Mystics and Magicians Cricket Club

A Brief History



In 1984, a few Exeter College students tired of the simple challenges presented by catching a tennis ball in Bury Meadow, and decided to get a cricket team together to play a game against the Erratics (the Exeter University staff XI). A half century from Stan was the highlight of a low-scoring game. The runs that took us to a five wicket win were scored by Inspector Monroe of The Bill. We won again in 1985, after Windy Miller took six for six.

Images from the Scrapbook As the team became better established, and the game against the Erratics became a regular event, the decision was made to give the team a proper name, and, I suppose, to become a C.C. instead of just an XI. Click here to find out why we became the Mystics and Magicians.

By 1992, the series score stood at two-all after some excellent draws and some forgettable defeats. It was in 1992 that the Mystics first became a touring side. We went to Ireland in late August. Since then we have toured every Summer. To Scotland in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. In 1999, we spent a week in Devon, and in 2000, 2001 and 2002 we returned to Scotland.

By 2003, we had tired of watching the rain fall on friendly Scottish pitches. Instead we went to Cornwall. The sun shone, and we won most of our games. We returned in 2004, when the weather was a little less friendly, and in 2005 for a record-breaking eight-game tour. There was more of the same in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, there was a lot more rain than cricket; but we did get a full game in on the Saturday against the Erratics, and what a game. The 2009 Cornwall tour started even wetter than the previous year's, but it cleared up and dried out later in the week, and we managed four full games. The Cornish weather has improved, and the last nine tours - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 - have been much better weeks (at least in terms of the weather). We played at least six games on each tour, which was painful for most of us.

The series with the Erratics has continued, and since 1996 the teams have been competing for the Chairman's Cup, a trophy presented by our Chairman, Professor Derek Matravers. In 2010, the Erratics regained the trophy for the first time in seven years and in 2011, 2012 and 2013 they retained it with a convincing win and two squeaky-bum-time draws. We finally won the cup back in 2015 and then lost it again in 2016. The Erratics retained the trophy with draws in 2017 and 2018. We still lead the series ten games to eight.

2014 was our 30th anniversary and the 2016 tour was our 25th, which makes you think. In many ways, we've come a long way from Catch in the Park. There is a Mystic family now, not just of players but of supporters. We've had three generations of Thomsons/Chaves on the field, and there are more Mystic progeny to come. I'd better start working on my speech for the golden jubilee.




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