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Mystics versus Erratics at Gras Lawn, 29th July 1987

Windy, Dunc and Stan talked me into batting first when the Mystics won the toss. That was to prove a mistake. With a smattering of bad luck and a lot of bad batting, we were bowled out for 78. Stan, Trevor the Hippy and Dunc made double-figure scores and there were five ducks. The last three were stumped off John Rudlin for nought in quick succession: Matt Matravers was well beaten; and then Paddy Screech and Jeremy Halliwell, unaware of the whole concept of creases, just took guard outside their ground and allowed Simon Bailey to dismiss them without a whimper. Chris Caseldine took four for 12 and Rudlin's late burst gave him figures of four for 15.

Having capitulated in less than two hours, the Mystics had to bowl 12 overs before tea. Stan took a wicket in that time, and Windy took another after tea, but it was never going to be enough. Chris Cook and Richard Hitchcock led the Erratics to a comfortable victory in 33 overs (Windy bowled unchanged up the hill and into the wind, as he kept pointing out). There were a couple of dramas - a low catch went to Stan's boot instead of to his hand and a couple of slip catches were dropped. One drive went to and then through Jeremy Halliwell, who was only able to slow its progress by sitting on it. Overall, the Mystics (in our first game under that name) were well beaten, and the Erratics had a first victory in the fixture.

It ended up being a good evening in the the Port Royal. Matthew Cook was particularly effective at exacting Mystic revenge, gleefully following instructions to "kick Richard Maltby and then throw a peanut at him." A sporting failure it may have been, but it was a social triumph. The Mystics had been born, underweight and squawking unhappily perhaps, but a bonny baby with much to look forward to.

Jim Thomson (edited from a diary entry)

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