Robert Tinley

ROBERT CRISPIN TINLEY, who died on December 11th at Burton-on-Trent, was only a name to the present race of players, but he held a very high place among the cricketers of a past generation. He was a very fair bat, often by free hitting getting a few runs when they were most wanted, and as a field at point he divided honours with Robert Carpenter in the days when the annual match between the All England and United All England elevens was the event of the season at Lord"s. His fame, however, rested not upon his fielding or batting, but upon his remarkable skill as a lob bowler. His success during a number of seasons for the All England eleven against local twenty-twos was extraordinary, and he took an immense number of wickets when he went out to Australia in 1863 with George Parr"s famous team. Alfred Shaw, who came out as a colt for Notts while Tinley was still a member of the county eleven, thinks that he never saw so good a lob bowler but Canon McCormick, whose experience goes back further, holds a different opinion, ranking Tinley below V. E. Walker and one or two others.

Lob bowling is so little cultivated in these days that since the decline of Walter Humphreys we have had no one of any class except Mr. Jephson, but in Tinley"s time things were different, and cricketers not very far advanced in middle age can recall the deeds not only of V. E. Walker, but of the Rev. E. T. Drake the late Mr. T. C. Goodrich of the Free Foresters, and, to come down a little later, Mr. W. M. Rose and Mr. W. B. Money. Prior to the rise of Walter Humphreys, perhaps the last really good lob bowler was Mr. A. W. Ridley. Tinley made his first appearance at Lord"s for Notts against England in 1853. Born on Oct. 25th, 1830, he was in his seventy-first year at the time of his death. He had, we believe, been for a considerable time an invalid. Tinley played his first match for Notts, being then a lad of sixteen, against an England eleven at Nottingham in August, 1847, the match being for T. Barker"s benefit, and his last against Surrey at Nottingham in July, 1869. He made his first appearance for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord"s in 1858, and appeared for the Players for the last time at Lord"s in 1864. In this latter match he did not have an opportunity of bowling, Willsher and Tarrant being unchanged through both innings of the Gentlemen. He only took part in three Gentlemen and Players matches, scoring 31 runs in four innings, and taking five wickets for 46 runs. Several pages could be filled with details of his performances against twenty-twos, but it must suffice to say that he is said to have taken in all matches - first-class and against odds-303 wickets in 1860, 186 in 1861, and 351 in 1862. A North v. South match was played for his benefit at Nottingham in June, 1875, the profit accruing to him being just over £406. Originally he was a very fast round-arm bowler, but after playing for some few seasons he took to the lob bowling which he carried to such perfection.

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