Windy's Crapp runneth over

Mystics versus Fowey at Fowey, 30th July 2006

Mystic passengers delightedly alighted at Fowey for game one of the '06 campaign. Fowey's tall tree lined estuary glistered. Along the town esplanade the young blue-capped scraps laughed "What a splendid skim-stone" as they slung pebbles toward far-off Mevagissey. The hot sun grinned throughout the afternoon as they waved toy-yachts in one hand and flaky pasties in t'other.

Meantime the Mystic and Magicians had begun to trickle slowly into the village from the top like a slow cataract of bobbing sliced peach, stopping at stages to admire the local Cornish novelties before descending the next white-water incline. Ultimately, some of the old fruits welled at the bottom, marinading in the local pub in anticipation of another marvellous tour. What tales of adventure beckoned? What storm was due to cover every nook of Cornwall that day? I was certain I heard the cry of "Seagull, seagull, sit on the sand. It's never good weather when you're on the land."

One of this early crowd was Steve Berry. Steve has been on a large percentage of Mystics Cornish touring. Today he was to be involved in the action, and despite clutching for a reason not to play, he conceded that he was uninjured (or perhaps only partially) and thus available. No doubt he perceived the game might be a wash out. No such luck would await however; the game was apparently one amongst very few in the region that would be completed that day. This most likely was due to our location and its own coastal microclimate. Bullet-like droplets were issued at one point in a momentary shock, only to be swept away through the tall scots pines partitioning the outfield from the estuary. This only had a brief effect upon the spectacle as the Mystics and Fowey locked horns for the first time. Mystic progenitor and skipper for the day J.Thomson elected to bat first having won the toss.

M. Sharland and P. Weatherhead took to the youthful attack at Fowey with a steady abrasiveness. Peter, whom I have often seen confounding those critics who contend his potential as an all-rounder, smote a commanding leg clip for the first tour four. He was however unable to build and soon fell for 6. The Mystics innings felt like a couple of hours of Brand X jazz guitar suites, always interesting, never overimposing and most definitely refined. Sharland kept tempo with a dynamic 71, (his first half century since 2000) Sid turned the amps up to 11 with his roaring 76, and father Cook produced a platinum 45 at the end to further entertain the magical moshers. Chris Squire and Sam Cook ended up being the backing singers this time round. Nevertheless, they all contributed to a mellifluous total of 221.

Following tea, the opening Mystics over was to be bowled by the aforementioned Steve Berry. This would be, after two previous tours, his very first spell for the club. His first two overs were very tidy, the second being a wicket maiden. Windy's brief spell at the other was quite a contrast, 38 runs from three overs owed little to the quality of the deliveries, which seemed fairly decent. But a combination of a shortish straight boundary and exuberant hitting power from Fowey opener R.Crapp resulted in four grand sixes and three brayed fours from the three overs, all whistling over Windy's head. Poor Windy. This pattern then became prevalent at the other end, the young batsman rapidly heading toward 50, and suddenly the 221 target seemed meagre. But the Mystics continual dismissal of Crapp's batting partners kept the game in the balance, mostly in catches by the Cook family. In fact there were 7 catches shared between the Cooks, which is notable. Crapp however continued to dominate, and on passing his half century, began to bat more cautiously. It later transpired that this young man had never reached a ton, and so I was told, was thought to be an unremarkable pinch hitter by his fellow clubmen. It was most likely a mixture of this, and some better Mystics bowling from Flat Cook and his youngest sprog that caused the batsman to become a little (not a lot) less gung-ho. Jim joined the Windy club with his two overs, Crapp seemed to have the measure of the slower bowling, and again dispatched it forthwith. He subsequently reached his maiden century, which will no doubt be the first of many. It was at this time that the game changed complexion dramatically. Weatherhead was brought to the fray, and charging in, he rained down some fierce cutters and finally dismissed the opener, which was, unsurprisingly, a catch for a Cook.

With the pressure off, the Mystics gradually drew the strings of the bag, and snaffled elusive victory within. Almost certainly the best spin spell of the day came from Ernie, who added to his batting triumph with three excellent late wickets for the cost of only 12 runs. The Fowey number nine batsman Groves played some unorthodox strokes, two of which had carried to the boundary, but it was his uncompromising technique that would throw his shoulder out and force him to retire. From here the game was all but won, and as Bolland struck the ball high into the air, fate allowed Windy to cup his hands, and make the catch his.

Matt Cook

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