After we had been washed out of Scotland in 2002, it was agreed that we needed to try somewhere else. Windy went on holiday to Cornwall and said there was golf, beer and cricket down there. It seemed as good a place as any to start looking for fixtures.
Kate managed to find some excellent accommodation near the Eden Project, and I concentrated my search for fixtures at the eastern end of Cornwall. At least, I thought, we could always escape quickly back to England if it all got too hairy. Using the Internet, the telephone and my immense personal charm, I set up fixtures at Bugle, Falmouth, Lanhydrock, Saint Neot and Wadebridge.
The twenty-odd players I was expecting on tour soon shrank to a squad of 12 or so. Pictured left are (back row) Neil Hadley, Chris Healey, Chris Cook, Peter Thomson, Duncan Chave, Jim Thomson, Jimmy Ton, (front row) Chris Squire, Ernie Sharland, Windy Miller and Adi Borley. Kev was sitting this game out, Deke had already left and Matt Cook was on the train from Exeter.
We beat Bugle by 41 runs thanks to Adi's ultimate destruction century and some fine bowling by the five-million-pound Chrises. At Falmouth an obdurate innings by a fifteen year old held us up, and we had to make do with a draw. In the grounds of Lanhydrock House, Big Cook led our successful chase, and we won by four wickets. The heatwave hit on the Thursday at Saint Neot. Ernie declared with Big Cook on 96*, and then Kev bowled us to victory, despite Duncan Fraser's astonishingly loud innings. Wadebridge were only able to offer an evening game, and we won a match that was not really contested.
Back in Devon, we had the Chairman's Cup rudely snatched away from us. Simon Orpen's runs and Adam Thomas's and John Somers's bowling were too much for us, despite Neil Perryman's chanceless 41 on debut. We re-established ourselves the next day against Broadclyst. Sid and Duncan put on a brilliant 190 partnership (Jimmy Ton, captain against his home team, declared with Sid on 92*), and the Mystics won by a lot of runs.
To universal acclaim, Donna was named supporter of the tour. She drove the minibus, scored and looked after the tour manager. Neil Hadley was the player of the tour, and he sang Peggy Gordon in celebration.