County Championship – W 3, L 2, D 1

Captain – R Daft

The Notts programme for 1870 comprised six county games plus a game versus the MCC at Lord’s. The Colts match was for once played out – the Eleven beat the Twenty-Two by an innings. On 25 April, the Notts cricket eleven were presented with new caps – black with cherry coloured ribbon on each seam – by Richard Daft. Whilst old George Butler remained in general charge of the gate and ground, it was G Poyser who actually prepared the wickets in 1870.

The old hands were chiefly responsible for the 108-run victory in Notts’ opening game v Surrey at the Oval. Richard Daft made the highest scores, 55 and 80, and Jemmy Shaw took 8-103 in the match. From the Oval, Notts went directly to Lord’s for their game with MCC. Daft in the first innings made 117 and was ably supported by George Summers (41) as Notts totalled 267. WG Grace carried his bat through the MCC innings of 183 for 117 not out; Jemmy Shaw 6-68. Following-on, Grace made a duck but with Cambridge Blue and Middlesex opener John Dale making 90 MCC were 240 all out (Jemmy Shaw 6-65). Notts needed 157 to win but the match was to take a tragic turn.

In Notts second innings with the score on 23-1, Summers was hit by the first ball bowled by John Platts on the left side of the head just above the ear. He fell to the ground, rolling like a shot rabbit and was knocked unconscious. He made a temporary recovery in the pavilion and asked to go home to Nottingham, but died at his parents’ Inn a four days later. His father was shocked by the accident and did not survive him long. Summers who first played for Notts in 1867 and, from then on, a regular in the line-up, was buried in the General Cemetery, Nottingham, the MCC erecting a monument over his grave, which states:

“This tablet is erected to the memory of George Summers by the Marylebone Cricket Club, to mark their sense of his qualities as a Cricketer, and to testify their regret at the untimely accident on Lord’s Ground which cut short a career so full of promise, June 19th, 1870, in the 26th year of his age”. 

Notts won the match by two wickets as Daft scored 53 in the second innings, ably supported by William McIntyre (34).

Eight days after the accident, Yorkshire came to Trent Bridge. The MCC refused to release George Wootton and Sam Biddulph for the match. Fred Wyld was ill and of course Summers no more, so Notts had to field a very inferior eleven. Included in the team were two men who never played for the County again, Richard Housley of Mansfield Woodhouse, a fair batsman, and George Martin, a local wicket-keeper – both these players appeared as professionals, but were mainly amateurs.  Jemmy Shaw bowled splendidly, taking 11-99, but the batsmen were obviously affected by Summers’ death – his funeral took place on the day before the match. The game built up to a dramatic climax – Notts needed seven to win when Jemmy Shaw (the worst batsman in England) joined George Howitt (the second worst). By some miracle the pair added four, then Howitt was caught off Ephraim Lockwood hitting to leg. Notts lost by two runs. It was a great pity that Notts could not field their best side for this match, since it practically decided the Championship in favour of Yorkshire.

Notts beat Kent by an innings and 87 runs at Trent Bridge in two days at the end of July, Kent 46 all out (William McIntyre 5-36, Jemmy Shaw 4-5). Daft (49) top scored as Notts made 201. Kent were shot out for 73 as McIntyre (8-36) finished with 13-52 in the contest. The return with Yorkshire was very keenly fought; it was a pity therefore that because the players wasted so much time, the match ended in a draw. The scoring rate was under 1.6 per over in all four innings, more than 200 maidens being delivered. About 6,000 turned up at Bramall Lane ground for the first day as Notts made 146 (Daft 45 not out, George Freeman 6-55). Yorkshire replied with 147 (McIntyre 5-39). Notts second innings amounted to 142 (Daft 46). Yorkshire who faced 92 overs in their chase for the 142 for victory, finished on 107-6, requiring a further 35 to win.

Notts went to Crystal Palace and won in two days as Kent were trounced by an innings and 66 runs. Notts 167, Kent 58 (Jemmy Shaw 6-22) and 43 (Jemmy Shaw 6-13). With Daft having broken a tendon in his leg, Surrey defeated Notts by 53 runs at Trent Bridge in the last inter-county match of 1870, which signalled the end of an era, since it was the last First-Class contest in which George Parr appeared. Notts chasing 145 to win were bowled for 91 as Edward Bray took 7-32 having earlier taken 5-49 in Notts first innings of 145. Jemmy Shaw 9-100 for the losers. Earlier in the summer Parr had played in the Whitsun, North v South match at Lord’s ‘to show that he was on good terms with the MCC, whatever he might be with the county on the other side of the water’. Parr scored 41 without the ghost of a chance, ‘showing the present cracks in what fine form of other days could bat’. Parr’s mantle was now truly on Daft’s shoulders, for the later averaged 61.87 (495 runs) in 1870 while the next player in the list averaged 17. The bowling was dominated by Jemmy Shaw (62 wickets @9.51) who was ably supported by McIntyre (31 wickets @14.41) and Alfred Shaw (17 wickets @15.00).

John Selby was the most notable recruit to the county ranks in 1870. He had been first noticed as a professional sprinter running under the pseudonym of ‘Bendigo’s Novice’ (Bendigo was the old prize fighter, who spent much of his retirement at Trent Bridge, being employed in various menial capacities on the ground). Selby developed into a fine right-hand batsman and represented England in the inaugural Test match at Melbourne in March 1877, where he had the dubious distinction of being the first English wicket to fall in a Test.

Robert Butler, a nephew of George Parr, made the highest score (60) in the 1870 Kent match at Crystal Palace. A pupil of Loughborough Grammar School, he tragically lost both parents within a few days of each other. At the time of his debut he was only 18 and seemed to be most promising. In 1871 he went to work in London and his opportunities for county cricket virtually disappeared.

In addition to the normal county matches, Thomas Walker of Eastwood Hall arranged a match on his private ground between the Sixteen of Notts and an Eleven of England. Walker employed the McIntyres at Eastwood and was a partner in the Barber, Walker Colliery Company. The match was made remarkable for the bowling of Jemmy Shaw, who captured all ten England wickets a cost of 20 runs in the first innings. Notts won by 142 runs, the England side fielded was a very strong side. Walker played for Notts in the match but sadly died six months later aged only 26 years.

The last local match of any note for the 1870 season was Richard Daft’s XI v Twenty-two of Notts, played at Bulwell Hall in October in aid of the sick and wounded of the Franco-Prussian War.

The AGM was held on 29 December at the Midland Inn. The profit for the year was £48.12s, which increased the balance in hand to £293.15s.3d.

July 2020