A Resounding Victory in Bute
By David Hinchliffe
Cameron Gibb with the report.
Hamilton Crescent made history on Saturday with a sensational victory on the Isle of Bute against Bute and Cowal County Cricket Club.
In their first Saturday fixture for many years, The Hamilton Crescent lads boarded a ferry and ventured off the mainland in search for glory. Led by their Napoleonic captain Mike Ashworth, the "Partick monkeys" arrived at the picturesque Meadows in Rothesay to hear the enlivening news that a lawnmower had somehow been hotwired hours earlier and that the outfield was in prime and playable condition.
Typically Ashworth won the toss and sent the boys in to bat; Gibb and Hooper charged with getting the season off to a flyer. The islanders started well, cannily bowling to the conditions and making scoring difficult. No quarter was given nor asked before some quite, quite remarkable scenes on the firth of Clyde:
Calum ‘hoops’ Hooper takes guard at the Football Field End and what follows goes into the book as 6 6 6 6 6 W. 5 Masala Twist Maximums for Hoops on the bounce saw hearts racing all around the island, the one fan (a perplexed young girl on her bicycle who soon after left) and the players alike muttering to themselves that they had never seen the elusive 6 sixes in an over... all before Hooper is comprehensively cleaned up going for the ultimate prize, immortality just beyond his grasp. Hooper gone for a remarkable 45 and the west enders motoring.
Two more wickets soon followed, including Cammy Gibb expertly caught in the deep for 45 after hacking wildly across the line in search of an unlikely Masala Twist Maximum. Suddenly our heroes looked to be faltering. Enter the strapping Ben Robinson. B Rob was to steady the ship with some imperious strokeplay and measured scoring. Clean hitting from Robinson that would have been lapped up by fans, had there been any in attendance.
Robinson was ably supported by the crocked Dave McNulty who was ruled out of first team duties with a broken toe, but couldn’t miss out on this historic fixture. McNulty the last man in, striking the ball beautifully to the fence on more than one occasion. Though, due to his brutal injury he was gingerly hobbling between the wickets like a puppet on strings. McNulty 24* and Robinson 64* wrapped up the innings in a fittingly swashbuckling manner and Hamilton Crescent ended on 221 for 7.
A healthy score and an exhilarating first 40 overs of the season.
After a fabulous tea, indicative of the marvellous hospitality all day, the men of Bute strode out to bat and the new ball was taken by the men in maroon. A tight few overs followed and your scribe began to ponder who would blink first. West were tidy in the field and there was some particularly impressive wicket keeping by promising West junior Angus. Pressure was building before the wily Ross McCallum made the breakthrough with some spellbinding spin bowling. Wickets then began to fall at regular intervals. Aidan Reilly picking up a superb debut wicket and Andrew Morris bowling a parsimonious and extremely promising spell. With skipper Ashworth also bowling a magical few overs there are great signs all round for the upcoming season. Bute eventually bowled out for 63 and Hamilton Crescent crusaded home with a resounding 158 run victory.
After a sensational game of cricket played in the best possible spirit, your scribe would like to thank the Bute team for their wonderful hospitality and would like to wish them all the best for the season.
An unforgettable start to the season on an unfamiliar landmass and there are unmistakably big things to come from this talented, rag tag bunch.