Season 2022 Round-Up

Grange Cricket had quite a stressful start to the season as the scoreboard was producing gobbledygook up until June!  The downpour back in July 2021 had short circuited one of the data cables and initially it would not fire up.  The cable was replaced, the board came back to life, flashing up all the right numbers but in the wrong order!  Many hours were spent by several individuals trying to get to the bottom of the problem.  It took a retired GP, in the shape of Dr John Donald, to find the electrician’s wiring error.  He had been a ‘sparky’ in his student days.  Thank you!

The East Premier League changed out of whites and into coloured kit and pink balls.  Ours was an artist’s palette of colours – missing a touch of pink (in my opinion).  The seconds and thirds continued to play red-ball cricket and wear cricket whites.  There is still room for tradition.

Heriot’s retained their East Premier League title, Forfarshire won the Scottish Cup (50 overs) and the CS Men’s T20 Scottish Cup.  Carlton retained the Watts Frazer Trophy (3-2).  Our 1st XI finished second in the League.  In the Scottish Cup we lost to Ayr in the semi-final in a rain-affected game. I am still hurting, as I believe we had a real chance to add another Scottish Cup win to our impressive tally!

I should make mention of the record opening partnership set by Jack Jarvis and Angus Brown against Meigle in the Scottish Cup tie, played at the Grange.  Their stand of 276 beat LM Balfour and J Speid’s record of 236, back in 1876!

 In the ESCA Championship our Seconds finished sixth, with Gala claiming the title.  Our Thirds also found themselves in the bottom half of the table in Division 3 of the East League, finishing eighth with Tranent & Preston Village coming out on top.

Congratulations to all the winners; Heriot’s, Forfarshire, Gala and Tranent & Preston Village.

What caused the sides to underperform?  An analysis of the season highlighted the issues.  Availability was a big problem across the board.  The 1st XI used 38 players in all cricket (EPL 32 & Scottish Cup 25).  Double-header weekends were difficult.  The result was that none of the teams had a ‘spine’ i.e. six or seven players who were turning out each weekend and becoming the heart of the team.  A full review has recently been conducted and action points agreed.  Bring on the new season!

Our Development XI, whose main purpose is to give fathers and their offspring the opportunity to play together, managed to play four games in the Sunday league, winning three and drawing one.  Many thanks to Adrian Graves for organising.  

We fielded a very young Grange Women’s XI against some very strong opposition.  It is clear that we need to recruit a number of senior players in order to give the side a stronger backbone.  Let’s call it work in progress.  

Turning to the Junior Stags, our U14s and U16’s won their respective Scottish Cups.  Unfortunately, the U13’s and U15’s were unable to have a good run in the ECB Vitality Cup, both teams being knocked out by Carlton.  Everyone was delighted to be able to go The Shrewsbury School Festival for the first time since 2019.  Our U11 side performed exceptionally well against some strong county sides with a much larger pool of players from which to choose. 

This year we celebrated 150 years at Portgower Place with a cocktail party in May, at which our Club historian, Neil Leitch, gave those present a very interesting talk on how we came to be here – at the ground that is.  In August a President’s All Sorts XII took on a Grange Masters’ XII to mark the occasion.  We will see more of the Masters in action, or possibly out of, next season.  It is a joy to watch the stars of the passed playing the game of cricket again but at a much slower pace.

We enjoyed watching New Zealand (current World Test Champions) here in July, playing Scotland in two T20s and a one day international.  In August we welcomed Scotland Women to the Grange for the first time to play three T20s against a FairBreak Global Invitational XI.  They were back again in September to play the same format against Ireland.  Enormous prestige for the Club to host these matches.

Our sponsors of course deserve a mention and a thank you for their continued support.  Gen!us Brewing are currently in their third year out of four, and Close Brothers Asset Management has just confirmed that they will continue to sponsor our Junior Stags in 2023, which will be their third year.

Finally, my thanks to everyone, who by their efforts made play possible; scorers, umpires, coaches, ground staff (Tom and Kevin), the committees (Junior, Senior and General), team captains, Robin Pollok, Chris Murphy, John Blain, Justin Lyons (Club Manager) and our bar staff.  I have to make special mention of Abhijit Chakraborty (Junior Secretary) and Catherine Edwards who keep our huge junior section running smoothly.  The Club just would not function without individuals giving up that valuable commodity – their time.

Rawdon Hesketh
Hon President