We were in new accommodation this year and played our first new opposition for a few years too. It was a great tour (helped by the sunshine, no doubt) with some very fine games and a lot of general tour loveliness. The first game at Bugle had a delayed start after a bit of morning rain; but we still had time for a 35-over game. 64 and 63 for Matt Cook and Sid set up a score that the home team couldn't overhaul, especially in the face of Will's five-wicket haul. The hosts turned out in force, with family and old Mystic friends like Paul Tucker.
The next day we were at Pencarrow and greeting more old friends. Stuart Ellis was in the opposition 12 along with his son Charlie. Again we batted first and made a good score. Fraser's 67 was the backbone of our 217 for nine. Pencarrow got close -- indeed, while Charlie was going well, a home victory looked on the cards -- but Chris Healey took the crucial wicket and Fraser closed out the victory. At Boconnoc the next day we found ourselves chasing 204 to win after John Nibblett's 94. Runs for Sam, Fraser and Ernie weren't enough and we were bowled out in the penultimate over, still 22 runs shy of the target. Methigion shaded an evening game that saw lots of runs, very few wickets and contrasting fortunes for the Borley boys: Adrian ruptured his achilles setting off for a single; Matthew batted well and finished the game with an insouciant reverse sweep that came within a few yards of carrying for six.
A beautiful afternoon saw a great game at Saint Neot. 80s for Matts Cook and Crawford took us to 229 and a declaration. It felt like plenty, but the outfield was like glass and Saint Neot's batters determined. Some impressive hitting and judicious late-order batting saw them to a one-wicket victory with eight balls left of the last 20 overs. The next day we were a bit overwhelmed by the hospitality of our new opponents, Saint Stephen. At very short notice they rustled us up lunch as well as a beautiful tea. The game was a good one too. We made 215 with 49 and 44 to Pete and Mat. Ern then picked up five wickets and on-loan debutant Josh Raven three as we ran out winners by 20 runs despite Sam Dowrick's beligerent 58.
The Chairman's Cup was played at Teign Valley, the Erratics' new home ground. We were able to declare at 193 after a big partnership between Dunc and Matt Cook. It proved to be a good target, with the Erratics squeaking home by two wickets after home skipper, Mark Hailwood top-edged the winning boundary in the 19th of the last 20 overs. Fraser was almost unplayable at times -- his first ball took off and hit Chris Cook on the back (twice) -- and he had excellent support from Mat Ogley. At Killerton on the Sunday, our 200 off 36 overs proved 40 too many for Broadclyst, despite another excellent knock from George Daldorph with strong support from Phillip Walker. Those two had been the pick of the hosts' bowlers too, and Mat Ogley had led our batting well with 47.
Matthew Borley was player of the tour after strong all-round displays, including stepping in as wicket keeper for half the games, some great catching and that reverse sweep at Boscawen Park. Kate Squire, who arranged the new accommodation for us, was supporter of the tour for the fourth time.