Branscombe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Fri 24 Apr 2015 at 6.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 5 wickets

Match report After a prolonged series of nets with many players honing their skills for the season ahead, (and many more relaxing and leaving it to chance that they will drop straight back into form after the winter lay-off), you might have expected a rush to play in the first full weekend of fixtures. Games on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday offered 33 Erratics the chance to get an early taste of competitive play, and yet Penny Price was presented with the perennial ‘selection’ problem: a lack of players to ‘select’ from. She strove hard to field three teams, unfortunately having to cancel the Sunday match with only four Erratics in the frame for battle against the Philanthropists. She had secured eight (and a half) players for the Branscombe fixture which was enough to give it the go-ahead … though in the event we were only able to field seven Erratics.

Could it be that there were special circumstances? Is there perhaps a whole team of Erratics in the final throes of their preparation for Sunday’s London marathon? If so, at least they should be available next week. Or perhaps a party of Erratics is on the campaign trail, canvassing support before the election? If so, at least they should be available within a couple of weeks. [However, I suspect that this may not be the case … the Guardian’s website has a helpful interactive which sets out all the policies from all the political parties’ manifestos, but a search for cricket (or tennis, … or even sport for that matter) fails to bring up a single policy!]

So, at ten past six, with low cloud hugging the coast, and descending and thickening with alarming speed, the Erratics’ openers took the crease – a practical decision as at that time we were only six strong and the Branscombe colts, who had been promised to help us out, were still to return from their practice session in Seaton. The realigned wicket at Branscombe, which works particularly well, and negates the need for the old ‘straight drive six-and-out rule’, has yet to settle down, with a variable bounce exciting bowlers and batsmen alike. Danny Williamson and Ben Youngman played the uneven bounce assuredly and after two overs the Erratics already had 14 on the board. After the initial breakthrough, (Ben bowled for 6), Branscombe rotated their bowlers and didn’t allow the Erratics to settle. Danny went for 13, while Martin Wright, Jonathan Kirby and Penny herself all fell cheaply. Branscombe colt Tim, batting at number 6, was beginning to steady the innings when he played a fine shot into the covers … it looked like a comfortable single but a great pick-up and a direct hit throw found Penny just short of the crease. Gareth Oughton (judged caught behind), Jeff Haynes and colts Jed and Jack added a few more runs but the Erratics could only muster a total of 44 for 9 off almost 17 overs.

This was never going to be an easy total to defend but Gareth broke through with his second ball which rose steeply to catch opener Alex’s glove on it’s way through to Jonathan … except that apparently it didn’t catch the glove. Undeterred, Gareth clattered the sticks two balls later. Ben then bowled Branscombe’s number 3 for another duck, but their other opener, Bill, demonstrated how he had already adjusted to the realignment of the wicket with an array of shots to the short square boundaries. He raced to retirement at 25 at which point the match was already beyond the Erratics. A couple more wickets fell, another to Ben and one to colt Tim, but Branscombe reached a winning 45 for 5 within 9 overs. Tim’s performance (8 runs and one wicket in his one over) left the Erratics contemplating the development of its own colts team … would any players of ‘child-bearing’ age please take note!

There was no lighting in Branscombe’s pavilion, which was a shame because the dazzle which it likely would have caused on such a gloomy evening might have been an issue for the team batting second! However, the lighting was fine in the hall-cum-clubhouse, illuminating a great spread of fresh hot and cold food. The delicious carrot cake was only iced at the last minute – until an hour before the match it had still looked in danger of cancellation owing to the poor weather, and the cake was readied (without icing) for the freezer. Fortunately, the match was completed, and the cake was appreciatively consumed.

Before half the team set off into the rain and fog, to prepare themselves for the next day’s match, we reflected upon the end of our record-breaking ‘winning streak’ start to the 2015 season. Even in this defeat there were promising performances with both bat and ball to give hope of a summer of success …

Jeff Haynes

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4w 2lb 
for 9 wickets
Danny Williamson b Doulton 13
Ben Youngman b Wilcock 6
Martin Wright ct Doulton 1
Jonathan Kirby ct Fernley 1
Penny Price Run out  0
A.N. Other1 ct Fernley 8
Gareth Oughton ct Rogers 5
A.N. Other2 b Fowler 3
Jeff Haynes ct Shorthouse 1
A.N. Other3 Not Out  0
N.O. One  

Branscombe Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Branscombe Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2w 1b 1lb 
for 5 wickets
45 (8.3 overs)
Alex b Oughton 0
Bill Retired Not Out  25
Dan b Youngman 0
Graeme b Youngman 7
Brendon b (Tim) 3
Keith Not Out  4
Nick Not Out  2

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Gareth Oughton2.01111.000.50
Ben Youngman2.00824.004.00
Penny Price1.001800.0018.00
Danny Williamson1.00500.005.00
Jeff Haynes1.30900.006.00
A.N. Other11.00212.002.00