In the latest of this season’s Thursday features, Gary Heatly catches up with Kinloch CC…
Kinloch CC’s first XI secured a confidence-boosting victory in the Strathmore and Perthshire Union N-E Championship last weekend and are looking forward to an exciting future.
For most of their history, the club has played in the second tier of the Strathmore and Perthshire Union, but about 10 years ago – upon finishing in the promotion places – they took the gamble and gave the top level a try.
Since then it’s been a challenging experience with wins at a premium and they have gone down and back up again three times from the league.
In 2019 they failed to win a single game in a 16 game campaign in the Championship, meaning that by the time they defeated Huntly by 18-runs last Saturday it was just over four years since their last triumph in the division.
Traditionally the club hails from the West End of Dundee and secretary Richard Bowman explains: “We played for many years at Lochee Park, however declining facilities across much of Dundee for cricket saw us leave and play at St Andrews University from 2000 until 2018.
“Restructuring of the pitch layout there in 2019 saw us needing a ground and Strathmore offered us an agreement whereby we leased their ground in Forfar on the match days that they were away from home. It has worked very well and I can’t say enough good things about our landlords.
“Up until 2018 we were a single team club, but in a move to expand our scope we started a second XI which plays now in the third tier of the Strathmore and Perthshire Union.
“The team had a full season in 2019 and did remarkably well which pleased many of us who never thought we would see the day Kinloch had more than one team.
“We also recently began a junior section which has a weekly coaching session at a weekend. That is done in Dundee where all our players still hail from.”
Bowman himself began playing cricket as a junior at Forfarshire and graduated to getting games across all three of their then senior teams.
His uncle had played for Kinloch in the early 1950s and in the 1980s Neil Crawford invited him along to the club – and he has never looked back.
Bowman said: “That’s 34 years now and I have had two jobs most of that time – secretary and opening bowler – and to date the haven’t replaced me in either role!
“The club is now very involved with Dundee’s Asian community and cricket has an ability to bring people from across the globe together and seeing that at your own club is very satisfying.
“We know that winning is still hard as there are many well-drilled teams in the league that our first XI play in. Huntly, whom we defeated last Saturday, have had the better of us four or five times before and we know hard work is needed to win more matches.
“For our second XI it would be good to have another solid season and hopefully see a few of the players move into the first team.
“In the longer term we would love to get back to playing in Dundee’s West End as the city has no real cricket club in that part of town.
“We are looking at various options, but there is still much work to do to make that a reality, the next steps as a club will only be cemented when we have a place we can call home.”
This coming Saturday the first XI are due to host Gordonians in the Strathmore and Perthshire Union N-E Championship.
Kinloch CC’s first XI are pictured after last weekend’s win