An Affair to remember

Mystics versus Erratics at Teign Valley, 7th August 2004

The first time this match had been played, Mrs Thatcher was one year into her second term, Nick Howe was slightly built and the parents of my current undergraduates were in the mood for lurve. That had been 20 years previously. What is more, it was the Erratics who had been polishing the Chairman's Cup for a year. The times were calling for a Mystic victory.

The Mystics batted first, and not-so-young-any-more Matt Cook and really-getting-on-a-bit Sid Thomson put on 15 runs before both wickets fell without the score being upped further. It is, as we know, difficult for two new batsmen to take the crease at once, but Chris Squire and the newly graduated Clem Hitchcock put on a further 29 between them. Wickets then started to fall at rather a rate. We can perhaps excuse those veterans of 1984 and 1985 (they are not, after all, as young as they were): Matravers run out on four and Miller LBW on two. However, as so often happens on these occasions, the ageless Adi Borley came in to steady the buffs. A series of partnerships (including one of 28 with the Mystics' ever-youthful secretary) took the score to 141. Bill Parker was the pick of the Erratics' bowlers, with two for ten off six overs.

The Erratics, for whom proportionally 20 years is less of an issue, did not lose their first wicket until they were 30 runs in. There was a succession of partnerships, with the veteran Steve Berry making a 38 before being caught by Adi off Windy. Apart from that, however, the batting never really got going with some good, tight bowling from the Mystics. Clem, the mysteries of modernis behind him, managed an excellent four for 13 off five overs.

I make the record six to us, five to the Erratics and nine games drawn. A closely fought 20 years.

Derek Matravers

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