Falkland up against old friends Freuchie
From Neil Drysdale
So much has been written about Freuchie over the last 28 years, since they won the National Village Cup at Lord's, that it is sometimes easy to forget another Fife club, just a few miles away, has forged a deep-rooted attachment to cricket.
All of which adds piquancy to the fact that Falkland and Freuchie have been drawn together in the Scottish group stages of the village competition and will lock horns at the picturesque Scroggie Park on Sunday.
These age-old hamlets have engaged in many keenly-fought battles in the past, and there are myriad tales - most of them apocryphal - relating to the depth of hostility between the two communities.
But this weekend's contest should be one of the day's biggest attractions, given an unusually positive weather forecast, arrangements for a barbecue at the Falkland locale, and the prospect of a cracking tussle between two evenly-matched teams.
"This is our second go at it, because last Sunday's initial game had to be called off due to rain," said Falkland's president, player and general factotum, Paul Watson. "That was frustrating, considering that we haven't been in the Village Cup for more than 20 years, but we are all relishing the chance to meet Freuchie, because they have done marvellously well in the tournament and, credit to them, they helped put Scottish cricket on the map.
"Everybody knows about their pedigree, and they still have some very talented guys, such as the Birrells [Robbie and Scott], Scott Gourlay and Davie Cowan.
"We are a younger side, and none of us have ever been in the Village Cup before, so it will be a brand new experience for the lot of us.
"But we are looking forward to it and it looks as if we will get a match played, rather than having to rely on a bowl-out or a toss of the coin, which was a genuine possibility at one stage."
Watson and his personnel are anticipating a significant crowd to arrive at their venue for the 40-over fixture, commencing at 2pm. They have the barbecue fired up, plenty of barrels of beer at the ready and their supporters will turn out in big numbers, but they know that an equally large number of cricket aficionados will make the short journey from Freuchie to attend the proceedings.
"It is just another game, but we realise, once the action starts, it will be an intense afternoon," said Watson. "We want to see how far we can go in the tournament and if we can win on Sunday, and go forward to the next stage, we might have the opportunity to travel down to England at some stage next month. We're not getting ahead of ourselves - Freuchie's record in this event is remarkable - but we want to make some headlines of our own in the Village Cup."