Twenty-five All Out!

Published: 2021
Pages: 12
Author: Tebay, Martin
Publisher: Red Rose Books
Rating: 3.5 stars

Being a Lancastrian I have much enjoyed Martin Tebay’s Red Rose Cricket Records series of booklets which, with a previously announced limit of eleven, therefore has its penultimate outing with this one. It remains an excellent idea, and for the tenth time I can report that the booklet contains some impressive research, is well written, and built around the story of a fascinating cricket match. A new feature however is that this one, I suspect, will prove at least as popular with those who live on the eastern side of the Pennines as with those to the west.

Why is this? Like me you may have thought, on seeing the title of the booklet, that it concerned the greatest ignominy ever inflicted by the Red Rose on another county. Wrong. What Martin has done this time is look at the lowest score made by a Lancashire side in a First Class fixture. The bowling side weren’t Yorkshire, although just about every other aggravating feature is present.

So what are these unfortunate elements? First of all the sorry course of events took place at home at Old Trafford, secondly some of the misery was inflicted by a former Lancashire bowler, William Hickton, and finally the opposition that day were Derbyshire. Now there is nothing wrong with Derbyshire per se, but their team for that game in 1871 contained as many as nine men making their First Class debuts, the reason for that being that it was the county’s first ever First Class match!

Martin’s entertaining introduction is understandably a little tongue in cheek this time, and the account of a match that ended in an innings defeat for the Red Rose is a slightly uncomfortable read. Martin then closes with a broader look at disappointing Lancashire totals, listing as many as 24 all out totals under 50. At least only one of them has occurred in my lifetime, although Yorkshire supporters will be amused by the fact they are responsible for as many as six of those, two of them, 30 and 34, occurring in the same match in 1868.

As with all of the publications in this series this one appears in a limited edition of thirty copies at the very reasonable price of £6.99 including UK postage and packing unless, I hope, the purchaser has a Yorkshire postcode in which case a fair price would, in my respectful opinion, be nearer £250 plus postage and packing,

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