Bisley v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Fri 28 Aug 2015 at 4:00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 37 runs

Match report [What follows is Phil Power's overview of the tour; below that is Martin Weiler's report on the Bisley game. See the North Nibley fixture for JK's report on that game]

The 2015 Tour to Gloucester, psychologically profiled by Phil 'The Taylor' Power:


Or the idea that clever people with better things to do devote their spare time to playing cricket. From the outside there is nothing abnormal about them. They have daily lives, jobs, families and even other interests. They laugh about the absurdities of the cricket they play, they chortle over their own failures and farces, and they mock themselves and their companions. But beneath the fun, the pretense that none of it matters, lies the deep seriousness of enduring passion.

Our arrival was somewhat curbed by a long and powerful cloud formation that caused a complete washout of our first tour game against Frocester. What to do now, unlock these other interests? The answer was relatively simple, spend more time in a now sanitized George pub (with new beautifully appointed Ladies loos – thanks Annie 'soon to be tattooed, I wouldn’t dare ask where' Chave) and find some nets somewhere. Its amazing how when charged to score 15 off 6 balls everyone achieved exactly that and The Erratics became masters of the tied game.

Accommodation is a sticking point on the Gloucester tour. The accepted mode is to camp in the space behind the Anchor pub. However, it has been an increasing trend that there is a split. Should it be accommodation with a Jacuzzi and a pool in a walled complex, with breakfast on site, where Martin 'gloating, I always do well at North Nibley' and Suki 'unfineable' Wright stayed? Or some romantic accommodation at a secret hotel nearby (which actually turned out to be the Bell Inn in Frampton), which accommodated our budding Ben 'Bradley' Youngman, bike and all. This left us with a limited number of pitched tents, but did supplement the fines kitty.

So our first game was against a new team, Bisley, A later start meant a visit to the Bear pub, which had no power, the sandwiches however were the best I’ve ever eaten, and the Frittata in the evening was remarkable: when was the last time you had an artichoke on tour? Bisley had received some background on their ‘learned’ opponents, and so the game between Bisley and the Dons began. I will leave the reports on the games to the nominated players. I do feel there is a need to congratulate our captains, Chris 'Bisley Boy' Cook and Penny 'no I’m not going to bowl, I’m captain' Price for adhering to the principles, that usually both sides want a good close game. A one-sided match is enjoyable for the dominant players, but when the outcome is so predictable, the rest lose heart and interest. They all know how the story ends and that they’re not the hero. So sometimes it pays to take the pressure off for an over or two and let the opposition regroup. After all, you don’t want the game to be over by tea.

Tea - which is an essential part of the ritual and not a complete waste of cricket time. Just how does Gary 'Coach, Professional Throw Down' Abrahams survive? Cricket keeps its own, archaic kind of time. With this distinctive use of time comes a distinctive use of space. Cricket has a firm centre and an indeterminate boundary. Due to the generally straight line between the two wickets, all 360 degrees of a circle are in play. Although Bisley’s captain did challenge this theory as at least one of his 7 sixes went into orbit and another should have scored 18. Proving that no space is neglected or goes to waste.

We succeeded in getting 11 players on the field, mostly on time, thanks to Chris Cook’s brother Matt for fighting the traffic to get to North Nibley virtually on time, or was it simply a case of setting off late? It does pay to get your story agreed by all concerned first. No player forgot their whites, although Gary 'Gaz, Roy, I hate tea' Abrahams for some reason chose to leave his designer trousers behind, even with the turn-ups cut off and a split crotch. And this after offending our Victorian sensibilities by being treated to his ankles on view for the game against Bisley. As far as I’m aware neither Chris nor Penny discovered that first slip had taken ecstasy during the tea interval. Then there’s the fascination of the pitch, which decisively shapes the matches played on it. Cricketers have to adapt to a wide spectrum of conditions, which vary even in the course of the match. Essentially on this tour is it raining or is it about to? Personally I put our cuffing at Bisley down to playing on a pudding, and not just to the aforementioned Captains contriving a good contest. Then there is the peculiarity of the ball; dealing with both old and new balls is a necessary craft for bowlers and batters alike. We tried valiantly to find the right ball at Bisley but as I said we were still stuffed.

Cricket also has its guilty pleasures, not the least of which is Schadenfreude, something generally kept under wraps in other spheres of social activity. For the players and crowd, the misfield is always a highlight, and the bullying batter brought low by the innocuous-looking floater a cause of glee. Then there’s the perversity of simultaneously wanting the other side to fail and to make a game of it (not to fail), wanting to see stiff competition but apprehensive of defeat. These are contradictory emotional states, which in daily life could cause psychological damage; in cricket, they’re something that can be enjoyed and relished, with no harm done, well not yet anyway.

