La Condition Hadleyaine

Mystics versus Grampound Road at Grampound Road, 31st July 2011

Grampound Road might not have deer galloping across the park, but it has provided the venue for some fearsome tour tussles. This year, in particular, one remembers that between Captain Chris Healey and Hayder over the number of overs the latter should bowl. I remain unclear whether it is the bowling that matters to Hayder or the desire to avoid the intense personal suffering consequent on having to watch the bowling of others. Oh, that eighth and last over: dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, six. It is what the French would call la condition humaine.

The game started well for the Mystics. Within a few minutes, Pete and Hayder had both struck, leaving Grampound Road two down without scoring. However, the buffs were considerably steadied by a fellow from overseas (Richards) who batted through four partnerships - the most dangerous of which was with Buretto which was eventually broken by Sean. Richards was finally caught by Chris Healey off Pete one short of a fifty. During this impressive innings, partnerships of their own were being formed by the fielding side, with Sean and Pete each dropping a catch off the other's bowling. Davey contributed some runs, but some fair bowling and a run out by Pete soon had all back in the pavilion. The home side were a couple of men short, which left Chris Healey with the issue philosophical issue of whether a single person necessarily or only contingently occupies only one place in any single batting line-up. Chris having decided it was the modally stronger relation, Graham did the decent thing and stepped up to bat before being sent immediately on his way by Jim with fine LBW. Three bowlers - Sean, Hayder and Jim - managed two wickets each.

The reason the game deserves its place in the Mystics pantheon was the awesome display of batting by Neil Hadley. However, let us not jump the gun. They Mystics started well with a fluid opening partnership of 50 by Duncan and Ernie. Things then got a little bogged down, with Sam scoring a below-par 2, and the Chairman scoring an above-par 5. This bought Neil in to join Sid at the wicket. It was an impressive and entertaining display; a glancing four here, a straight drive there; it was a glimpse of what David Gower would have been like had be been five foot nine and Exonian. And right-handed. Sid went for 26 (our top score) bringing Pete to the wicket. We safely negotiated our way to the winning runs with no further loss. For Grampound Road, Jeffery Vandersaay deserves a mention, taking 4 of the 5 wickets, for 15 off 8. Graham deserves a mention for having helped out with the fielding. An excellent game, played in fine spirits, with many a memorable event.

Derek Matravers

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