Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Boys' Cricket: U11A v Merchiston

Boys' Cricket: U11A v Merchiston

After an apocalyptically awful Friday that saw the postponement of the Form 3 Camp Out, Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Excitement at playing on the 1st XI pitch rose to a fever pitch by the time that Jamie C won the toss and inserted our opponents on a wicket that was still a little damp. Fin soon took a wicket, bowling one of the openers, but some lusty blows from the Merchiston middle order soon showed the Belhaven boys that this was going to be a slightly different proposition to our first encounter with Ardvreck. This is where you learn a lot in cricket – when you are under pressure and you need to think about how to change the momentum of the game – and, unsurprisingly, the boys were a little over-awed by the sudden flurry of boundaries. Enter Géza, ‘the French destroyer’ – a wicket with his first ball, followed by two more in his next 11 balls, as well as a run out from Charlie C, meant that we were able to regain a modicum of control. At this point, we should have gone for the jugular and kept Géza on, perhaps – but it is important in these early stages of the boys’ exposure to cricket that they all have their chance to be involved, and once again, everyone in the team bowled at least an over. All showed the ability to bowl straight, if not yet consistently so, and our fielding improved as the innings progressed.

With an imposing target of 142 to reach, losing both of our openers for 0 was something of a blow, but an encouraging rearguard action was staged by Beetle and Johnny, followed by a very promising cameo from the irrepressible Alfie B. Merchiston’s bowlers had the rather irritating habit of bowling unerringly straight, and the old adage of ‘you miss, I hit’ proved to be rather true as Belhavian batsmen followed one another, with alarming regularity, back to the pavilion. A sparky partnership between Charlie C and Fin L saw some respectability added to the score, but in the end we fell 62 short of our target.

A lovely moment at the end of the game saw the Head of Sport at Merchiston, Rory McCann, present Géza with a match ball for his performance. On the day, the stronger side won – Merchiston have some excellent cricketers and we learnt a lot from watching them. We will be working on our discipline in defence and our field placement next week as we look forward to another match against Strathallan Prep on Wednesday before the weekend out.