205/6 - 180/9
Full Time
35 overs
Won by 25 runs

Match Report

Very much as for the inaugural match against the Armadillos in 2021, players descended upon the scenic Sheffield Park with apprehension as adverse weather threatened the fixture once again. At least this time there was no need to drain the outfield prior to play, the Stragglers being inserted by a ‘bowling-heavy’ Armadillos side.  The familiar opening pair of Baker-White and Fenwick quickly settled in, looking steady from the outset and blunting what was a potent bowling attack, for these are two batsmen that seldom get the crowd on their feet. That said, as the partnership developed, Fenwick abruptly announced at the non-striker’s end that his patience was waning. A series of self-confessed ‘agricultural’ hoiks towards cow corner followed, offering the first half-chances to the opposition in the field. Baker-White, eager to do the precise opposite, saw this as an opportunity to throw down an even more substantial anchor. As the openers plodded along, a palpable unrest grew in the pavilion. These feelings were brought to the square as the visiting team tactically replaced their umpires, bearing messages of dissatisfaction and impatience at the dwindling run rate. Fenwick (36) paid attention, miscued another hoik and was caught, bringing Mitchell to the crease who went improving the run rate with purpose. Baker-White (63) remained insubordinate.  Mitchell (61) took advantage of a tiring Armadillos bowling attack which then resorted to spin, a move that would prove costly as the Stragglers dealt almost exclusively in boundaries thereafter. Batsmen 4 to 7 made modest contributions to the score which saw our total trickle to 205 for 6 from 35 overs; a score deemed ‘about par’ by the opposition captain, H. Mann.

Buoyed by bread triangles and rich confectionary, N. Wright got the Stragglers off to a flying start bowling the Armadillos’ first batsmen, leaving them 13-1. This, and an opportunistic runout from Simpson to remove the remaining opener, proved to be the only Straggler highlights in the first two hours after tea, despite pretty tight bowling from N. Wright, H. Snape and Pattinson.  At 163-2, the rather dispirited visitors found themselves mulling an early return journey back to London when fortunes changed as H. Snape was thrust back into the attack, tempting the motoring Forster (66) to slap a ‘half-tracker’ down to long-on. Simpson, completely misjudging the trajectory and speed of the ball, ran off his mark on the boundary inadvertently setting the scene for a clumsy, misjudged one-handed grab at the second time of asking, having palmed the first attempt up in the air. A rejuvenated Straggler team rallied behind H. Snape (4 for 17) who removed the entire male contingent of the Mann (or Menn) family in one over, thus completely turning the game on its head.  In a tight fielding display littered with inspirational moments, another deserved of a mention was T. Snape chasing the opposition skipper’s mistimed pull shot to take a sublime diving catch over his head. In a matter of minutes, the Armadillos were reduced from 163-2 to 180-9, the last 7 wickets falling for just for 14 runs. This was a spirited victory grasped from the jaws of defeat.


Sheffield Park
Sheffield Park Garden, Sheffield Park, East Sussex TN22 3QX