Lynton & Lynmouth v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 01 Jul 2017 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 16 runs

Match report Snatching victory from the jaws of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: Erratics win headline North Devon tour fixture.

Mark Phillips does a lot for the Erratics. Somehow that statement doesn't quite do his role justice, so to emphasize it, I’ll make use of italics. Mark Phillips does [i]a lot[/i] for the Erratics. As fixture organizer, he is the reason we play at so many beautiful grounds and against such friendly opposition week in and week out. And grounds do not come any more beautiful (read spectacular), nor oppositions any friendlier, than Lynton and Lynmouth. However, with a 90-120 minute drive each way, Mark has worried about losing the fixture. With this in mind, the week after Glastonbury, he suggested we try to build a North Devon tour Headlined by Lynton and Lynmouth and found us a set of supporting fixtures at Witheridge (unfortunately succumbing to the weather) and Morebath (see separate report). He then urged the committee to appoint a tour organizer. Having tried most active members, the committee were desperate and turned their attention to the Erratics sub-mailing list, often informally referred to as “the bottom of the barrellers”, eventually securing Williamson, the volatile holder of the Wobbler. In fact, this turned out to be an inspired choice. Whether it was his reputation for being quick to resort to violence in conflict resolution, or his “no bribe is too small” approach to negotiation, he did manage to secure a touring party and enough reserves to fill the hangover fixture on the Sunday. The North Devon tour was born.

Mark Hailwood also does a lot for the Erratics. For the tour, he found a beautiful bunk house near Molland just a few miles down the road from the Blackcock Inn (a venue that was to cost Martin Wright and Williamson almost £5 apiece, even though no actual drinking took place there. Some fines masters really do take a dim view of a certain kind of humor). High on the moor, quiet, comfortable, enough space to cook and sit together, 16 beds, space to camp, lovely views, we’ll be back. With the bunkhouse as our base, and with more than one hangover from the previous night’s revelry, the Erratics set out for the valley of the rocks in glorious sunshine with sweeping views all the way to Dartmoor on the way as a mild taster for the famous views from the road end of the ground at Lynton.

The sun shone and the wind whistled violently through the valley, with skipper Duncan Chave deciding that we should bowl first to avoid being out in the field later when it would be even colder. Our hosts, however, had many players who were due to attend a wedding reception and needed to go early. Upon winning the toss, Duncan did the gentlemanly thing and put us into bat first. His wife, Annie Chave, opened a bottle of Cava as we were padding up. There was a real sense of occasion. Openers Mark Phillips and Martin Wright set about their task of blunting the attack. The main bowler opened with 5 maidens, and Mark and Martin did their best to score from the other end, the former eventually perishing hitting the tight bowler back over his head, only to be pouched by mid-on for 2.

Martin was joined by Williamson and they set about upping the rate until Martin was unluckily run out backing up for 7 after Danny smashed a straight one right back at the stumps and the bowler got a fingertip onto it. It’s difficult to describe what batting out there was like. Sunny, beautiful and deafeningly windy. You could hardly hear the calls (and some batsmen couldn't), and the whistle around the helmet (for those that use them) was quite disorientating. What followed then was a procession of Erratics, each struggling to get the ball away on a bouncy track, but chipping in with a few runs. Duncan (9) was out when a drivable length ball reared up and was caught at midoff, Daniel Thistlethwaite (1) was bowled with a nice full away swinger, by a bowler who swore to me he hadn’t played cricket before. Said same bowler bowled me (51) and Paul Molins (0) with similar deliveries. Fraser (7) was caught a la Mark Phillips and Duncan, and Penny (7), Ben (8) both chipped in a few runs, but went similarly. Mark Hailwood came in with a few lusty blows, “showing” Martin Wright that the 5 maiden opener was not as unplayable as he had made him look ( ;) ) and putting on a nice 36, and the Erratics posted a probably defendable 148.

With a slim total to defend, there could be no celebrating a maiden half century and, besides, Annie had polished off the Cava. We tucked into a wonderful tea of homemade scones, homemade doorstop sized brownies and homemade carrot cake determinedly.

Ben and Fraser clearly carried this determination into the field, opening the bowling and taking 3 apiece to leave the opposition on 6 for 12. Special mention in this part of the game to Jim Thomson for a 1 handed low catch to his left off of Ben’s bowling. As departed Lyntonians headed down the valley to their wedding, those that remained showed, perhaps, that the batting order was not quite as it normally would be… Our friend who’d never played before held the bat like a rounders bat, blasting 6 and then 4 off of Penny and Jim, celebrating wildly after each, before being caught spectacularly by Duncan off of Jim in the deep (a swirling in the wind catch that had to be taken on the run).

As Penny, Jim and Mark ticked down the overs with us needing only 3 wickets, Lynton ticked down the runs. Fraser came back on to finish his spell and hopefully with it the game, bowling some very quick off spin that really turned and picking up a spectacular five for taking two more of the Lynton rear guard. He could have had more had a thin edge off of their premier batsmen not smashed Paul in the helmet. Paul, made of sturdy stuff, didn't even step back claiming, “that’s what it’s there for” before insisting we get on with it.

We needed only 1 wicket. The problem was that somehow, they only needed 7 an over from the last 5. Annie looked on nervously from the now deserted boundary, worried about scoring in the gale, doing the scoreboard, whilst chasing 3 dogs who were determined to run away to find shelter from the misty shower that rolled in to soak us. The owner of said dogs decided to abandon his umpiring position to try to retrieve them, leaving Mark Phillips fielding and umpiring from square leg, as the Erratics watched the batsmen take 7 an over and inch towards an improbable win whilst we searched for the elusive 10th wicket. When Ben found the top edge and skied a chance to Martin, we held our breaths, but a wet ball and a swirling wind kept the game alive as nails were bitten and dogs were chased.

Just 20 needed from 3 as Duncan bowled the 38th. The final ball flew towards the boundary and Fraser went after it, pulling it back nicely. The batsmen chanced 2 and Fraser’s accurate throw combined with his Dad’s quick reaction got the 10th wicket by run out, capping a match winning performance from the young Chave and a victory from the jaws of defeat from the jaws of victory for skipper dad.
The 3 Lynton players left congratulated us warmly after the game and joined us in the pub for drinks, food and conversation. I must say that their hospitality all day and throughout the evening in the pub was extremely warm and generous and we were very grateful that they were able to raise a side in the circumstances. Mark Phillips was right to fight so hard to keep the fixture and, hopefully, through the North Devon tour, we can continue to enjoy it for many more years to come.

Danny Williamson

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 9 wickets
Martin Wright Run out  7
Mark Phillips Caught  2
Danny Williamson Bowled  51 8
Duncan Chave Caught  9 1 2
Daniel Thistlethwaite Bowled  1
Fraser Chave Caught  7 1
Paul Molins Bowled  0
Mark Hailwood Not Out  36 3 2
Ben Youngman Caught  8 1
Penny Price Caught  7
Jim Thomson Not Out  0 1

Lynton & Lynmouth Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Lynton & Lynmouth Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
132 (37.5 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman6.022036.673.33
Fraser Chave8.022254.402.75
Jim Thomson8.0224124.003.00
Penny Price5.021700.003.40
Mark Hailwood8.012500.003.12
Duncan Chave2.501800.006.35