit a few over the top , but the shot of the day was an extra cover drive on the up which Sarah smote to the boundary – 4 on any ground .
OCCC tried spin but again Sarah just stepped back and cut through square. The running between the wickets was excellent as the 100 partnership came and went with neither batsman looking in any trouble . Sadly on 149 Rory went for one big hit to many and was bowled – a fine controlled innings of 77 – and we were in sight of victory . In strode the smiling Dunc Cockburn , probably surprised at getting a bat . Sarah continued on her merry way taking singles off every ball faced which enabled Dunc to test his artillery as the ball rained down over the boundary and on one occasion into Colinton Road !

Four to win Dunc !- who proceeded to try a ramp shot over his head with no helmet – mind those teeth ! The second effort worked as the ball ran over the white line, 179- 1 , a superb run chase .
‘Zorro’ Bryce strolled off 65 not out , and put the sabre back in the bag ! Dunc Cockburn 25 not out .
A fine team win and we look good as promotion contenders – Melrose the league leaders , away , next week –with Zorro anything possible !

El Skip.