TWENTY three years ago his father wrote himself into Scottish sporting history when he captained Scotland’s rugby players to a famous win – and today Chris Sole will aim to play his part as Barclays Grange’s cricketers attempt to win the Scottish Cup.
Back in 1990, Chris’ father David, below, was at the forefront of Scotland’s 13-7 Murrayfield victory over England which clinched the Five Nations title and Grand Slam.
Although today’s Scottish Cup final between Grange and their Edinburgh rivals Carlton may not grab the attention of the public as much as that iconic match did, victory would still be just as sweet for either set of players.
In his final year at Merchiston Castle School in 2011/12, Chris ruptured ankle ligaments, putting his sporting aspirations on hold. But three months at the Bracewell Cricket Academy in New Zealand earlier this year helped him rediscover his passion for the sport.
The 19-year-old said: “The time in Hawkes Bay really was a great experience. We got to train a lot and work on all aspects of our game, while we put into practice what we had worked on whilst playing for local clubs at the weekends.
“When I came back with the Scottish cricket season edging closer, I was able to hit the ground running and link up with Grange. I was brought into the first XI at the start of the summer and haven’t really look back since.”
He took three wickets for just 20 runs with his seamers in the second match of the season – against Dundee HSFP in the pool stages of the Scottish Cup – and, since then, he has been a constant presence in the Grange bowling attack.
“I have enjoyed testing myself against some good batsmen in the CSL Eastern Premier Division this summer and it makes you learn quickly that there is no margin for error at this level,” he said.
Chris’ younger brother Tom, 17, has also impressed at Grange this summer and, although not included in the final squad, has a bright future and scored 360 runs to help the second XI win their league.
Older brother Jamie, 24, was due to play for Edinburgh Accies in their RBS Premiership rugby match against Glasgow Hawks this weekend and Chris added: “From a young age we were always playing sport, given dad’s background. He he is quite a keen cricket follower now and gets along to watch me and Tom play when he can, giving friendly advice across the boundary!”
Sole is just one of many young players hoping to light up the showpiece event today at New Williamsfield.
Team-mates George Munsey and Zander Muir, as well as Carlton’s Kyle Macpherson, Fraser Allardice, Kyle Stirling and Chayank Gosain are all up-and-comers.
Grange go into the match on a high, having won the Murgitroyd T20 national event at Poloc last Sunday, while Carlton, in their 150th year, are desperate to win the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history, with captain Preston Mommsen set to be declared fit.