First Blood to Knights in U15s Competition
From Alan Patterson
The first Inter-Regional match of the season took place on Sunday 1st June, with the Eastern Knights hosting the Caledonian Highlanders at Loretto School. After winning the toss on a fairly sunny day, the home captain, James Dickinson, opted to bat. The Highlanders’ bowlers struggled to control the ball early on, contributing to a large number of wides, but Kaleem Baretto still managed to get an important breakthrough with the wicket of in-form batsman Angus Hinton, well caught by the diving Calum Garden behind the stumps.
Finlay McCreath then joined Jamie Crawley at the crease, and the two began building an impressive partnership. Crawley was first to reach his 50 (from 84 balls) but was followed closely by McCreath, who hit two sixes and five fours in his 97-ball 61. When he was out to Aaron Grayson’s fourth ball, the pair had put on almost 150 for the second wicket. The return of opening bowler Baretto then accounted for the Knights’ captain, Dickinson, and when Crawley fell shortly after for an impressive 88 (135 balls), the Highlanders sensed an opportunity to get back in the game.
Baretto in particular took the game to the middle and late order batsmen, as he picked up two further wickets and a catch to remove Martin, McIntosh and Hancock. Some sharp fielding from the Caley boys prevented the Knights’ tail from wagging, and the innings closed on 256-9 from 50 overs, with Baretto finishing on 4-60, with Aidan Brown and Aaron Grayson picking up two wickets each.
In reply, the Highlanders capitalised on some loose early bowling and raced to 36-0 from 6 overs. Eric McIntosh then induced the captain Rory Johnston into cutting a short ball straight into the hands of Callum Martin at point. Calum Garden joined Ben Pearson at the crease and the two looked in control at the crease, but were unable to keep the scoreboard ticking over at the required rate as the Knights’ bowlers found their radar. Oliver Brown in particular kept things tight as he bowled five overs for just eight runs.
The breakthrough for the bowlers came when Calum Everett clean bowled Ben Pearson, which was followed soon by a wicket for Brown. Garden and Baretto attempted to rebuild, but the introduction of spinners James Dickinson and Andrew Appleton effectively ended Caley’s hopes of a successful run chase as both kept the runs to a minimum and Appleton picked up three wickets in one over, finishing with 4-25.
Two late stands between Aaron Grayson and Lachlan Peterson then Grayson and Owen Davies helped Caley up to three figures, but they finished all out on 136 from 45 overs, 120 runs short of the Knights’ imposing total.
The Caledonian Highlanders will have a chance to rebound on Sunday 8th June as they take on the Western Warriors at Lochlands, Arbroath. The Eastern Knights will be in action again on June 22nd.