History

In the early 1980s, several officers of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (HMCE) in Aberdeen played for various cricket teams in the the Aberdeenshire Cricket Association (ACA) Grades, but the catalyst for forming a club was the arrival from Glasgow of Len Barry. A scratch team was formed around Len and other grades regulars Dave Roberts, Ian Melvin and Graeme Anderson. The numbers were made up by other staff members, their friends, and others who worked in the port and airport.

In 1987 a team was entered into the Aberdeen Evening Cricket League (AECL), and in 1988 Customs and Excise joined the ACA Grades, starting off with a game on Duthie Park #3 against Queens Cross on the 30th April.

Fiddlers Bar on Crown Street was the "club house" in the early years, and it says much for the social side of the club that Bill Low, the owner of the bar, offered to sponsor the club and in 1989 purchased a full set of gear. Civil service rules prevented acceptance of his offer, so official links between the club and Customs and Excise were cut and Portcullis Cricket Club was born. (The name "Portcullis" is a reference to the ensign of HMCE.)

Involvement in the AECL finished after the 1989 season, except for a brief return from 1997 to 1999, and so it has been in the grades that the club has played most of its cricket. Portcullis originally played in grade 3, but was usually found in the lower reaches until in 1991 it was relegated to grade 4, and then to grade 5 in the subsequent year.

In 1994 Portcullis won its first trophy, capturing the grade 5 cup in a "David versus Goliath" battle against Queens Cross in the Duthie Park, and two years later the league title was won, securing promotion to grade 4, where the club remained for several years.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Portcullis, in common with many other clubs, struggling to form a full team on a regular basis. In 2000, Stephen Hall stepped in as Secretary to help the Club Captain David Bowie with the work of getting the teams together, but getting 11 players every weekend still proved to be hard work. Things began to change in 2001 with the launch of the club web site, which helped in the running the club and also attracted several new players.

A Herculean effort in 2002, combined with a fair amount of luck, saw Portcullis finally claw its way into one of the grade 4 promotion positions, returning to grade 3 in 2003 after a absence of 10 years. It just managing to hang on by the skin of its teeth, finishing 8th to avoid relegation by just one place.

2004 was a slightly more comfortable year, but in an extremely tightly fought grade Portcullis's position fluctuated between 4th and 9th. At one point there was even a possibility of promotion to grade 2, but a string of disappointing results at the end of the season meant that in the end it wasn't until an emphatic win over AGSFPs in the last game of 2004 that the possibility of relegation was finally removed. The 2004 season was also notable for an achievement which was possibly unique in the history of the club - Portcullis managed to turned out 11 players for every single game grades match, and on one occasion even loaned a player to their opponents! (Gareth Whitby - loaned to Queen's Cross on 12th June 2004).

2005 and 2006 were both good years, with David Bowie, Andrew Prentice, Sajid Hassan and Grant Huitson spearheading the attack. Portcullis fought hard but just failed to gain promotion to grade 2 on both occasions.

2007 saw the start of a slow reversal of Portcullis's fortunes. The loss of several key players were keenly felt, and it proved impossible to maintain our position in grade 3. 2008 saw the club back in grade 4 again, and striving to bounce back into grade 4. We finished 4th, and with some new recruits giving cause for optiimsm at the end of the season that the following year would be much better.

2009 started strongly, with 4 straight wins giving us a perfect start to the season.  However, this run of form came to an abrupt end when 4 of our best players decided they would be better off playing for Gordonians and all left in the space of a week. This caused us a great deal of problems and for the first time since 2004 that Portcullis could not field a full team. The remainder of the club rallied round and showed great determination, and although we failed to win another game all year we finished with a strong sense of common purpose and a determination to continue to continue the Portcullis tradition of playing the game with a smile, win or lose.

SeasonNotes
1987Customs & Excise cricket team formed. Enter AECL.
1988Customs & Excise enters the ACA Grades in grade 3, finishing 12th out of 15 sides.
1989Name changed to Portcullis.
Finished 6th out of 13 in grade 3 (P12, W6, D0, L6).
1990Withdraw from AECL.
Bottom in grade 3 (P10, W3, L7).
1991Bottom in grade 3 (P12, W1, L11). Relegated.
19928th (bottom) in grade 4 (P14, W2, L12). Relegated.
19936th of 8 in grade 5 (P13, W4, D1, L8).
19948th (bottom) in grade 5 (P14, W1, L13).
Won Johnstone Rose Bowl (Grade 5 cup).
19952nd in grade 5 (P10, W7, D2, L1).
1996Won Rennie Cup (G5 trophy) (P12, W10, L2). Promoted.
1997Enter a team in the AECL again.
4th in grade 4 (P14, W5, D1, L8).
1998AECL name changes to "Goldies Portcullis".
Andrew Prentice wins Cope Cup (Grade 4 Batting).
David Bowie wins Castles Cup (Grade 4 Bowling).
2nd in G4 (P12, W8, D2, L2).
1999Andrew Prentice wins Cope Cup (Grade 4 Batting).
David Bowie wins Castles Cup (Grade 4 Bowling).
Bob Adie wins "Performance of the month" for May.
5th in grade 4 (P10, W3, D3, L4).
2000Withdraw from AECL again.
Andy Prentice scores 197 v. Dunecht on DP#4.
6th in grade 4 (P9, W4, L5).
20013rd in grade 4 (P12, W8, L4).
20022nd in grade 4 (P10, W7, L3). Promoted.
20038th in grade 3 (P13, W4, L9).
20046th in grade 3 (P15, W7, L8).
20054th in grade 3 (P15, W7, D1, L7).
2006
4th in grade 3 (P15, W10, D0, L5).
2007
7th in grade 3 (P12, W3, D0, L9). Relegated to grade 4.
2008
4th in grade 4 (P10, W2, D1, L6)
2009
6th in grade 4 (P12, W4, D2, L6)

Bob Adie, David Bowie and Andrew Prentice collecting silverware in 1999