End of season Bash

Last night saw NCCC members celebrate their season with friends and family at the Crown Court Hotel.


Welcome drinks were followed by a Curry Buffet and then the most desserts ever assembled in one place! It was delicious. Thanks to Steve and his Pixies.

Once we had eaten we moved in to the awards for the season.

All members of the squad who had helped win the Senior knock out cup received a commemorative medal from our greatest supporter Dickie Carr (apart from Boomer and Molie, whose medals had gone astray!! – They’re in the post guys, honest!.

1st XI batting award – Dave Dugdale

1st XI bowling award – Matthew Latimer

2nd XI Bowling award – Stewart Lackie

Players Player – Pat Cronin

Most Improved player – Greg MacDowell

Duck award – Matthew Latimer


This season has been an amazing team effort on and off the field so to you guys above and everyone who has, made a cake, turned up to watch, given time to do stuff, transported players etc etc. THANK YOU AND WELL DONE.

Next Season BRING A MATE.

NoSCA League – Final Weekend Round-Up by Stewart Lackie

The final weekend of the 2017 NoSCA cricket season ended on a very disappointing note with both matches being rained off. Northern Counties senior side continued to improve this season finishing in a creditable third place in the NoSCA Senior League (one place higher than last year) having already won the Knock-out Cup.

Northern Counties Cricket Club congratulates Forres St Lawrence on securing the senior league title. The cup final win against League Champions Forres underlines just how far Northern Counties have come in the three years since promotion from the reserve league. And, having beaten Highland in both their senior encounters this season, Northern Counties regain the Inverness bragging rights this winter.

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In the Second XI League, Mike Evans’ side also improved their win percentage while fielding an increased number of juniors, some of whom turned out regularly for the senior team. Northern Counties Cricket Club congratulates Inverness rivals Highland’s Second XI on winning all three trophies on offer this season. The first time this feat has been achieved.

A more detailed review of the season will be served up at the end of season dinner and awards night at the Crown Court Hotel on Friday 29th September – 6.30pm for 7.15pm. Make sure you get your tickets!


The “Factory” from the air.


Cashed in my Christmas present the other day – a chance to fly a light aircraft for an hour or so.

So, obviously, I had to fly over the “Field of Dreams”.

What a great experience – I’d recommend it to anyone. Hands on flying from the moment you get in the air.

If you had an hours flight where would you go?


