North Nibley v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 04 Sep 2011 at Unknown
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 42 runs

Match report Matt Cook’s day started ‘on a high’! Arriving late for the tour, but early in the day, he and Jeff Haynes climbed up the Cotswold edge to Nibley Knoll, lying at 200m, and then ascended another 121 steps to the top of the Tyndale Monument. We looked down not only on North Nibley’s cricket ground, but also on countless others as our the view stretched over the Severn to the Black Mountains, and equally far in all other directions. William Tyndale was born at around the beginning of the 16th century, reputedly in North Nibley. As far as we know, cricket was not played as an adult sport until 1611 and probably had its early beginnings in the mid 1500s, so without such pleasures to distract him, Tyndale concentrated his efforts on translation … specifically that of the New Testament into English. His reward for this ‘first’ was to be burnt at the stake in Flanders. [As several possible derivations of the word ‘cricket’ suggest a Flemish origin, perhaps he was also researching translations of ‘krick’ and ‘krickstoel’?]. Continued access to the Monument (constructed in 1866, at a cost of £1,550) was only secured a couple of weeks prior to our match, when a Trust created by the villagers of North Nibley purchased the surrounding 14 acres (at a cost of £45,000!). A village procession was planned for lunchtime to celebrate the purchase … but the cricketers had other matters to attend to.

Over lunch at the Black Horse, Chris Cook tried unsuccessfully to pass on the mantle of captaincy, so at around 2pm it was he who won the toss and elected to bat. Penny Price and Chris Ferro put on 22 for the first wicket, off the first six overs. Matt Cook joined Chris and they set about establishing a really sound base. Swallows risked life and wing swooping across the pitch, as also did one glider pilot! The hundred came up in the 19th over, after which drinks were taken with Chris hovering on 49. He retained his concentration to reach a fine fifty but fell for 51, just 4 runs short of a hundred partnership. Matt was already beginning to get in his stride, but once Jamie Power pulled a mighty six over midwicket, followed by a 5, Matt had to respond! He did so with a sequence of 4, 4, 4, 4, leg bye, 6, 6 off consecutive balls … before being stumped on 88. Ed Keedwell’s early dismissal brought another Cook (Chris) to the crease, and North Nibley’s pleasure at dismissing both Jamie and Dan Thistlethwaite must have been tempered by seeing yet another Cook (Sam) walking out. For North Nibley it was another case of ‘too many Cooks’: Chris and Sam, with 20 and 23 not out respectively, took the Erratics to a strong 236-6 declaration.

Tea was served in the new pavilion, completed since the Erratic’s last visit. Spread out on a crisp white tablecloth, embroidered with ‘North Nibley Cricket Club’, was a fine display of sandwiches and cakes. Village stalwart Margaret, who had probably been baking cakes for every previous Erratics touring team, sadly died just two weeks ago. Margaret will be missed by all in North Nibley, but she can rest peacefully in the knowledge that her successors still know how to make superb fruit, chocolate and coffee sponge cakes!

Chris Cook turned to two of the ‘did not bat’s to open the bowling … Jeff Haynes spinning down the slope, and Phil Power spinning up it. Sherratt and John Artingstall were contained to just over 80 in the first 13 overs, attacking the loose ball and occasionally being beaten, but the Erratics couldn’t get the breakthrough. Chris Cook and David Pearson took over the attack, and Chris in particular gave little away, but still the breakthrough wouldn’t come. The ball was bobbling in the outfield, a couple of chances off David went begging, and then, with the score at 133, David eventually broke the partnership, courtesy of an excellent running, tumbling, rolling catch by Jamie. With Sherratt gone for 50 the match turned. Whilst Artingstall was in the middle (and with two more Artingstalls padded up) there was always a threat, but the Erratics continued to apply the pressure and wickets fell regularly. David took two, and Chris was rewarded with four, including the critical dismissal of John Artingstall with a super ball which took the top of middle and off stumps, sending him back to the pavilion just one run short of his century. But it was left to the other Cooks to clean up. With 4 for 5 off 19 balls, including a left-handed catch at full stretch off his own bowling, Matt finished off the innings, the final wicket fittingly a catch taken by brother Sam. North Nibley had collapsed from 133-0 to 194 all out.

So, Matt ended the day ‘on a high’, sporting the man-of-the-match headgear at the New Inn at Waterley Bottom where the Erratics 2011 tour concluded. Despite the Cook family’s dominance this win was still very much a team effort … Penny was very tidy behind the stumps (even if she still has work to do on her appealing?); Ed was always on the move, constantly scampering around the infield; and everybody threw themselves bodily into defending the boundary from the unpredictable bounce of the outfield.

