Village cricketers putting the F in Fife

The Falkland cricket team
The Falkland cricket team
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Back in 1985 Freuchie’s cricketers made waves when they won the final of the National Village Cup at Lord’s – and now Falkland are looking to create their own history by getting to “the home of cricket” themselves.

Today the Fifers take on Folkton and Flixton CC from Yorkshire at their home ground of Scroggie Park in the quarter-finals of the event, with the players knowing they are just two wins away from heading down to London to play at the most iconic cricket ground in the world.

Since 1972 the National Village Cup has seen around 300 clubs from villages across Britain battle it out for such an opportunity.

And as a result, if the weather stays good, then a crowd of well over 300 is likely to be in attendance to watch the remaining Scottish representatives play in the last eight.

Certainly there has been a great buzz generated by Falkland’s run this year which has already seen them get the better of Meigle, Freuchie, Wolviston from near Middlesbrough and East Ardsley from Yorkshire.

This event may put the first XI in the limelight, but it also allows others to hear about the great work Falkland do in the local community to bring cricket to youngsters at the foot of the Lomond Hills.

Lyle Robertson, 15, is a shining example of the young talent coming through the club’s ranks and he is due to be in the XI for today’s big match having taken three wickets in the last round.

Earlier in the week he helped Scotland under-15 defeat Durham at Myreside in Edinburgh and he said: “I started to play cricket at Falkland when I was ten after the club had come into my school and done some sessions to show us what it was all about.

“I have loved it ever since and Falkland is a great club to be at because the senior players and the coaches are very helpful and are always on hand to help you out with things. Getting into the first XI was quite nerve-wracking at first because it was a step up for me, but as I say all of the older players make me feel part of things and this Village Cup run has been exciting.

“Seeing the size of the crowd for the last round [against East Ardsley on July 8] was amazing and to know that so many people are willing us on to do well is brilliant. I am excited to play my part in this game.”

At the other end of the experience scale in today’s XI will be skipper Stuart Campbell.

The 39-year-old has been with the SPCU N-E Championship title chasers since 2011 and believes days like this are testament to the hard work done by president Robbie Nellies, Paul Watson and others behind the scenes.

“Falkland is a great community club, everything we do requires hard work from our band of volunteers and myself and the other players are keen to create our own bit of history in this year’s Village Cup for them,” Campbell stated.

“It is great to see so many local youngsters now connected with the club and training and playing week in, week out. If occasions like this can help to get even more youngsters linking up with Falkland then that would be brilliant – and I have faith that we can go out and give a good account of ourselves.”

Should Falkland progress today the semi-finals are due to be played on August 5 with the final set for September 16 at Lord’s.