Over the years we were used to seeing Scotland’s Hugo Southwell catching high balls on the rugby field, but on Thursday evening you would have found him batting at Carlton’s Grange Loan ground in a cricket final.
Southwell had a distinguished rugby union career, earning 59 caps for Scotland between 2004 and 2011 at full-back and playing professionally for Edinburgh, Stade Francais and Wasps.
When he was a youngster Southwell was an accomplished cricketer and came through the youth ranks at Sussex before deciding to go to university and then head down the rugby route.
He retired from the oval ball game in 2014 and, after relocating to Edinburgh with his wife and young family, joined up with Carlton in 2016.
It just so happened that that year coincided with Carlton winning the CSL Eastern Premier Division – Southwell playing his part – and although work commitments with Trotter UK, the outdoor advertising company, and family now mean he cannot commit to weekend cricket he has still been playing in the midweek Masterton Trophy event this summer.
Last Tuesday evening Carlton became the first side through to the final with an away win over Mazars Grange in the last four of the localised T20 tournament.
Batting first at Portgower Place, Grange made 123-9 with Tom Foulds scoring 34, skipper Preston Mommsen 30 and Dylan Budge 22. Michael Castle was the pick of the Carlton bowlers.
In their reply Carlton progressed to 58-1 after 10 overs and gave themselves a good platform.
In the end they won by eight wickets with Southwell leading the way with 57 not out and Rory McCann making 29.
“I have always loved my cricket and being involved in the Masterton this year lets me keep my hand in,” Southwell, now 38, said.
“There are some great young players coming through at Carlton and the player/coach Michael Castle and captain Ali Evans are doing a great job at bringing them on.
“At the start of the season in 50-over cricket the team was a bit inconsistent, but the younger players have come onto a game and are learning all of the time and that has helped us in this Masterton run too.
“To defeat Grange at any time is a big scalp and last week in the Masterton semi-final on a very good batting wicket our bowlers did a superb job.
“They restricted Grange very well and that made our job as batsmen that bit easier.
“T20 is an exciting brand of cricket and because of its nature things can change very quickly.”
In the second semi, that Southwell mentioned, last Thursday, Corstorphine batted first at Goldenacre and set off like a train, racing to 98-1 from just the first nine overs.
Heriot’s managed to peg them back, but they still posted 150-7 with Elliot Foster top scoring with 60.
In reply Heriot’s knew they had a tough task and the pressure was always on.
Jacob Wood ended up with four wickets as Corstorphine won by 33 runs.
That brought us to the final and Southwell certainly played a big part, hitting 58 as Carlton batted first and posted a total of 132-7.
Corstorphine gave it a good go in reply, but eventually they were all out for 104 as the host club won by 28 runs and Southwell and co claimed some silverware.
Thanks to John Boyd for the image
The Masterton Trophy final took place yesterday evening at Grange Loan between Carlton and RH Corstrphine.