Dunsford v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 17 Jun 2017 at 2.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 2 wickets

Match report Erratics v Dunsford, Saturday 17 June at Dunsford.
Erratics win by 2 wickets.
Match report by Martin Wright

Flaming June at Dunsford; cloudless skies and searing heat. It seems only yesterday that I was writing a match report conjuring up images of woolly mammoths grazing the outfield at Stokeinteignhead, so chill had it been for that late April game. Now, shading my eyes through the shimmering haze, I half expected to see camel trains kicking up the dust on the Darb al-Exeter, carrying a cargo of teacakes and flapjacks from the souks of Lustleigh…

A small exaggeration only. Even Suki sought the shade. Nick Walding went so far as to perform a complete immersion in the Teign; whether dunking himself to cool down or enacting some bizarre Southern Baptist-style ritual to fire him up, who can say. Possibly the latter, given his enthusiastically vocal encouragement of the Erratattack which followed.

Match Manager Penny had badgered me to do this report, on the somewhat tenuous grounds that it was “Fraser’s first game as captain”. This turned out to be fake news: it was in fact his third, although to judge by his cool efficiency in marshalling the troops it might as well have been his 100th. Like many an experienced Skipper before him, though, Fraser proved to be a Useless Tosser, and so Erratics found themselves taking the field.

Whether it was Fraser’s calm authority, or the warmth of the sun springing us out of a collective hibernation, this was one of those rare occasions when Erratics look, feel (and in Nick’s case, sound) like a professional cricket team from the very first ball. Just about the only blemish was committed by Your Correspondent, dozing at point and so reacting too late to snaffle Martin Sharland off Ben Youngman.

Otherwise, we fielded smartly, backing up some fine bowling from a varied attack. Ben and Nigel Rutherford opened, Ben finding some nice movement along with a few radar-down-again waywardees, Nigel (2 for 13 off 7) sharp and threatening, extracting some oomphy lift off a two-pace run-up.

Nick Walding’s run-up was rather longer (and preceded by a nice little ‘stand-to-attention…exhale…square shoulders…exhale again…and…go!’ routine, which is already threatening Mark Hailwood’s Most Idiosyncratic Run-Up of the Squad Award, and just begging to be imitated by Krupakar on his return from Hyderabad, preferably in full wedding rig) - but it was equally effective: he bowled with real aggression, and fully deserved his 3 for 17.

Our Visiting Pro for the day was Broadclyst’s Sean Webb, who turned in a strong spell of testing off-spin, his eight overs costing just 17 runs and collecting one wicket. George Cockburn started tentatively but then gained confidence, bowling nice slow-medium on a good length, and also picking up a wicket.

Later in the innings, Fraser brought himself on for a few characteristically tight overs, and then Son summoned Father, and Duncan, too, was tight and testing. Ben, radar relocated, returned for an excellent second spell and was unfortunate not to emerge with more than one wicket.

Shackles were applied and maintained throughout, thanks to some intelligent field placing and smart ground fielding, aided, it must be said, by a sluggish outfield. Dunsford never got away, and whenever they looked as though they might, a wicket fell. But it was in our catching that we really shone; George Cockburn took a fine running chance off a top-edge, despite Your Correspondent helpfully yelling ‘Yours!’ as the ball skied up within range of at least five fielders, and Dan Thistlethwaite made excellent ground at point to pouch a tricky slice. But the piece de resistance came via a snorter of a delivery from Nigel, which reared, took the edge high on the bat, and seemed set to bisect keeper and slip and zing to the boundary, but for a coltish Kirby, who on the last day of his sixth decade, belying all lazy talk of reactions slowing with age and Saga moments looming, flashed out an arm at lightning speed and the ball stuck sharp in his glove. The only thing which spoiled the moment was his look of utter astonishment that it had done so. One can but hope his sixties bring a touch more insouciance.

Tea taken, then, with Dunsford mustering a paltry 96-8 off 38 overs. A walk in the park?
A stroll in the sunshine? A gentle evening’s meander along the Teign?

Not a bit of it.

We were reckoning without the combination of a strong Dunsford attack, a tricky wicket, and Erratics’ tendency to self-destruct at the touch of a willow.

Duncan and Peter Colcough opened, the latter soon returning as a result of a ‘proper cricket wicket’ – caught at slip. Fraser joined Duncan, and Your Correspondent joined Suki under the tree, to enjoy a restful hour or so of Combined Chavery before heading for the pub. No sooner had I sat down than Duncan was trapped in front. Fraser and I moved things along in relative calm for a few overs, before two Unfortunate Events. First, Fraser informed me firmly that “if we two stay in, we’ll win”. Second, Dunsford brought on Gary, with his nicely flighted spin. With Skipper’s wise words still echoing in my ears, I tried to launch Gary’s first ball into Wednesday, and succeeded only in driving it hard into my foot. Tried again next ball, possibly aiming for the following weekend, swished at nothing and heard the rattle of death.

I was at the head of a funeral march. Daniel followed the same over, deceived by flight, and Kirby and Cockburn were both caught soon after. Six down for seventy something. This brought Nick to the crease. He calmly assessed the situation, then launched a mighty slog- sweep into the trees. Sadly this was his sole scoring shot, as he launched again and was caught. (Whether Nick’s Calm Situation Assessments ever suggest any other options than a mighty slog-sweep into the trees, only the rest of the season will tell, but one can hope not, otherwise life would be that fraction duller.)

Along among the wreckage stood our Skipper Serene: watchful in defence, decisive in attack, driving and pulling with growing confidence, easing up through the gears even as his team-mates crunched theirs around him. Only at the death, as it were, did he die, and not without a murmur. Given out LBW by Umpire Kirby, Fraser politely but pointedly demurred, proffering a glove as evidence. Kirby relented, muttering something about a glove ‘sounding like a pad’ (a Saga moment if ever there was one) – only to fire him out the very next ball. This time our Captain, like March, went out like a lamb, for a very un-lamb-like 45 – the only one to pass double figures, and more than all the rest of us combined.

There were three still needed, but Ben and Nigel stood firm and put matters beyond doubt.

And so to the Royal Oak, and some much-needed cool beer in what was only just becoming the cool of the evening, the lush green woodlands over the valley fading into the dusk, at the end of a pretty much perfect day.

Dunsford Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
96 (38.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman6.0117117.002.83
Nigel Rutherford7.011326.501.86
Sean Webb8.0217117.002.13
Nick Walding7.001735.672.43
George Cockburn4.0011111.002.75
Fraser Chave4.00800.002.00
Duncan Chave2.01200.001.00

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 8 wickets
Duncan Chave Lbw  6
Peter Colclough Caught  0
Fraser Chave Lbw  45 5
Martin Wright Bowled  7
Daniel Thistlethwaite Bowled  0 1
Jonathan Kirby Caught  6 1
George Cockburn Caught  4
Nick Walding Caught  6 1 1
Ben Youngman Not Out  1
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  4 1 1
Sean Webb  

Dunsford Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.
Photos and video of Dunsford v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 17 Jun 2017 at 2.30pm

Dunsford 17th June

Annie and Kate watching Fraser batting at Dunsford.


Jonathan Kirby at Dunsford in 2017


Nick Walding at Dunsford in 2017


Nigel Rutherford at Dunsford in 2017


Duncan, Fraser and Annie Chave at Dunsford in 2017


Peter Colclough at Dunsford in 2017


Nick Walding, Martin Wright, Ben Youngman, Peter Colclough, Sean Webb, Nigel Rutherford, Dan Thistlethwaite, Fraser Chave, Duncan Chave, Jonathan Kirby and George Cockburn at Dunsford in 2017.