Dog Days

Mystics versus Uplyme at Uplyme, 26th July 1999

This match was in many ways important in the history of the Mystics. It was a match in which two catches were taken off no balls; a great milestone was passed; a heroic effort was witnessed and Dan was attacked by a dog.

One mystery was solved, which has bothered children all over the world. When not delivering presents, Mr F. Christmas opens for Uplyme; I have seldom seen such a hearty white beard. Things progressed well, with Ollie looking his most serious and bowling well. An edge from Richards bought out the best in Adi, with a fantastic gulley catch taken near the floor. He held it, and afterwards was helped off the field in the Mystics' most serious injury to date. A capital effort from a true Mystic. Chris Squire did the decent thing and filled the gap in the fielding. Despite good bowling from the Mystics, Uplyme steadily increased their total with their number 4, Hankey, getting 41 before being caught by Jim off Ernie.

It was around this time that a dog came running on the field to general consternation. Dan seemed the target of its ire. "Why don't you control this animal?!" yelled the batsman to two girls playing on the boundary. Their defence, namely that they had never clapped eyes on the animal before, convinced even the meanest observer. All seemed lost, until Peter, with the weary eye of a practised disciplinarian, had to order the cur off the field.

Play resumed, with some memorable efforts. Duncan got a run out with a direct hit, and performed a spectacular stop on the boundary. Ernie got two wickets in a row (the second another jolly bearded fellow) and would, later, have got a third had it not come off a no ball. Not a man to dwell in such disappointments, a marvellous return from the boundary by said courgette-grower found the batsman out of his crease.

Uplyme finished on 152 for 9. Ollie and Fred were the pick of the bowling.

Duncan opened with a quick 35, before being caught by a full toss off Batey. Meanwhile, Jim, in his sixteenth year playing for the club, was nearing his aggregate century. It is a pleasure to record he sprinted over the finish with a boundary. Ernie had followed Duncan in. Runs came, slowly. "Jim's obviously the better batsman," said Sid, seconds before his brother's wicket tumbled and he trooped to the centre.

In a rare lapse, Ernie took a run that was never really there and Sid paid the price. This proved too much for the noble milkman who was given lbw (by Ollie) off the very next ball. This meant Dan and Fred were at the wicket. Uplyme were bowling well (Gilroy-Lowe, in particular) and the Mystics found it difficult to get the ball off the square. Dan was bowled, and Nick Healey made his way out. Despite the anxiety of another no-ball catch, he and Fred edged closer to the magic score. It ended with a cracking four from Fred, which gave the Mystics their only tour victory with three overs to spare. In a match full of Mystic Moments, the award was made to Jim for a fine century.

Derek Matravers

Back to Devon 1999
Back to Mystics History
List of Match Reports