IN a week which saw Largo Cricket Club’s manpower resources stretched to the limit, in fielding five teams during the holiday season, the First XI travelled to Grange Loan, Edinburgh on Saturday to play Carlton CC.
Carlton, second in ESCA Division 1, presented a daunting task.
But the Largo players seemed to relish the challenge – none more so than under-15 Hughes Gillin and veteran Graham Dodds Snr, both stepping up from the 2nd XI.
Winning the toss and opting to bat, captain Kinnear and vice-captain A. Ali laid a solid foundation for the Largo innings, putting on 44 for the first wicket, before Ali was caught from the bowling of Currie for 32.
While there were no huge scores, Largo managed to bat out their 50 overs with Rajagopal scoring 29, N. Ali 22, Kinnear 18 and, batting at number eight, Dodds Snr,. who made 30 and worked well with the tail to take the score to 173 all out.
Perhaps needing to score at just over three runs per over didn’t seem such a huge task to the Carlton batsmen.
But, once Dodds and Gillin opened the bowling, Carlton found themselves with a mountain to climb.
Dodds took the wickets of Shah and Martin with the second and third balls of the first over, one caught behind by ‘keeper Warrender and the other a juggling catch by Dathorne.
Gillin took the third wicket in the fourth over and shell-shocked Carlton were five wickets down for 30 runs after 12 overs.
Young Gillin had also clean-bowled Wells (7) and Letts (11) during this spell.
Anderson kept the pressure on by removing the potentially dangerous Barrett (3).
Allardice and Carlton captain Pietsch showed stout resistance, taking to the bowling of Scott in particular, who seemed to find great difficulty in finding his usual nagging line and length on the sloping Grange Loan wicket.
However, with perseverance and tremendous encouragement from his team-mates, Scott eventually bowled Pietsch (15) with a slow off-cutter.
N. Ali, replacing Anderson, then bowled Allardice for a very good 46.
With eight wickets down, the captain gave the ball to Gillin, who promptly took the last two wickets, one thanks to a fine stumping by Warrender.
Carlton were all out for 107 in 36 overs and Largo had won by 66 runs.
This was a great team effort but special praise went to the seemingly unflappable Hughes Gillin, for his tremendous bowling figures of five wickets for 16 runs from seven overs, and to Graham Dodds Snr for his two wickets for 18 runs from eight overs, plus his 30 runs.
The selectors could have difficult decisions to make when the missing ‘first teamers’ become available again.
With players having to move up, there was an impact on other teams, with the 2nds losing to SMRHS and the 3rds to Kirk Brae.
A Stirling, the 4ths lost to Stirling County 4 in a very close match, with Largo falling just four short of a win.
Dick Dakin’s 55 and Dale Caton’s 36 saw Largo to 142 all out, in response to Stirling’s 146 for five.
In the President’s Plate semi-final at East Drive on Sunday, a much-changed 3/4s team lost to a strong Holy Cross 2, who go on to play Tranent in the final.
The visitors’ McGill took five wickets for four runs in dismissing Largo for a lowly 49. Cross reached the 50 required for the loss of one wicket.