bute finally returned to action on Saturday with a three-wicket home win over Kirkstyle in the WDCU Championship.
After the persistent rain of the last few weeks Bute were delighted to get the chance to play again, and they took to the field against a weakened Kirkstyle side - while the captain and two players had taken advantage of the chance to stay overnight with their wives before the game, some other players decided an island expedition was a trip too far.
Kirkstyle’s captain won the toss and decided to bat, and though their openers got off to a steady start, they lost their first wicket in the ninth over to Chris South, who brought the ball back in from a good length and clean bowled Ruddock, who had scored 17 of the visitors’ 21 runs up to that point.
Bute’s quick bowlers were occasionally helped by a pitch which had suffered in the poor weather, though their cause was not aided by a few dropped catches.
The thorn in Bute’s side was Salman, who kept Kirkstyle’s innings together and kept the score ticking along, prompting Bute skipper Mark Crichton to opt for a change of tactic, introducing spinners Alan Peacock at the cemetery end and then Gary Dickinson at the football end.
Peacock broke what was developing into a good Kirkstyle partnership when he dismissed Marshman with the score at 73 for four after 25 overs, and though only one more wicket followed in the next ten overs, to Dickinson, all of a sudden Kirkstyle were all out for 110.
Dickinson took all the rest of the Kirkstyle wickets to finish with figures of five for 15 off seven overs - his first ever five-wicket haul in a league match.
Mention must also be made of Jonathan Mann, keeping wicket for Bute for the first time, who performed well after shaking off some early rustiness - and took his first catch for the club into the bargain.
Knowing there were a few demons in the pitch, Bute began their innings looking for a steady start, with a run rate of two an over not looking too much of a challenge.
Unfortunately things lokoed a bit shaky early on, and the hosts were struggling at 22 for three before Mark and Guy Crichton steadied the ship with a 30-run partnership.
Mark was caught and bowled by Salman with the score on 53 for four, and that soon became 53 for five and 64 for six - meaning that when Dickinson came out to the crease he was advised only: “Don’t get out!”.
Guy’s defensive ploy was to start hitting boundaries, and he took Bute to within touching distance of the finishing line at 108 before giving a return catch to Marshman, who had come back on to try and finish off the hosts.
By then, though, it only remained for Dickinson to strike the final blow with a boundary, and the game was Bute’s with three wickets and 21 overs to spare.
For more info on Bute CCC see the club’s new website - www.butecricket.co.uk. Thanks to Arthur for creating the site at no charge, and to ‘UFOPilot’ for giving kind permission to use all his fantastic action shots.
* Bute’s next game in the WDCU Championship is this Saturday, June 11, when Anniesland are the visitors to Rothesay.