Tipton St John v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 19 May 2007 at 2.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 28 runs

Match report by Jonathan Kirby

"Greetings, oh virgins of the parish" announced the Tipton fixtures secretary as he arrived on the scene. "Welcome to the bucolic idyll that is Tipton St John" might have been more appropriate. Mind you, much was promised by the aprons worn by the aforementioned "virgins". John Pearson had told me that in the last century the teas of Tipton were reckoned to be the best on the circuit. The slogans on the aprons declared as much, which is perhaps why Captain Thomson chose to field first.

Carl Knappett opened the bowling in partnership with Phil Ellis, but the first wicket to fall was a run-out, thanks to a brilliant direct hit by David Pearson from short-third man. Carl and Phil got one wicket apiece, and when David bowled and picked up an lbw in his second over, Tipton were at 53 for 4.

David went on to bowl an exceptionally good spell of 8 overs for just 14 runs. In fact, four of the seven bowlers used all returned pretty decent figures. Generally, the ball was keeping low, but the occasional full tosses or rank long-hops were ruthlessly punished by the Tipton batsman, particularly Dawson, who hit 5 boundaries and 2 threes in his brutal knock of 29.

Unfortunately, five of the later overs we bowled went for a total of 52 runs. This turned out to make all the difference, and it was in spite of the pressure brought to bear by Molins whose four overs went for just two runs, and two wickets.

Still, let's not be too harsh on the bowlers. We did dismiss Tipton for a relatively modest 149 in the space of 36 overs.

Tipton opened with two bowlers similar in style (and economy) to David Pearson and Paul Molins. Worse, they reduced us quickly to 9 for 2. Ken Horne's first ball simply didn't bounce, catching him LBW. Nick Birbeck simply got cross:
It was quickly clear to Nick that the low bounce was going to prevent a repetition of the sublime seventy something he had scored at Stoke two weeks previously. As Chris Cook has explained in the past, a true cricketing artist needs a quality blank canvass on which to paint his picture. Nick rapidly determined that he was not going to grace what he considered a piece of toilet roll with the sweet strokeplay of which we all know he is capable. Gone, for 2. He should have stayed.

Spectators were later to suspect that the run-out of Phil Ellis, given by Nick at square-leg umpire, was simply an attempt to bring the whole affair to a quicker close. Nick insisted Phil was "more out than in", whatever that means.

Horne returned to the middle as umpire. He brought with him a new idea to help increase the quality of experience of those who peruse this website. It also provides a novel excuse for batsmen to explain how they missed a simple, gently swinging ball, because this innovation does cause a certain amount of distraction...

Horne's invention is called the "Ump Cam". See the 2007 Photo Gallery
and enjoy a selection of photos from an angle previously unseen on the Erratics website.

The situation at 9 for 2 was not very promising, but Kirby and Molins dug in and kept things going for a stand of 48. The net result was that with 20 of our 40 overs remaining, we needed to score at a not unrealistic rate of 4 an over in order to win.
"Singles are allowed" called Captain Thomson from the pavilion, in an attempt to hurry things up. Molins, a model of common sense and uncommon self-restraint up to that point then got himself out. The fact that his last five scoring strokes were all singles was, in the circumstances, rather ironic. 16 runs contributed in all. "People shouldn't tell me to hurry up" said Paul.

Kirby then played around one that swung a bit and was gone for 41. Nonetheless, at 70 for 4 with 19 overs remaining, all was far from lost. Or so it seemed.

The trick to staying in was to play straight, especially as the Tipton bowlers seemed particularly adept at finding the spots on which the ball would not bounce at all. Sweep, and you'd be finished. Knappett played this way for a while, till their tallest bowler unleashed one that would surely have bounced to waist height at least. He swept. It didn't bounce. Gone for just 11.

Jonathan Davies was next, and like Nick Birbeck he struggled to find the form that he had shown at Stoke. What I really don't understand, however, is why everyone calls him "Jonathan" and I have had to struggle for eight years to stop people calling me "Jon". What is it that makes him an obvious "Jonathan" and me not? Answers on a postcard, please.

Phil Ellis sparkled briefly, until his run-out. Hope was therefore still alive when David Pearson walked out to the crease where he immediately unleashed some beautiful attacking shots, though he was denied boundaries by the slow pace of the outfield. Those who live by the sword, however, tend to die by it, as did David, after this brief flurry.
John Pearson proved himself a dab hand at chasing runs in this situation. At 121 for 8, victory was not inconceivable, with 29 needed off 5 overs. Granted, we had not scored at that rate all innings, but John hustled and scampered like a spring chicken (much to the consternation of Peter Thomson) until he was stumped while charging.
Peter himself might have scampered a few, but the bowlers got the better of James Koranyi, and that was that.

At the pub, the Tipton team were as convivial as they had been on the field. It might be said that both teams under-performed a bit, but it was great to play some cricket on a beautiful afternoon in a beautiful setting. Let's hope we can repeat the fixture next season.

Tipton St John Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4nb 20w 1b  
for 10 wickets
149 (36.0 overs)
K Jones b  Knappett 6
D Blackburn Run out  1
S Shaw b  Ellis 32
J Bugler Run out  2
T Oakley lbw  J Pearson 14
M Williamson b  Koranyi 17
D Dawson Not Out  29
J Gillham b  Koranyi 0
D Birch lbw  Ellis 9
P Shank ct  Molins 13
D O'Higgins ct  Molins 1

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Carl Knappett7.0115115.002.14
Phil Ellis8.0140220.005.00
Jonathan Davies4.002400.006.00
Ken Horne8.0214114.001.75
James Koranyi3.0124212.008.00
Paul Molins4.02221.000.50
John Pearson2.002800.0014.00

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 11w 6b 3lb 
for 10 wickets

(36.3 overs)
Ken Horne lbw  Birch 0
Jonathan Kirby b  Shank 41 1
Nick Birbeck ct  O'Higgins 2
Paul Molins lbw  Gilham 16
Carl Knappett b  Shaw 11
Jonathan Davies b  Bugler 0
Phil Ellis Run out  12
David Pearson b  Bugler 7
John Pearson st  Bugler 10
James Koranyi b  Shaw 2
Peter Thomson  

Tipton St John Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Photos and video of Tipton St John v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 19 May 2007 at 2.30pm

070519 Birbeck.jpg

Nick Birbeck at Tipton St John in 2007

070519 Kirby 01.jpg

Jonathan Kirby bats at Tipton St John in 2007

070519 Kirby Molins.jpg

Jonathan Kirby and Paul Molins in partnership at Tipton St John in 2007

070519 Pearson Ump.jpg

John Pearson umpiring at Tipton St John in 2007