Match Report – NCCC v Elgin by Scott Campbell

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Having a very good batsman in one’s side was lucidly revealed at the Northern Meeting Park, Inverness where Dave Dugdale of Northern Counties scored 14 more runs than the Elgin team put together.
The visitors chose to field and were soon under the cosh as Dugdale took a liking to their attack. He helped himself to three boundaries off J. McWilliam and a couple from the bowling of McCarthy. Such was the scoring rate, the home club reached 50 by the 9th over. Dugdale’s half-century came in 42 minutes and had included seven fours. Meanwhile, his teenage partner, MacDowall, was lending good support in a more restrained fashion.
The first six from Dugdale came off K. McWilliam as the ball soared over long on. Another off the same bowler crashed into the trees and the ball could not be found. Wimble was planted over mid on for four and the 100 opening partnership had arrived by the 22nd over; MacDowall’s contribution being but 14 runs.
Being somewhat partial to the bowling of K. McWilliam, Dugdale swept him for four and again hoisted him for six in the same direction as his previous two. On 115, MacDowall, after batting in a very solid manner, was adjudged leg before to K. McWilliam who ought to have accepted a return catch from the first delivery Smith faced. In his following over, he again grassed a chance off his own bowling from the bat of Dugdale, who was then spilled at mid wicket by his son, Jordan.
Just when it appeared the Counties’ captain was destined to reach three figures, he tried to sweep Hawkins and the ball lobbed gently off the back of his bat into the gloves of E. Fairgrieve. It had been an outstanding knock in which he notched 10 fours and 3 sixes.
The spate of dropped catches had now set in, as D. Fairgrieve, after two bites of the cherry, missed Ireland at short cover. He in turn being spilled by S. Fairgrieve at mid wicket. On 140, Smith was taken at gully off Hawkins who had to witness K. McWilliam give Ireland a third life. A full toss from the same bowler was swatted over long on for six by Eshwara, while the same treatment was dished out to Wimble. At last, K. McWilliam remembered the benefits of the product called Bostik as he clung on to a catch from the bat of Ireland.
A second victim for Hawkins but, in the same over, he was struck for six by Eshwara and four by Cronin. The McWilliam combination saw the end of Cronin as father took a good running catch at long off from his son’s bowling. The very next delivery saw Eshwara guide it into the hands of Hawkins at point.
Latimer, from the off, put bat to ball and along with Thomas added 28 runs before the latter was well pouched by Wimble at gully off McCarthy. Lean played on to the same bowler and a final total of 211 for 8 appeared too high a target for their opponents to chase down.
The reply got off to the worst, possible start as D. Fairgrieve spooned a simple ctach to Thomas at mid wicket off Mills who then had his son, Euan, leg before. By over 10, Elgin had only mustered 9 runs and there was virtually no hope from then onwards.
Very refreshing to see S. Fairgrieve adopt an aggressive approach from the outset. He pinged Mills to the long leg boundary and hit her over mid off for six; in but one over he had doubled the total.
He picked up a few twos and then pulled Ireland past mid on for four. A ball from Thomas lifted more than expected and the batsman could only steer it to the waiting hands of Ireland at mid wicket – 41 for 3.
The 50 arrived in the 19th over and the following one saw Major edge Thomas for four. However, he presented Latimer with a comfortable catch at cover off Ireland and next to depart was K. McWilliam. The ball came off his gloves and was excellently caught by a diving Eshwara in the gully.
All along, Wimble had appeared quite at ease albeit not producing many attacking shots. Another fine catch by Thomas at two-thirds square leg saw Hawkins pavilion bound. After defying the home bowlers for 28 overs, Wimble, trying to cut, faint edged to Dugdale behind. Duncan was bowled by Eshwara and the final act of aggression saw J. McWilliam pull Lean for four. The next ball had his stumps disturbed. Into over 33 and an edge from Sadler was taken by the keeper.
A mere four boundaries and one maximum off nearly 200 balls was rather disappointing to say the least. It was the same old story due to the majority of the batsmen being out to poor shot selection. Unless Elgin defeat Huntly tomorrow at the Cooper Park, they could again finish bottom of the league.
BELL’S MAN OF THE MATCH: Once more a very easy choice in the form of Dugdale. A consistent run-getter and I like his positive approach to batting. This innings certainly puts him in contention for the quaich for the best individual performance as seen by yours truly in his reporting capacity. As regards Elgin, S. Fairgrieve showed how the ball can be dispatched and not just defensively prodded. Wimble played the anchor role but other than the aforementioned, didn’t find anyone who could stay in the middle long enough with him.
Northern Counties 211 for 8 (D. Dugdale 99; N. Eshwara 23; M. Latimer 20 not out)
20 pts
C. McCarthy 2 – 31; C. Hawkins 2- 37; J. McWilliam 2- 40
Elgin 85 all out (S.Fairgrieve 30; R. Wimble 25) 5pts
J. Mills 2- 19; S. Thomas 2- 19; N. Ireland 2- 31

A premonition ?

Taken from a Facebook entry by Stewart Lackie before the Cup Final.


Northern Counties may be underdogs against current league leaders Forres St Lawrence, who boast the North’s best batsman Pal Dhami backed-up by three bowlers currently sitting pretty in the top ten, but the Inverness side have great team spirit and are putting out an excellent side that continues to improve.

Talismanic skipper Dave Dugdale leads the charge along with Will Ford who has found some form with the bat himself recently.

It has been a pleasure to welcome Richie Smith back into the squad this year. If he applies himself on Sunday we all know he is capable of a big score.

There are rumours that Pat Cronin changed his diet recently as the old man of the team now appears to have enough strength to remain in the middle long enough to score a 50.

Arguably the league’s top all-rounder, Nuwan Eshwara continues to frustrate opposition batsmen and bowlers despite him never bothering to turn up for training. He could be a key man if he fires with either the bat or the ball on Sunday.

Popular good guy Stevie Donald will be involved in all aspects of the game but watch how quick he is between the wickets. If he’s batting with Nuwan there is always a chance of a run out.

Jess Mills returns to the side after her recent Scotland International call ups. She will be keen to bag a few wickets to help her club side win the cup for the first time since 1988. We are hoping the vice-captain from that year, club legend Bob Miller, is able to turn up on Sunday to cheer the team on.

Fast bowlers and products of our long-term youth policy, Matty Latimer and Shaun Thomas are both all grown up now and will be keen to test themselves against a strong Forres batting line-up. They will want to add to the 28 wickets they have picked up between them so far this season.

