Marldon v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 19 Sep 2009 at 13.40
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 5 wickets

Match report [Photos not yet uploaded; Chris Ferro Capt]

Match Report: Peter Thomson...

I find Marldon very strange. Once you turn off the A 380 (21st Century), pass the undistinguished houses on the straight (20th Century), and reach Marldon Cross, you drop into rural timelessness. And there’s nothing discernible beyond the Church House Inn. Devon stops there. Nobody I know has ever gone any further, and only Erratics have ever gone that far. On an extremely hot day a few years ago, we all turned up to find that the cricket pitch, just opposite the pub, had become a football field, so we all sat over drinks in the garden behind the Church House Inn, then went home. Some would argue that we would have been wise to do the same this time. There were nine of us – with the promise of Simon Orpen after tea. (A good name for a novel, that: Simon Orpen After Tea.)

Right, that’s the scene set. Now for the narrative. We batted first, and lasted for fifteen minutes less than two hours. That’s to say that the scoring was slow from the start. As our openers – Andrew McRae and Penny Price – soon showed, the long grass is a good fielder at Marldon. Eventually, and somewhat out of the blue, Andrew lofted a splendid off-drive to the boundary at the pub end. Two overs later, he middled a pull to leg which would have buried itself in the hedge if it hadn’t been for the fielder in between. That brought Chris Mellett (the Chris Tavare of the Erratics) to the wicket, where he stayed for long enough to allow anyone to read the first six chapters of Simon Orpen After Tea. Meanwhile Penny, Dominic Prosser (unwillingly l.b.w.), Jonathan Kirby (after three thumps, guiding a ball onto his stumps by way of both legs) and Chris Squire (after two thwacks – you can tell the difference between a thump and a thwack by the sound of the ball being hit) came and went. The fact that we scored as many as 74 was owed mostly to ‘extras’. From the boundary, I had the impression that Dominic, having intuited our batting frailties, started calling wides for any ball that passed to the west of the batsman’s bottom or to the east of his pectorals. Unfortunately, he neglected to call the one that bowled Chris Mellett a wide. Gareth (one clatter – definitely a two-syllable shot) Oughton and Philippa Davey batted for no longer than is expected of tail-enders after the upper order has failed, and our eighth and last wicket fell at 3.25 (the game having started at 1.40).

Tea being set for four o’clock, Marldon now had twenty-five minutes to bat. Twenty minutes later they were 43 for 0. Then, in the course of the last two pre-tea overs, both openers went – which made an interval seem marginally worthwhile. Crossing the road (from and to the changing-room, to and from tea) is one of the features of cricket at Marldon. It has that in common with the Grand National and golf at St Andrews. Games have been won and lost on the village High Street. This one had been mostly lost before I got to the cheese and tomato sandwiches. But we had a glimpse of better things. Gareth, having changed ends to bowl up hill, was magnificent; Dominic was better down the slope; and Simon’s unique brand of lobs overwhelmed one Marldonian. We had them 54 for 5. Let that be set against the cold truth of the result, along with Greta Squire’s treatment of the scoreboard as if it were a musical instrument rather than a mere number-cruncher. (In the first movement of her symphony, the Erratics were 529 for 3.)

It was warm enough to allow us to sit out in the garden of the Church House Inn after the game. All of us except Philippa, who couldn’t wait to get into her new car, and Jonathan Kirby, who was saving his marriage by driving his wife to Bakewell. Entertainment was provided by the Squire twins, with an eccentric rendering of ‘Two Little Boys’ on the upper lawn.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 21w 4b  
for 8 wickets
Andrew McRae Caught  8
Penny Price Bowled  5
Chris Mellett Bowled  10
Dominic Prosser Lbw  4
Jonathan Kirby Bowled  7
Chris Squire Bowled  9
A.N. Other1 Caught  0
Gareth Oughton Bowled  4
Simon Orpen  
Peter Thomson Not Out  0
N.O. One  

Marldon Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Marldon Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 5 wickets
74 (22.5 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Gareth Oughton11.022337.672.09
Dominic Prosser6.023000.005.00
Andrew McRae2.00616.003.00
Simon Orpen3.5014114.003.65
Photos and video of Marldon v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 19 Sep 2009 at 13.40


Marldon, 2009


'Simon’s unique brand of lobs overwhelmed one Marldonian': Simon Orpen bowls at Marldon in 2009. Peter Thomson is behind the stumps.


'Gareth, having changed ends to bowl up hill, was magnificent': Gareth Oughton with quick wickets after tea at Marldon in 2009. Peter Thomson keeps wicket.