Traveller’s Joy

Newquay were the visitors as Gunnislake once again hosted the opposition in a much anticipated match.  The build-up to this match had lasted nearly four weeks, with an earlier fixture between the two sides rained off.  Indeed this match had been planned to be staged at Newquay, but was switched to Gunnislake as Newquay had inadvertently allowed travellers onto their own ground, which was consequently unavailable for the fixture.  Gunnislake kindly obliged by hosting the match, though none of Brenda’s famous teas, nor Barrie’s ham sandwiches were on offer.

Unexpected guests

The start was brought forward half an hour, and Gunnislake were allowed to bat, with several players arriving for a later 1.30 start.  Joe and Sam Allen were flying in to Land’s End Airport at 11am, ready for the dash up the A30, so timing was tight for them.  Meanwhile Iain Barker had travelled from Surrey for his first game of the season.  Rumour had it that quite a few of the Newquay team live in Plymouth, and Gunnislake residents were not in great abundance either.   The joys of 21st century village cricket!

The Gunnislake batting order reflected the time of arrival to a large extent, so the ever punctual Emmerson twins were invited to open.  In theory Newquay were fielding a weak team; in practice their bowling line-up seemed rather strong to their hosts!  Later on we were to find their catching was also rather good…..  Still the match started with optimism on both sides, and Gunnislake set off at a brisk four runs per over.  However, David Emmerson fell for 7 runs and a series of replacements fared little or no better.  When Adam Emmerson was bowled for 22 by the excellent Mohammed Tahir, the runs slowed down and Gunnislake were getting stuck in the mud.  No-one else reached double figures until Iain Barker had a lusty swing towards the end.  It took Newquay a while to realise Iain has one good shot (mid-on to cow corner) and likes the aerial approach.  By then the Gunnislake score had reached some respectability.  There were a couple of near misses and one drop before Barker’s luck ran out and he was caught for 36, leaving Brian Martin 0 not out (no balls faced) in his first match of the season.  Along with two run outs and a pulled groin muscle the remaining wickets were shared between Mohammed Tahir, Josh Beasley and Callum Taylor.  127 all out was a below par score; the travelling side had their noses in front.

In the spirit of a friendly match Newquay chose to largely reverse their batting order, opening with young keeper Zack Staevski and travelling parent/taxi driver Chris Kidd.  Except Chris Kidd did not know he was not opening on merit and immediately set about plundering the Gunnislake attack.  A good eye made up for limited technique and Gunnislake were in trouble.  However, wickets fell regularly to leave Newquay six wickets down for a mere 73 runs.  Newquay were in mathematical trouble, despite being well ahead of the required run rate.  Enter Captain Marvel.  Sam Millatt, who showed everyone else what is meant by a straight bat, and indeed one that did not appear to have any edges.  Gunnislake changed the bowling in attempt to make something happen, with one over each from David Emmerson and Sam Allen among seven tried.  It was not to be, Newquay came home comfortably, with Millatt well supported by Mike Menhennett, to win by four wickets.  Millatt finished on 36 not out with Menhennett unbeaten on 15.  In truth it could have been a bigger defeat.

And thus the travelling side ran out victorious, their joy unconfined.  Newquay repaired to a local hostelry to celebrate while the Gunnislake ground was left empty and the home team slunk off to lick their wounds.  Your scribe stayed on to repair the pitch for the following week, after which the ground was closed and locked up.  Would sleepy Hawkmoor suffer the same excitement as Newquay Sports Centre?  We hope not…….


Gunnislake 127 all out (Barker 36, A Emmerson22; Tahir 3 for 22, Beasley 3 for 26)

Newquay 130 for 6 (Millatt 36no, Kidd 32; Mill 2 for 36)

Newquay won by 4 wickets

Click here for scorecard

Clematis vitalba – Traveller’s Joy. The fluffy, white seed heads of Traveller’s-joy give it the evocative, alternative name of ‘Old Man’s Beard’. A clematis-like climber, it can be seen scrabbling over hedgerows and in woods.