Thanks to:

Annie 'soon to be tattooed, I wouldn’t dare ask where' Chave
Suki 'unfineable' Wright
Triin 'lady of North Nibley' Troon
Chris 'Bisley Boy' Cook
Duncan 'I’m off for a shower' Chave
Martin 'Mum I’m coming to visit' Weiler
Martin 'I always do well at North Nibley' Wright
Fraser 'phil, you’re out first ball' Chave
Gary 'Gaz, Roy, I hate tea' Abrahams
Peter 'spread betting' Colclough
Ben 'bodyline' Abrahams
Phil 'just call me Rapunzel' Power
Ben 'wobbler' Youngman
Jonathan 'bedwetting' Kirby
Mark 'why am I always so shit on tour' Hailwood
Penny 'Finger of death' Price
Daniel 'don’t you just love cricket' Williamson
David 'overthrow' Pearson
Jim 'said the monkey to the unicorn' Thomson
Matt 'Younger Brother' Cook

To be continued. Or should I say à suivre…


Bisley Match report [there are some accompanying photos in the photo gallery section of the website]

After the deluge that did for the Frocester match on Thursday the Erratics roadshow moved on to Bisley on Friday.

This is a new tour game and part of a shifting fixture list over the years. In the early years of the ‘Gloucester’ tour, which first started in 1993, there were usually three opponents – Frampton-on-Severn (originally on the village green with the traffic shortening the boundary), The Anchor X1 (an Andy Lyes invitation side) and the Longney Longhorns (Pete Colclough’s village team after he moved from Exeter to Gloucestershire).

Over time we lost Frampton and gained Frocester and others were added and subtracted including Painswick and, on a long way home, Dave Hale’s Abercarn in Wales. A three day tour lengthened to four and North Nibley became another mainstay.

Bisley came about through a Jim Thomson contact. It’s a beautiful Cotswold stone village and has an interesting bit of history – the story of the ‘Bisley Boy’ - that we were soon being regaled with by the opposition.

Apparently, according to the legend, in the 1540s the young princess Elizabeth was staying at Bisley when she died. With Henry VIII on his way the locals panicked and searched for a suitable local girl to take Elizabeth’s place. With none to be found they switched to a red-haired boy and dressed him in Elizabeth’s clothes and presented him to the King who didn’t notice anything awry. So the boy remained as Elizabeth and became the ‘boy’ Virgin Queen.

If you are interested in this tale of Tudor intrigue you might want to read a novel ‘The King’s Deception’ by none other than Steve Berry. So that’s what he has been up to!

We had arranged a 4pm start and 25 over game and with Bisley players arriving in dribs and drabs from their work commitments the arrangement was that they batted first.

The home side batted aggressively but lost wickets at regular intervals so that in the ninth over they were 67-5. It was to prove their low point. Led by an extremely hard hitting 76 by Whitfield (including an impressive 8 sixes – some smashed a very long distance) Bisley accrued 194-8 He had retired once but we made the mistake of taking too many wickets to allow him back in.

It was tough on the Erratics bowlers, who conceded 13 sixes in all, but honourable mentions must go to the wicket takers Ben Abrahams (2-11), Fraser Chave (3-44), Chris Cook (2-39) and Phil Power (1-32). Also to some excellent catching by Duncan Chave (3 catches) and Jonathan Kirby (2).

It was a tough ask but Erratics started well with Duncan (28) and Ben (17) putting on 41 for the first wicket. Bisley then tightened the screw with their boisterous but happy cricket. We never really got ahead of the curve and despite cameos from Jonathan (30 including 5 fours), Martin Wright (20), Pete Colclough (17 not out), Chris Cook (13) and a generous contribution of 20 extras including 16 wides) we could only muster 157-6.

That might have been a decent enough score on many occasions but against the big hitting Bisley Boys it just wasn’t enough.

Martin Weiler

Bisley Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
194 (25.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Abrahams3.001125.503.67
Mark Hailwood3.003200.0010.67
Fraser Chave5.0044314.678.80
Chris Cook5.0139219.507.80
Phil Power4.0032132.008.00
Duncan Chave5.003600.007.20

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 6 wickets
Duncan Chave Run out  28
Ben Abrahams ct  & b 17
Martin Weiler ct  & b 5
Martin Wright Caught  20
Chris Cook Caught  13
Peter Colclough Not Out  17
Jonathan Kirby Bowled  30 2
Gary Abrahams Not Out  7
Phil Power  
Mark Hailwood  
Fraser Chave  

Bisley Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.