Lynton & Lynmouth v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 19 Jun 2021 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 8 wickets

Match report Match report by Martin Wright

There was a time, around 5pm, on this Saturday afternoon, when you could imagine that the last couple of years hadn’t happened.

We were at Lynton and Lynmouth – officially No. 1 in the list of “The Most Beautiful and Quintessentially English Cricket Grounds” – in the hazy sunshine, having just enjoyed a full- fat afternoon tea. John Curtis declared himself “over-caked”, and Nigel Rutherford was overheard discreetly asking Skipper Hailwood if he might be spared opening bowler’s duties due to excessive scone intake.

The reverie was broken by the arrival of Jonathan Kirby’s birthday cake, complete with his Beatles-quoting age displayed prominently on the top, which proved beyond doubt that time had indeed passed, and we were all two years older and, in some cases (though not that of the Birthday Boy) creakier.

Earlier, after a last minute fitness test (which consisted of Fraser lobbing gentle catches to me off the ‘sponge bat’), your accident-prone correspondent was given permission to bat, but not field. Here he was to be substituted as both cover point and quick bowler by Oscar Cammack. Very much a like-for-like replacement, in other words.

Skipper Hailwood won the toss and we batted, of course.

Ben Youngman and Jonathan Kirby opened against some brisk, challenging bowling, featuring former Zambian international, no less, Tristeen de Wet. Both batters responded confidently, and after cracking several shots straight at the fielders, Ben was unlucky to be caught in the gully by fellow-Siffrican sounding Douggie le Ber. Siva joined Jonathan, struck a couple of powerful fours, including one tremendous hook off a quick, rising delivery, and then departed to an unlucky top-edged catch. Kirby, meanwhile, marked his birthday by carrying on his cracking form from Chumleigh, unleashing a fierce swivel of a pull in front of square, followed by a couple of finely judged late cuts before he, too, was caught. When Jonathan Beverley soon followed, possibly distracted by a stray goat behind the bowler’s arm, we were wobbling at 45-4.

Your correspondent joined Matt Crawford at the crease, under instructions to steady the ship. In my case, that meant dropping anchor, and then, as the overs ticked by, scrabbling around with increasing if ineffectual desperation trying to find it again. Matt too was circumspect to start with, but then found his attacking touch, cracking some of his trademark legside pulls to the fence before perishing to a fine catch.

Duncan Chave was the model of caution mixed with aggression, including one tremendous six, before, attempting to force the pace against the naggingly accurate Tom Campbell, he was bowled. Nigel joined me, and the combination of his dodgy hamstrings and my dodgy just-about-everything made for some almost comically geriatric hobbling between the wickets, each of us living in fear that we would reach the safety of the distant crease only to hear the dreaded shout from our partner: “Yes!” (At one point, I paused to catch my breath, leaning heavily over my bat, and glanced up to see Nigel doing the same. And that was after the first ball of the over.)

The combination of tight bowling, sharp fielding and less than mobile batters saw much needed boundaries hard to come by. Nigel started to find his touch at around the time I completely lost mine (finally finding the middle of the bat, only to see the ball safely land in the middle of the fielder’s palms), and together he and Fraser took us over the 150 mark.

A solid four-an-over then; a little too solid perhaps. That was the consensus at tea, and so it proved.

Lynton’s openers Paine and Hayward were circumspect against our opening attack of Ben and Mark Hailwood, respecting the (many) good balls, but confidently ruthless on anything loose. As they gained in confidence, so the boundaries started to flow. The introduction of Nigel – the pick of today’s Erratiattack – stemmed the tide, and won him the wicket of Payne, dismissed LBW to one of his sharp in-duckers. Lynton’s skipper, Hayward, continued serenely on, striking the ball harder and further, with a couple of sixes soaring into the bracken, before retiring on a half-century.

When the 20-over countdown began, Lynton were already over halfway to the target. Nigel picked up the wicket of Young, and specialist substitute Oscar Cammack (A.N. Other in the scoresheet) bowled his heart out, with more fire and aggression than I’d seen before from him, and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket. If he carries on progressing like this, he will be a scarily formidable bowler in a couple of years’ time – maybe less.

Our fielding stayed tight throughout, with Mark making so many brave stops off pummelling drives at mid-off that it seemed he must have a ball magnet secreted about his person. Siva was athletic as ever in the deep, chasing down anything within his substantial reach and firing in sharp returns to the keeper. Kirby himself was neat and - what’s the word? – yes, tidy (almost Forrester-like, you might say) behind the timbers.

But as the sun dipped below the cliffs, so our bowling attack began to wilt under the sustained assault of Campbell and de Wet, who took Lynton over the line with more than 10 overs to spare.

A fine game, then, in which we were thoroughly but not ignominiously outplayed by a warm and friendly opposition. So friendly, indeed, that they generously offered free prosecco to spectators Annie, Gabrielle and Suki (and, in the Lynton innings, me). And made a gracious response to Skipper Hailwood’s presentation of ‘Unicorns Rampant’ at the close of play.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
5nb 12w 6b 1lb 
for 7 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Jonathan Kirby Caught  15
Ben Youngman Caught  1
Sivaraman Subramanian Caught  13
Jonathan Beverley Caught  3
Matt Crawford Caught  25
Martin Wright Caught  24
Duncan Chave Bowled  25
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  22
Fraser Chave Not Out  5
Mark Hailwood  
John Curtis  

Lynton & Lynmouth Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Lynton & Lynmouth Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 2 wickets
159 (0.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mark Hailwood6.003200.005.33
Ben Youngman7.003000.004.29
Nigel Rutherford8.0124212.003.00
Oscar Cammack4.012400.006.00
Fraser Chave3.002600.008.67
Jonathan Beverley1.00900.009.00
John Curtis0.401200.0018.00