This, the first Covid tour, was in doubt until about a fortnight before the start. Staying in Tor View was effectively illegal until the government announcement of the easing of restrictions on 19th July, just six days before the first game. Given that background, it's not really a surprise that we started slowly at Bugle, finding ourselves 20 for seven and still well over 100 short of the target. A low-order rally saw us into a position where we could realistically hope to win before a great slip catch restored the natural order of things and we slipped to a narrow defeat.
The margin of defeat at Pencarrow was arguably even smaller as the home side only passed our total after they had lost all ten wickets. Mat Ogley shone for us with his first fifty, and Matt Crawford took four wickets and two catches on his Mystics debut. Victory at Boconnoc was reasonably comfortable after Ernie's fifty and we shaded Methigion by a few runs after telling contributions by Chrises Healey and Cook with the bat and by Fraser with the ball.
The going was soft to heavy by the end of the game at Saint Neot, and we failed to defend a total of 138 that was built on another Ernie half century. The Thursday rain did for the Lanhydrock game too, as the track was unplayable by Friday morning.
And so to Devon for a couple of great matches. First we played the Erratics at Lustleigh, a game where we marked the death of Mystics legends Rita Thomson and Steve Berry as well as the Erratics' Les Hanson. Alfie Weiler and Annie Chave gave moving speeches in their honour at tea. Around that, an exciting draw was played out, which meant that we retained the Chairman's Cup. We scored 167, with six scores of between 12 and 39. In reply, the Erratics lost early wickets and then rebuilt; but the target always felt a bit of a stretch, especially when Sam Cook bowled his dad for an excellent 55, and we ended the game with a crowded close field but unable to break Hailwood and Youngman's defiant last-wicket partnership.
The Broadclyst game was set up by a Chris Healey 74 (which took him to 2999 career runs for the Mystics), and we set the home team 172 to win. Ben Youngman reduced them to 38 for four, but George Daldorph made a battling 96, dropped four times along the way. While he was there, Broadclyst looked favourites. Ben's return, and a beautifully taken boundary catch by Fraser, snared him with 18 still needed off five overs. Great death bowling by Sam and Mat meant that three runs were needed off the last ball, and the home skipper was run out diving to make a second run that would have tied the game.
First-time tourist Mat Ogley, who batted (actually battered would be a better description of his approach), bowled and fielded with skill and body-on-the-line commitment, was player of the tour. Jo Sharland won a second supporter-of-the-tour award for narrowly averting several disasters.