Sunday, July 8 will see a huge cricketing occasion at Scroggie Park, Falkland. It is the day of the last 16 tie in the Village Cup against a team called East Ardsley from the Wakefield area of Yorkshire. It promises to be a great occasion, and a huge crowd is expected with hopefully the weather being as good as it has been of late.
Other than what can be gleaned from websites and social media, little is known about the Yorkshire team but is not difficult to predict that they will be good. Coming as they do from the heart of cricket playing in England (Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Geoff Boycott, Herbert Sutcliffe and Wilfred Rhodes are or were all Yorkshiremen!), they will all have been schooled in the ways of cricket from an early age, and will no doubt exhibit the traditional Yorkshire determination to win.
But it is of course up to Falkland to reveal the same qualities. So far we have had a superb season in the Strathmore Union, and in the Village Cup, we have had three very convincing victories against Meigle, Freuchie, and Wolviston. Meigle play in Perthshire, Freuchie need no introduction, and Wolviston play on a charming ground near Middlesbrough. The rules of this particular tournament do not allow us to play our professional Harsha Cooray, not our Overseas Amateur Darren Pearce, but we still have strong batsmen like Graeme Watson, Grant Doig and Ben Strachan, and steady reliable bowlers like the Hepburn brothers and Steven Meikle.
But as important a factor as any in the Village Cup is the ability to play "tidy" cricket, meaning the non-concession of wides and no balls (which are simply free gifts to the opposition) and good ground fielding. A spectacular catch or two is of course very worthwhile, but so too is the ability to keep the runs down and not to allow overthrows and giveaway runs cause by sloppy fielding. In other words, every member of the fielding side plays a crucial part. In this, so far Falkland was excelled, and they have been superbly led by Stuart Campbell.
But there is also the social side of cricket at which Falkland have traditionally excelled with outstanding hospitality and good teas. These things are important, and of course the bar will be open. A large crowd is confidently expected and I am sure they will be rewarded by great entertainment. Do come along and support Falkland in what will probably be Scotland's best attended cricket match in 2018, apart from International fixtures. Apart from anything else, it is also Scotland v England!
Updated 18:32 - 25 Jun 2018 by Paul Watson