Filleigh v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Thu 27 Jun 2019 at 6.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 8 Runs

Match report The Deer Park, Filleigh's home ground, is a place of rare beauty. Nestling in a sylvan bowl, cradled by the gentle flow of the River Bray, overlooked by a mediaeval bridge and utterly ruined by a bunch of cricket thugs piling up the A roads from Exeter.

Mark Hailwood, skipper for the evening, and I were first to arrive, appropriately calm and reverential on entering this North Devonian Eden; Mark Phillips was last in, a little flustered as he had taken more wrong turns than right ones on the way north. In between a lot had happened. Ten men and boys of Filleigh (among them someone with an ominously Australian accent and that stiffness of pre-game movement that seems only to belong to the cricketers who prove to be the most supple and athletic once play starts) had arrived and greeted us warmly. A few noisy cars had disgorged a few noisy Erratics. We had discovered that we were batting and a batting order had been imposed. I found myself at nine, as there was nobody to bat at ten or eleven. Fraser Chave and Ben Pullan, left and right, blond and brunette, willowy and substantial, opened for us against the pace of Joe Floyd and the off breaks of Will Blowers. Floyd was the harder to play - partly because I refused to call the boy for wides despite a number heading several inches down the leg side, but mostly because his short balls only got up to half shin height. Pulling was hazardous and for me shot of the day came early, when Ben managed to connect with a short straight one by playing something that no coaching manual would include in its description of The Pull. Not even in a footnote. Replace the bat with a brush, stick him in ice skates and have a curling stone sliding gently towards him and you have it.

A retire-at-thirty arrangement saw the end of both our openers by the ninth over, Fraser with a glorious six and Ben with an urgent single. Martin Wright was just starting to shift up into first gear, really connecting with a Fraser Boundy off break and sending it flying towards long on for a certain six, only to see Prosser, the Filleigh captain, pluck it nonchalantly out of the air like a scrumper plucking an illicit apple from a tree. Nick Walding, having taken an unconscionable amount of time actually to get on to the pitch after the entirely-to-be-expected retirement of Fraser, played over a yorker. The two Marks and the second Ben flattered a little only to deceive: caught, caught and run out. The soft centre of the Erratics Quality Street had been exposed again, only to make another gooey mess. John Curtis and I did our duty, both bowled for nought, and Ben and Fraser were back together in the 16th over. In those seven overs only about 30 runs had been scored. Sadly, the openers didn't respond to the noble sacrifices that the rest of the team had made, and Ben holed out to deep midwicket with the score on 102. Not enough against a team that looked, from their fielding, to have a few capable batsmen.

Filleigh lent us a string of fielders: a string that started with Joe Floyd and peaked with ... no, we'll come to that a bit later. Hailwood and Youngman opened the attack against Tyson and Cullen. The latter popped up an easy catch to extra cover as he couldn't decide whether to drive or block a full ball from Mark. Dan Butler didn't last long, falling to another easy catch, this time to square leg off Ben. 16 for two after four overs. Nick Walding (Waldrino in the scorebook, which sounds to me like a sub-atomic particle invented by an appearing-at-Butlins magician) bowled the fifth over and then Dave Squire fell to Ben in the sixth. 19 for three. Matthew Boundy, all four-foot-nothing of him, came in at five. He held Ben, John Curtis and the Great Waldrino at bay for a while as Tyson looked to attack. A ball lobbed back to Nick off his own bowling, Ben Pullan shouted "catch" and, contrarian to a fault, Nick dropped it. Tyson reached 30 and retired, and then Boundy hit a catch to midwicket where Fraser shouted that he couldn't see before catching it easily.

Fraser was then bowling, and Fraser Boundy had joined Will Blowers for the biggest partnership of the innings. Blowers looked the better player, able to hit with timing and power on both sides of the wicket. But they never made batting looking easy, and we were definitely ahead on the Duckworth Lewis. In an attempt to score of Fraser's miserly bowling, Blowers got too ambitious and was bowled. An Aussie accent in shorts wandered out to the wicket. He didn't play himself in, instead launching his first ball towards the pavilion on the midwicket boundary. By now, Matthew Boundy was our sub fielder. It quickly became clear that this rocket was heading straight towards him. Most Erratics fielders would have found a way to avoid this - feigning misjudgement, maybe, or just dropping to the ground screaming - but not Matthew. With something of the air of Saint Sebastian facing Dioceletian's archers, he bravely stood his ground. "Ooh," I thought, "that's going to hit him ... and it'll hurt." Not at all. Saint Sebastian became The Matrix's Neo, time slowed, Matthew waited, there was a breathless hush, and, with a minimum of fuss, Matthew took the catch. Pandemonium erupted.

The rest of the match was a bit of an anti-climax. Hailwood, Youngman and Chave bowled tight lines and Floyd and Prosser fell eight short. We had defended 102 on a glorious evening, against friendly new opposition on a gorgeous ground. The North Devon Tour had started as it meant to go on. God was in heaven, and all was right with the world.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 4w 3lb 
for 8 wickets

(16.2 overs)
Fraser Chave Not Out  33 1 2 1
Ben Pullan Caught  37 4 2 1
Martin Wright Caught  10 1
Nick Walding Bowled  1
Mark Hailwood Caught  7 1
Ben Youngman Run out  4
Mark Phillips Caught  1
John Curtis Bowled  0
Jim Thomson Bowled  0 1
N.O. One  
N.O. Two  

Filleigh Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Filleigh Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
6w 3b  
for 7 wickets
94 (20.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mark Hailwood4.0026126.006.50
Ben Youngman4.01933.002.25
Nick Walding4.01800.002.00
John Curtis3.0024124.008.00
Fraser Chave4.001025.002.50
Jim Thomson1.00800.008.00