With youth players Gregor McDowall and Nicky Ireland being called up to the first team, the side has a young feel and demonstrates that the future for Northern Counties remains bright. Both players have demonstrated excellent talent with bat and ball over the last few months and will be relishing the big occasion.

Let’s hope that the weather behaves itself and that it’s a great game of cricket between two closely matched sides.


Well, the weather behaved itself and it was great game with some fireworks thrown in.

Everyone played a part in this historic win over Forres. Pat Cronin getting man of the match for his 3 wickets and an outstanding catch on the boundary.

This has to be our new base line now. A fielding, batting and bowling performance that has been coming all season, timed to perfection.

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Awards and Dinner evening

Click on the link below for details of our End of Season Awards night and Dinner.

We have had a good season despite the weather. Plenty of great, good and not so good performances along the way as well as plenty of laughs and enjoyment.

We’ve seen the emergence of some bright new talent at the start of a new era for our Club.

Everyone deserves an award but a huge “Thank You” from the 1st and 2nd XI Captains and Committee might have to do for some.


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Well done to Mike Evans

A big THANK YOU to Mike Evans and his elves who, despite this being the coldest August for 30 years, managed to prepare grass wickets at the Northern Meeting Park that produced over 800 runs in two matches at the weekend.

On Saturday Northern Counties First XI scored 232-6 and, in reply, Fort William scored 215. On Sunday the Aberdeenshire Cricket Association Grades Select scored 226 with NoSCA Select making 138. Impressive work from the groundsmen (and the batsmen of course). Who’d want to be a bowler at the Northern Meeting Park these days?

(Thanks to Stewart Lackie for the above Facebook post)


Weekend report by Stewart Lackie

Mixed fortunes at the weekend. An excellent win for the First XI at home to Fort William. Batting first, Northern Counties reached 232 for the loss of 6 wickets in the allotted 45 overs. The middle order of the batting fired this weekend as Nuwan Eshwara top-scored with 84 not out, supported by Pat Cronin with his first 50 of the season. Fort William fought hard in reply with A Anjum and DJ Duncan scoring 74 and 48 respectively. Counties’ bowlers Shaun Thomas (3 wickets) and Matty Latimer (2 wickets) chipped away at the Fort batsmen who eventually came up just short of the winning total on 215 all out.

Northern Counties (20 points) beat Fort William (8 points) by 17 runs and remain in 3rd place in the NoSCA league table.

In the Reserve T20 Finals, Northern Counties second XI came up against clear favourites Highland in the morning match, losing by 101 runs. In the next game Elgin also proved too strong for a Counties side which included a number of juniors, this time coming up 47 runs short of the required total of 144. Highland comfortably defeated Elgin in the last match by 147 runs and so retained their Reserve T20 trophy. Congratulations to deserved winners Highland and thank you for hosting the day.

Finally, our best wishes go to Jess Mills who is representing Scotland in the two ICC World Cup Qualifier matches against the Netherlands the USA this week. Let’s hope the weather behaves itself and you get to play some cricket.



Another close one.


It’s alway good to welcome Fort William to the Factory and Saturday was a well fought out encounter against the lads who had beaten us earlier in the season.

The start was dogged by rain to begin with but by 2 pm the match was well on its way with Counties winning the toss and, unusually, deciding to bat first. Good performances from every batsman gave us a strong total of 232 after 45 overs. Our fielding performance,however, was not so sparkling – unusually for us – with numerous catching opportunities missed.

The second half saw Fort William come out all guns blazing and despite Shaun and Matty taking regular and vital wickets they came far too close for comfort  before being bowled out for 215.

Another great game for the neutral but no good for my ticker!

Northern Counties 232/6 (45 overs)

N.Eshwara 84 not out
P.Cronin 50
DJ.Duncan 3-32

Fort William 215 all out

A.Anjum 79
DJ.Duncan 48
S.Thomas 3-34
M.Latimer 2-29


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Keep it rolling!

Saturday saw the 1st team bag 3 points at Nairn with an impressive all round performance.

We did well to restrict Nairn to 138/6 of 45 overs. Scotland international Jess Mills picking up 2 wicket in her 9 overs.

Will Ford is continuing his current good form with a soild 45.

Nicky Ireland and Gregor Mcdowell enjoyed some much needed time at the crease after being promoted to middle order duties.

Up next Fort William at the Factory.

A win here would keep the pressure on the teams around us.

(photo thanks to Gary Anthony)