MURRAYFIELD DAFS CC – Club history (Detailed)

Murrayfield-DAFS Cricket Club was formed at the end of the 2000 season from the merger of two Edinburgh based clubs, Murrayfield CC and DAFS CC. Below is a brief history of the two parent clubs.

Murrayfield CC

Worth waiting for but here is the illustrious history of London Road/Murrayfield CC – thanks to Andy Piggott

Foundation

The club was founded in 1909 as London Road Church CC (The Church is situated on the corner of London Road/Easter Road in the East End of Edinburgh). It all began in the Reverend John Anderson’s bible class where a number of the members were enthusiastic followers of the game and decided that a team should be formed. The historic decision was agreed on 25th May 1909, but the first game was not played until a year later, the opponents being another Church team, Central Wesleyians.

The club continued to be part of London Road Church until 1952 when differences of opinion over the playing of cricket on Sundays compelled them to sever their ecclesiastical ties and become simply London Road CC.

Following a somewhat nomadic existence over various Edinburgh parks, the club settled into Roseburn Park, in the shadow of Murrayfield rugby stadium, in the 1950’s. The club changed its name once more in 1992 to Murrayfield CC, assuming a degree of local identity.

London Road CC joined the East of Scotland League in the early 1950’s, around about the same time as the breakaway from the church. They have played in every Division, reaching Division 2 in 1989 and Division 1 in 1996. There has been success in the Edinburgh Public Parks Trophy competition (winners 16 times) and the club reached the semi-final of the Masterton Trophy in 1967.

1960’s

The club was probably at it’s strongest during the 1960’s, when London Road legends such as Stan Duncan, Robin Ballantyne, Eddie Robson, Jim Duncan, David Fraser and Bill Wilson were at their peak. Indeed, the 1967 team is often regarded as the finest ever as London Road CC swept all before it, winning the Grade ‘A’ League, the Parks Trophy and reaching the semi-final of the Masterton Trophy.

1970’s

The 1970s were relatively lean years by comparison as the club went through a period of transition following the heady days of the 1960s. It was during this time, however, that the foundations for later success were being built, with Watsonian schoolboys Mark Everett, Tim Bunker, Steve Lockhart and Phil Yelland joining the fray. Significantly, one has remained. Scott Anderson (‘A Touch of Class’), Davie Fisher and Paul Leighton also started their long and distinguished association with the club around about this time.

1980’s and recent history

Things were looking up in the 1980’s and a 2nd XI was formed in 1983 and a 3rd XI in 1989, the year of the club’s 80th Anniversary. A decision was taken in 1992 to change the name of the club once again to Murrayfield CC, and in 2001 it was decided to merge with DAFS CC, a club who had themselves been struggling to survive in the East League.

The 1st and 2nd XI now play at the well appointed Civil Service Sports Ground in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh, whilst the 3rd XI maintain the links with Murrayfield, playing their home games at Roseburn Park, in the shadows of the stadium. The new club appears to be heading in the right direction once again, and we are hopeful of continued success.

Players

The club has produced some fine players over the years, many moving on to play for senior Edinburgh clubs and even Scotland (David Fraser from the 1960s and, more recently, Fraser Watts who moved onto Carlton CC and international recognition). We like to think that we trained Fraser well to carry the drinks !!!!

Probably one of the most revered cricketers over the years for the club was Stan Duncan, whose long association with the London Road CC stretched from 1932 to 1973. Stan was widely regarded as one of the finest players in East League and Edinburgh Parks cricket and became affectionately known as ‘Mr London Road’.

London Road CC can also claim to have had a player who has played in European football. Murray McDermott spent most of his footballing career with Raith Rovers but spent some time latterly with Hearts and on 7th September 1988 substituted for Henry Smith in a UEFA Cup tie against St Patricks in Dublin.

Great Moments

Great cricketing moments for the club, apart from the unparalleled success of the 1960’s, must include the dismissal of Bangour Hospital for 7 (only 5 scoring shots!!) in 1955 and Robin Ballantyne achieving the rare feat of all 10 Leith Accies wickets for 35 runs in 1966. Andy Piggott

DAFS CC

The clue to DAFS Cricket Club origins lies in the name, formed by staff working for the then Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Scottish Office in around 1920??  The club maintained a steady presence in the top of Grades with a natural home in Grade B of the East of Scotland League with three brief journeys into the dizzy heights of Grade A in 19??, 19?? and 1997.

The 1997 adventure followed promotion as Grade B champions and it was in that promoted season that the club secured one its most glorious victories- a defeat of Heriots 2 on their own patch after the home side had amassed 233 for 3.  Heriots had concluded that as the visitors could not seemingly bowl or field then they couldn’t bat and so declared after only 40 overs! They were grossly mistaken and with contibutions from Lane 75, Hubbard 49, Sunter 31, and Anderson 24 it was left to Joshi (with the most defiant 0 not out one could imagine) and el capitano Shiels to steady a late collapse to see DAFS home –  much to the non-amusement of Heriots and delight of DAFS. A defeat which cost Heriots dear and ultimately the Grade A title that year- we wept tears (of mirth) for them.

The stay in Grade A was brief though not without some honour as although DAFS managed only second bottom with a weakened team this was in fact the highest ever position in the Club’s history. This sadly was the high-water mark for the Club and the team began to struggle to put out a full XI as players who had been the bedrock of the side for many years aged beyond being able to move in the field or were faced other commitments. Some players, no doubt seeing the writing on the wall, were desparate enough to start families. The club was forced to stoop to drastic measures, sinking as low as having to employ the talents of mercenaries from the southern-hemisphere (only kiddin’ fellas).

The final year of DAFS saw the emergence of a truly great 8 a-side team, sadly having to compete in a 11-a- side game.  Merger with Murrayfield was the only realistic way forward other than mass, cult-style suicide which had incidently been the team’s batting strategy for several years.

So R.I.P. DAFS CC, a team of stout heart with latterly a consistently strong bowling attack and consistently inconsistent batting bar a star or two. But we always had a larff (when not falling out with the opposition).  Did someone say Cupar?