The winter of 2008/09 was the coldest for some years and an early start to the season in balmy spring conditions seemed a trifle unlikely. However, Bossingham, a ground well known for early season snow, was basking in sunshine on a perfect afternoon. The Straggler side on display was not representative of the new youth policy, but creaking bones proved that experience counts for a lot.
The Straggler openers of Allport father and son were quickly parted by a finger raised to an LBW appeal. James Chamberlain then produced a cultured half century, reached with a straight six, to give the innings some substance. Theo Allport and Joe Woods offered good support, but when the middle order collapsed to 126 for 8, a defendable target seemed unlikely. However, David Santa Olalla, returning from foreign posting, and the ever youthful Rupert Hill were only denied a fifty partnership by a teatime declaration at 174 for 8.
Bossingham were swiftly on the back foot with Theo picking up a sharp chance in the gully. The real challenge, however, lay in the other opener, who batted with a leading edge and managed to remain in situ for 30 overs almost without making contact at all. The Straggler spin trio, Simon Allport, James Ryeland and James Chamberlain, persevered and were rewarded with occasional wickets (including the hat trick that never was). Bossingham, a man short, were not chasing a win, and the game was drifting tamely towards a draw, when Joe Woods, introduced as a last throw of the dice, picked up 2 wickets, and the last pair, were hanging on grimly at the end on 111 for 8.