The 19th century cider house, which is now the New Inn, must be close to being the ideal pub. It still offers great ciders and beers, as well as good food, it has a lovely veranda and gardens, and it offers entertainment from bar skittles to shove-tuppenny (the ha’pennies having gone walkabout). Both teams shared a sociable evening, planning a return tour match at Dunsford next spring. Tour debutant Dan, appointed fine-master, handed out the traditional penalties, which this year had something to do with tortoise milk and throwing balls on to the top of telegraph poles … I think that’s as good point as any at which to finish this report.


And here is the view from North Nibley...

Erratic Batting Sinks Nibley

Nibley's opening pair failed to support their lusty middle order as 195 all out saw them fall 40 short of the Erratics.

The touring side from Exeter University elected to bat first on a sunny afternoon with ominous meteorological overtones. Whilst the sun shone, the batsmen made hay and with all of the Nibley bowlers insisting on bowling up the hill bar one (who hadn't turned up yet) the skipper decided to let everyone have a go. The results were varied. The batting however was excellent with Chris Ferro (51) and Matt Cook (88) building the kind of second wicket partnership that points to a long afternoon in the field. Wickets eventually began to fall and the arrival of our eleventh man shortly before tea boosted morale in the field. First a whirling dervish of a skyer whistled into the skipper's hands at cover from a height of nearly 15 feet to dismiss Ferro (and, no doubt hand the skipper the champagne moment) before Findlay produced one of the overs of the season.

So good it gets its own paragraph. Having recovered from his previous over to the in-form Cook, Paul strode to the crease with a plan. His first delivery landed sometime later in the field, as did his second and at this point dear reader, a lesser man would have panicked. Not Paul, who roared in for the third delivery of the over. Down the track came the batsman, one step, two steps... Three steps as quick as a flash, one more step and "Oh Shit" he cried as he ducked the ball on its way down into Billy's gloves. Done like a kipper on 88. Three dot balls at the new man for a (fairly) wayward wicket maiden of sorts.

Tight bowling from Artingstall J at the end of the innings and a trip to the buffet for the batsmen courtesy of Sherratt took us to a declaration at 4:20 and tea. Nibley would require 235 to win.

The home side got off to a flyer in reply with Artingstall J finding some early touch and Sherratt finding his range, losing it, then finding it again. The running between the wickets was excellent (do not adjust your sets, it really was) and the striking from both men top notch. James reached is maiden half century and Sherratt was able to raise his bat a few overs later. With the score on 133 without loss and the visitors' heads down, Sherratt raised his bat once more, this time to a full straight one and departed for (50), he would later refuse to buy a jug because one of them was a 'leg-bye'. With the tail exposed and 100 needed in 18 overs, panic set in.

Maybe it was the flat wicket, or the beer fridge, or the consistent bowling of Cook and Cook that caused the wheels to come off as they did. Billy "I see we've been promoted up the order at last Chris" Hunt and Chris "I know it's about time isn't it Billy" Marlow departed for single figures. They were followed by Artingstall C, Rob Eden, Steve Collins and Ed '3.30 start' Holcombe all failing to convert to double figures. James watched the parade from the other end but continued to bat beautifully eventually falling to a jaffer from Cook C just 51 runs short of his 150. Heartbreaking.

With the light worsening and rain starting to fall Holcombe J, Findlay P and Artingstall W offered brief resistance to the Cook onslaught but the game ended with 5 overs to go when the Cooks took their wickets tally for the day to 9. A great game, highs and lows and swings in each innings.

Finally, well batted James, cherish it if you can and hold your head up high when you think of the way you batted supported by just one other batsman. We'll see the Erratics on tour next May, perhaps you can get the one you needed then.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
16w 6b 2lb 
for 6 wickets

(37.0 overs)
Penny Price Bowled  4
Chris Ferro Bowled  51
Matt Cook st "Oh Shit!" 88
Jamie Power Caught  23
Ed Keedwell Bowled  3
Chris Cook Not Out  20
Daniel Thistlethwaite Bowled  0
Sam Cook Not Out  23
David Pearson  
Jeff Haynes  
Phil Power  

North Nibley Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

North Nibley Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 7w 8b  
for 10 wickets
194 (38.1 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jeff Haynes7.004000.005.71
Phil Power6.004200.007.00
Chris Cook13.0142410.503.23
David Pearson9.0057228.506.33
Matt Cook3.10541.251.58
Photos and video of North Nibley v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 04 Sep 2011 at Unknown

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Jamie Power hits out at North Nibley in 2011

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Chris and Sam Cook ended the Erratics innings with an unbeaten partnership at North Nibley in 2011

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Chris Ferro, Penny Price and Jeff Haynes get to grips with shove ha'penny at the New Inn in Waterly Bottom after the tour match at North Nibley in 2011

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Tea at North Nibley in 2011

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Matt Cook is player-of-the-match for his 88 runs and 4 wickets for 5 runs at North Nibley in 2011

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Jamie Power (left) and Sam Cook receive instruction in the art of bar skittles from the landlord of the New Inn after the tour match at North Nibley in 2011

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Captaincy is all too much for Chris Cook at North Nibley in 2011