Umpiring in Scotland
On 31st May I flew from Belfast International to Glasgow international. Where I was met by the infamous Mac Wylie.
On the way to hotel Mac filled me in on some old stories of Paddy O'Hara and himself. I think these two guys getting together over a Beer could be funnier than Morecombe and Wise.
Though on some occasions, would be more like an old married couple.
Upon arrival at the hotel I was met by my colleague for the day Eric Young, who I'd previously umpired with back in 2012 at Muckamore.
So after Breakfast Mac, Eric and I headed off to Ayr, for the scheduled WDCU Premier League Game between Ayr & Drumplier. As we arrived at the ground the weather was fantastic, with the temperature in the high 20's. At this point Mac left us to it and Eric and I went over the current regulations for the Premier League Game.
After completing a Ground Inspection, we met both Captains in the middle for the Toss.
As part of Pre-Match consultation I was presented with a Team Sheet, with Player Names along with Photographs, something which we do not use at home.
Ayr won the Toss and decided to bat.
Surprisingly for this fixture, there were no Powerplays or Fielding restrictions, apart from the standard, 'no more than 5 fieldsman on the leg side'.
The only other difference was that they used 'Profile Wide's', something which I found out later that the players hate.
Ayr got off to a flying start, and seemed to punish every bad delivery, and racked up 340 for 5 in their 50 overs. A target the Drumpellier were always going to find difficult.
This was indeed the case, as Drumpellier were all out in 44 overs for 165.
I found both teams very professional and courteous, both on and off the field. The game itself passed with no major incidents, and as we headed back to Glasgow, we all felt that the Ayr side would be difficult to beat this season. This was found to be the case as Ayr ended up winning the League.
That evening, we met up with a few of our Scottish Colleagues and one of our Colleagues for the North West for an Indian and a few Cold Ones.
The following day I awoke to the Sun shining through the window, at breakfast Mac had confirmed that there was rain forecast for the afternoon, which seemed hard to believe as there was not a cloud in the sky.
However we headed off to Ferguslie, for their 2nd round Scottish cup game against Uddingston. The rules for this particular competition were very similar to our own Premier League and Challenge Cup rules. Apart from that we would be using a Pink ball, and the Profile Wide's did not apply.
The completion stated to use coloured clothing, however, this wasn't obligatory, so we ended up with one team in colours and one team in whites, and the reason for this is the Scottish cup is the only Competition where coloured clothing is used.
The match got under way, however, we only got 16 overs in, before the rains arrived, and unbeknown to us at this time, the rains were to last all day.
So after a few hours the game was officially abandoned.
I would highly recommend anyone who is offered the opportunity to umpire in Scotland to grab it with both hands, as you are made to feel extremely welcome by our Scottish Colleagues, Umpiring in a different place can only stand you in good stead for future progression.