FORFARSHIRE skipper Ryan Watson has announced he is to retire from all levels of cricket.
Ryan has been a great servant to Forfarshire as a professional, amateur and coach, and has also given many hours supporting the club’s activities off the field.
He has been instrumental in ‘Shire’s rise to prominence as a leading club in Scottish cricket. Only last week, on the occasion of his Scotland debut against Hampshire, Craig Wallace paid tribute to the help that Ryan had given him in reaching that milestone.
Ryan will certainly be missed on the pitch. How could any team not miss the services of a player who holds the record as Scotland’s most capped cricketter, holds the record as the highest ever run-scorer in the Scottish National League and is in the top dozen all-time wicket-takers in the SNCL.
His glittering Scotland career also brought huge honour and increased profile to Forfarshire.
Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, he settled in Scotland in the late 1990s.
A former Saltires captain, he became the country’s leading scorer of all time and still shares the record for the most caps (194) with Craig Wright. He earned the last of them against England last year, but has since slipped out of the international reckoning.
Ryan first arrived in Scotland as professional at Meigle and later played for Falkland before joining Forfarshire.
Some will no doubt argue that with his fitness not in question and aged just 35 this is perhaps a premature retirement. However, with a young family and a new business venture, it is perfectly understandable why Ryan has decided to call time on his playing career.
Hopefully he will still be able to spend some time at Forthill to support the juniors in particular. It would be a pity if his vast experience and outstanding coaching abilities were lost to the club and, more importantly, to the game of cricket.
Meanwhile, in the Falkland Sixes at Scroggie Park on Saturday, Forfarshire defeated Falkland XI by five wickets and Falkland by three wickets, but lost by four runs to Freuchie in the final.
Arbroath United XI v Forthill XI
On Sunday, Forthill XI completed their league fixtures with a narrow two-run defeat away to Arbroath United XI at Lochlands.
Arbroath United XI
A. Pedgrift b. S. Hill 0
G. Swann b. S. Hill 17
C. Cameron c. and b. A. Hill 21
B.A. Carnegie c. Welsh b. A. Cameron 47
R. Plomer c. S. Hill b. A. Cameron 39
B.C. Carnegie c. D. Sim b. Welsh 7
M. Swann b. Walker 2
M. Robb c. A. Hill b. A. Cameron 24
M. Fleming stm. D. Sim b. Walker 11
D. Bridges not out 1
Total nine wickets (45 overs) 199
O M R W
S. Hill 9 0 33 2
A. Hill 6 1 29 1
G. Carnegie 9 0 34 0
S. Cameron 4 0 32 0
A. Cameron 8 2 22 3
C. Welsh 4 1 18 1
C. Walker 5 1 23 2
A. Cameron b. Ross 2
S. Cameron c. Pedgrift b. Fleming 44
C. McConnachie b. Fleming 23
A. Hill run out 9
C. Walker stm. Swann b. Fleming 1
S. Carnegie b. B.A. Carnegie 19
G. Carnegie c. Plomer b. B.A. Carnegie 33
S. Sim stm. Swann b. B.A. Carnegie 3
D. Sim not out 22
S. Hill c. Pedgrift b. Cameron 2
C. Welsh not out 5
Total nine wickets (45 overs) 197
O M R W
R. Plomer 6 0 25 0
C. Ross 9 0 48 1
M. Fleming 9 2 19 3
M. Swann 5 0 29 0
C. Cameron 8 0 27 1
B.A. Carnegie 8 0 42 3
Result: Arbroath United XI, 25 points, beat Forthill XI, 11 points, by two runs, Clubsport Strathmore and Perthshire Union Division Two.
Clubsport Strathmore and Perthshire Union Division Two
P W T L BP Pts %
Dalnacraig 14 13 0 1 4 329 94.00
Arbroath Itd XI 14 12 0 2 7 307 87.71
Forthill XI 14 10 0 4 38 288 82.29
Glendelvine 13 9 0 4 24 249 76.62
Clack’ Cty XI 15 7 0 8 43 218 58.13
Strathmore XI 15 6 0 9 61 211 56.27
Rossie Priory XI 12 4 0 8 50 150 50.00
Almond Valley 14 4 0 10 57 157 44.86
Strathearn XI 15 4 0 11 46 146 38.93
Montrose 16 2 0 14 37 87 21.75
Forfarshire’s Junior Section held their annual prizegiving at Forthill on Friday night to bring an end to a season that showed high levels of enthusiasm across all age-groups along with notable improvements in performances.
Over 125 junior members participated in games or coaching throughout the season and for the first time an all girls game had taken place at Forthill.
Another first was a cricket-themed birthday party held on the ground.
The under-13s season was particularly encouraging, with six different batsmen contributing 30 or more on 16 occasions and some of the under-13 squad have already played senior cricket for the club.
The under-15s won three matches throughout the year, two of these in the last month of matches, so improvement over the season was evident.
The under-18s won six out of nine games played and many of the side are regulars in the second or third team.
Certificates were presented to all kwik-cricket participants before the following individual awards were made: Thistle Trophy, most improved junior, Andrew Cameron. John Adams Trophy, most promising junior, Jack Hogarth. Broughty Ferry Round Table Trophy, Craig Wallace, Aman Bailwal and Priyanaz Chatterji. Dick Auchinleck Trophy, Samir Hill.
Under-15 Batting Trophy, Scott Cameron. Under-15 Bowling Trophy, Jack Chinery. Under-13 Batting Trophy, Christian Robertson. Under-13 Bowling Trophy, Jack Hogarth.
The John Adams Trophy for the most promising junior has seen no less than eight of the previous recipients go on to represent Scotland at youth or senior level.
The Thistle Trophy for the most improved junior carries many familiar names since it was first awarded over 30 years ago, including that of current under-13 coach, Gordon Walker, who collected the award in 1977.