Two Pints of Largo and a Packet of Crisps, Please

Mystics versus Largo, 3rd August 1998

As I write this match report, my gorgeous son is trying his hardest to put me off by smiling and being generally wonderful. Maybe I shouldn't have waited for almost a year before I wrote my report, but so it goes. At least I can remember what happened as well as if it had happened yesterday -- unfortunately, with the amount of sleep we've been getting I can never remember anything from the day before.

Back to Thursday 30th July 1998: A fine drizzle had been falling all morning, and it was still falling as I made my way out to the middle for a crucial toss. Tension mounted as, incredibly, the coin landed stuck on its edge in the mud. I cracked under the pressure and called incorrectly. Ernie considered putting me in, but in the end he decided to play himself and I had to settle for the scorebook.

Largo, forewarned by our awesome reputation, had called in the "Professionals" and were using this auspicious occasion to officially open their new facilities. After a brief press call, during which Jim played his best ever shot for the Mystics off the South African professional Bo(die?), play started.

Despite the early loss of our international star Dan, the Mystics made a strong start. Some classy ultimate destruction at one end was ably supported by Chris Healey at the other and the runs were flowing. However, once the partnership was broken, wickets began to tumble and the innings had to be held together by the usual 50 from Windy, the only other batsman to score more than 4.

In reply, Largo were making steady progress towards the required total until they too had a middle order collapse. A counter attack from Bo turned the game back Largo's way before a superb mini spell from Fred seemed to have snatched it for the Mystics as the 9th wicket fell with Largo still 10 runs short of their victory target.

The game built to a tense climax in the final over, with only 5 needed and Bo facing. A superb Mystic-Moment-winning stop on the boundary by Dan (since described by various football pundits as "probably the best piece of footwork seen in Scotland outside Ibrox" and "the best piece of footwork seen since Kev's country-dancing session a few years ago in Lendrick Muir dining hall") prevented what seemed a certain four and left the number 11 facing with 4 runs still needed off 3 balls. However, the very next ball saw the best shot of the day, with the ball flying through the covers for the winning runs.

We retired to a rather posh Hotel where the other professional (Doyle?), not recognising our Ultimate Destroyer without his helmet, started chatting to Adi about the classy opening batsman that they were very relieved to get out.

As usually happens when the Mystics lose the match, we were determined to win the drinking. Despite some sterling work from Bo, we just managed to sneak a victory thanks mainly to Neil Hadley.

Sid Thomson

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