Lynton & Lynmouth v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 04 Jul 2015 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 22 runs

Match report Match report by Martin Wright.

“The very bones and skeletons of the earth [are here]; rock reeling upon rock, stone piled upon stone, a huge terrific mass" – Robert Southey writing about The Valley of Rocks, 1799

Poetic exaggeration maybe, but Southey was onto something. As cricket grounds go, the Valley of Rocks has to be one of the most exquisite. It’s got it all: a cutely thatched pavilion and a neatly mown sward, set high up in a valley snaking down to the sea, its slopes strewn with eponymous rocks and non-eponymous feral goats. (‘Valley of Goats’ doesn’t quite cut it.) Small wonder that Lynton and Lynmouth supplement their subs by hiring it out for film shoots.

You can just see it featuring on one of those desperate listicles that newspapers fill their pages with these days, now that no-one pays for content anymore and interns are all that’s left in the newsroom. You know, “Top Ten Most Embarrassing Wardrobe Malfunctions”, that sort of thing. Well, this would comfortably make No. 7 in “World’s Most Exquisite Cricket Grounds”, in between Arundel and some tropical jewel that the Travel Editor’s hoping to get a freebie to.

Which makes it worth the long journey – and a long one we had of it. Erratics arrived erratically, with various tales of horrendous roadworks and hour-long jams. Clearly every Highways Officer in Somerset had decided that the best possible time to use up their resurfacing budget was the first weekend of high summer, when half of England was on the road. As a result, we started late, and trimmed the contest to 35 overs a side.

Skipper Duncan Chave won the toss and batted, opening with Wright and Chave, F, fresh from his wonderful maiden hundred. They started slowly against some tough, quick bowling on a pleasingly bouncy track. Fraser Chave had begun to reprise his centurion’s form, unfurling one particularly sweet straight drive, before Wright remembered he had a reputation to maintain, and called him through for a somewhat optimistic single, leaving him stranded. Still, it wasn’t as if anyone noticed. Apart from his Dad. And Mum. And Uncles – x2. And Grandmother… Grandfather… Grandfather’s Dog…

When Wright top-edged a pull shortly after, he returned to a notably quiet pavilion.

That cleared the way for the main event of Duncan and Krupakar, both mining rich veins of form. On his day, and this was one of them, Krupakar is serenely dominant. Mixing whipcrack shots through the onside with powerful cover drives, he first tamed, then overwhelmed, the attack. He’d reached 77 when, just after launching a soaring straight six, he was clean bowled attempting another. Duncan, too, was hitting the ball well, stepping back to pull anything short, and made 44 before he played at one too early and was caught and bowled.

Thistlethwaite defended solidly before hitting one into the hands of Wright (who, eager to be back among the wickets, had come on as sub). Sid Thompson, attacking from the start, struck a nice cameo of 22*, with Rutherford (10*) rocketing characteristically at the death, to take us to 213.

For Lynton, the pick of the bowlers was Rodway – whose family farms the hilltop across from the ground. His pacey seamers went for just 22 off 7 overs. Shilling (8 overs for 34) and Spice (7-0-37-1) also kept things fairly tight. Martin (7-0-51-2) was more expensive, but accounted for Wright and Chave, D.

After a comfortable tea, Erratics took the field to defend a run rate of well over six an over. A nice place to start. But Lynton openers Keech and Hymer began solidly, adding 50 off the first 10, despite some admirably tight bowling from Rutherford, whose seven overs went for a miserly 16 runs. At the other end, Haynes was a little more generous, but Krupakar (7-0-25-0) soon applied the brakes, and Broadclyst loanee Ben Scott did well to clean up first opener Keech, and then Rodway, whose powerful hitting was starting to take the game away.

With both Duncan Chave and John Curtis twirling away, Martin battled on as the rate rose through seven, nine, 10 an over. He was joined by Shilling, who kept the game alive with some ambitious shots, enough of which came off to keep the result far from certain until the final couple of overs. But Skipper Duncan marshalled the field to cut off the easier fours, and some fine groundwork across the team helped stem the flow. Fraser Chave (7-1-44-2), bowling when the assault was at its fiercest, held his nerve, and was rewarded with a neat stumping of Shilling by Uncle Sid, whose keeping was impressively tidy throughout.

With Nigel ‘At the Death’ Rutherford pinning the batsman back, Lynton’s hopes were finally skewered, and they closed for a fighting 191 – 22 runs short.

It made for a fine game in glorious surroundings, followed by a very sociable Errati-evening in a Lynton pub.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 5 wickets
Martin Wright Caught  15
Fraser Chave Run out  13
Jayakrupakar Nallala Bowled  77
Duncan Chave Caught  44
Sid Thomson Not Out  22
Daniel Thistlethwaite Caught  1
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  10
Rob Scott  
John Curtis  
Jeff Haynes  
N.O. One  

Lynton & Lynmouth Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Lynton & Lynmouth Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 5 wickets
191 (3.5 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nigel Rutherford7.021600.002.29
Jeff Haynes3.003000.0010.00
Jayakrupakar Nallala7.002500.003.57
Rob Scott7.0140313.335.71
Fraser Chave7.0144222.006.29
John Curtis2.001900.009.50
Duncan Chave2.001900.009.50