Newton Poppleford v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 26 May 2019 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 12 runs

Match report The reporter’s dilemma. What to lead on? The remarkable Newton Poppleford fightback before a nailbiting victory for the Erratics or the great tea mystery?

Yes, you’ve guessed it – we have to deal with the tea first. After all this timeless ritual is central to club cricket. Indeed a recent proposal in Hampshire to cut out the tea break was voted down at the AGM by 140 to eight. As one writer put it in the Guardian ‘Cakes and sandwiches are sacrosanct’.

Which was why it was so perturbing to receive a message prior to this game to say that Newton Poppleford didn’t have the use of their pavilion and so there wouldn’t be the usual tea. Rather a two stage arrangement – ‘a small al fresco tea, comprising tea and cakes served between innings; and a larger tea served at The Cannon after the game’. Players were advised to ‘stock up at lunchtime’.

Everyone (well, I did) wanted to know why the pavilion was out of use? It turned out that it is a regular occurrence now as the hall is being used for dog training. Indeed when the door was open you could see various beasts being trailed around a circuit. Dogs and sandwiches obviously don’t mix. Not rain stopped play but dogs stopped tea!

Anyway back to the game. Nigel ‘I’ve never lost a match as skipper’ Rutherford won the toss and chose to bat. A considered decision after studying the track and a detailed weather forecast? No! Nigel had forgotten his much needed knee supports which were to be delivered later. Batting first was the obvious response.

As the scorers settled down another element of the changing face of Club cricket revealed itself. While Annie, our pencil master, got out the old fashioned scorebook, Newton just produced a laptop. There followed a very technical discussion about the relative merits of two scoring systems: Total Cricket Score versus Play-Cricket Scorer Pro. It was all lost on me although I did rather like one bonus from on line scoring – namely that one could keep up with the Erratics score live wherever you are in the world.

Chave and Chave opened the batting against some very useful bowling and did well to weather this early storm bringing up the 50 in the 12th over of a 40 over game. They went on to make just two shy of a hundred opening partnership before Fraser fell for a battling 28. The rest of us were very grateful that father and son had seen off the best of the bowling. George House was particularly challenging with a superb 8-3-10-1. The one was with his very last ball – bowling Duncan for a fine 46.

Ben Abrahams went in at 3 fresh from a Devon Premier League appearance for Exeter the previous day and even more impressively from a recent stay in India and a stint with the Madan Lal Cricket Academy where he played in front of big crowds and enjoyed celebrity status!

Ben kept the score ticking nicely before becoming the third Erratic to be clean bowled for 23 at 151-3. It was then over to Ben Pullan (55 not out) and Jonathan Kirby (14 not out) to put together a productive 50 partnership to see the Erratics to 204-3 at the close.

This was a proper sounding cricket score followed by a not so proper tea. Actually the talk of cakes, much looked forward to by the away team, proved slightly misleading. It was more biscuits unless you count Jaffa cakes.

Whether it was down to the lack of more substantial sustenance or not who knows but Newton Poppleford started out as if they were desperate to get to the Cannon for the second tea. As one Erratic put it “they are batting like a demented England ODI top order”. Within no time Ben Youngman and Rithvik Gutha had ripped through the top order as big hitting brought only wickets: 24-4 within 5 overs.

Things stabilised a little but not for long. Nigel was his usual tight line self and took 3-5 off his first two overs. The home side were 42-7 and even the Erratics started to sense a convincing victory. Never a good thought!

The excellent bowler George House turned batsman and together with Louis Adey suddenly made batting look easy. The runs started flowing quickly and the hundred mark was passed without further alarm. Then the Chaves struck; Fraser having Adey caught at slip by Duncan for a brisk 35 off 23 balls.

Another wicket fell shortly after and at 125-9 things looked bleak for Newton. But that didn’t account for Mr House who farmed the strike and hit the ball with seriously impressive power. Nigel commented at one stage that he didn’t think he’d ever been hit so far as one of his 4 sixes sailed over the pavilion.

As House edged his side ever closer to the victory target the Erratics body language had changed from its earlier buoyancy. The pendulum had well and truly swung. But cricket is a great game and it it had one last twist. Ben Youngman came back into the attack and was hit for a huge six. Only 12 runs in it now. Two balls later House swung again and the ball went sailing up and up and started drifting away from Duncan Chave on the boundary. Somehow he managed to move with the ball and showed us all how to take a tumbling catch. The Erratics all swarmed over to him while George House stood devastated and unbelieving in the middle. His 94 had been an exceptional contribution to what turned out to be an exhilarating game.

And so to the second tea – overflowing plates of sausages, chips and sandwiches all enjoyed by two teams who had much to talk about after such a brilliant finish.

Martin Weiler

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
6nb 11w 16b 5lb 
for 3 wickets

(40.0 overs)
Duncan Chave Bowled  46 8 3
Fraser Chave Bowled  28 4
Ben Abrahams Bowled  23 3 1
Ben Pullan Not Out  55 7 1 1
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  14 1
Martin Weiler  
Matt Crawford   1
Nigel Rutherford  
Jim Thomson  
Rithvik Gutha  
Ben Youngman  

Newton Poppleford Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Newton Poppleford Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3nb 15w 3b  
for 10 wickets
192 (33.4 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman6.402446.003.60
Rithvik Gutha8.0140220.005.00
Jim Thomson5.014000.008.00
Nigel Rutherford7.0141313.675.86
Fraser Chave4.0122122.005.50
Matt Crawford3.002200.007.33
Photos and video of Newton Poppleford v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 26 May 2019 at 2.00pm


A May 2019 trip to Newton Pop


Erratics looking on


Chave & Chave patiently build


Old and new scoring technologies