Farmers Cricket Club

285/3 dec - 262/7
Full Time
Match drawn

Match Report

An early September tour to Jersey coincided with one of the rare spells of summer in 2023.  Tourist numbers were well down on recent years, with a notable absence of sommeliers and a range of other excuses for non-attendance – a clashing golf tour being the most egregious, accompanied by an assortment of births, one unexpectedly early, and the entirely reasonable excuse of recent keyhole surgery on a knee.  Eight players and one walking wounded (Toby’s knee) chose a variety of flights from the UK, the one from Luton, scoffed at by many, proved to be the most reliable, delivering Theo on time, while Easyjet and BA were significantly less certain.  And, of course, Charlie had been shooting partridges in Leicestershire on Friday and caught a flight very early on Saturday (there was sone comment about a private jet).  Stragglers, or at least those who arrived on Friday, were treated to a very generous BBQ by resident Stragglers, Simon Schilder (host with Clare-Louise) and Ollie Spry (chef).  Hotels on cricket tours come in all shapes and sizes and are all part of the wider tour cultural experience.  The large holiday resort Merton Hotel did all that was required – comfy bed, hot water and very substantial breakfast.  However, they also, inadvertently strayed into the discussion around a re-brand for the Stragglers (instigated by Toby – too much time in recovery) – Shiplake Straggier Cricket Club!

Along with three debutant Straggler tourist, Harry Thomson, Jack Hartley and Will Fenwick, Straggler numbers were boosted for day one by a hugely enthusiastic young keeper, Josh Winstanley, Mike Hill (who took a very important catch) and Matt Bignell to open the bowling.

Losing the toss and invited to bat, Straggler openers, George and Jack, were not wasting any time, Jack going aerial and George with a more conventional approach.  Having given the innings some early impetus, Jack fell for 16, the first of three LBW decisions going in favour of the bowlers, unusual for Straggler umpires, for whom very few appeals normally have merit.  George was now joined by Will to push things along, although a tighter spell and apparently endless time to bat saw the rate drift.  And then they were both out (George for 56 and Will for 43) in consecutive overs, the score 123 for 3 in the 28th over.  Momentum was required and duly provided by Theo and Harry.  Harry hits the ball a long way, and his Keeley bat is a thing of wonder.  While Theo worked the ball into gaps with great elegance, Harry launched rockets, and the rate was now rushing along at more than 12 an over.  With Theo approaching fifty and Harry a  second Straggler ton, Alex held back a declaration until the milestones had been achieved – Harry with nine sixes in 104*, and Theo 55*, the declaration coming in the 43rd over at 285 for 3.

A slightly early break for sustenance presented both sides with plenty of time (it proved to be 55 overs) to extract a result.  The early overs, with Matt and Mike opening up, suggested that the Farmers Club would chase the target down with ease.  One hundred came up in the 13th over, and the openers were scoring boundaries for fun.  Something special was required to bring the innings back under control, and up stepped skipper, Alex Reese, to take the sharpest of head high return catches and then induce a miscued drive, both openers back in the hutch.  However, the Straggs were hardly in control, and were not helped by a series of drops in and around the slip cordon, sharp and less so.  Harry was particularly frustrated as edges were waved through.  Even with the openers gone, the chase was very much alive, batsman number three dropping anchor, while his partner picked his moments to hit over the top.  However, the rate was just beginning to slow – 170 for 2 from 25 overs became 203 for 3 in the 34, Mike taking a key catch at mid-off to remove number four.  Alex brought himself back on, and a clatter of wickets ensued, a first catch behind for replacement keeper Jack, and then Matt held one in the covers for two in two.  Although the LBW appeal on the hat-trick ball was turned down by umpire Toby, the batsman then set off for a single that was never there, and Straggler fielders finally managed to get the ball to Jack to complete the run out – suddenly 207 for 6, and 20 overs remaining – all results still possible.  The Farmers Club, however, shut up shop, and the runs dried up.  Alex tempted batsman from one end (to finish with 4 for 48 from 14 overs), while rotating Harry and Matt bowling with venom from the other.  Matt had another cleaned up, but there seemed to be little in the pitch for either pace or spin, and the match crawled to a drawn conclusion – 262 for 7 at the close, and a very long day in the field for the Stragglers.


Farmers Cricket Club
Rue de la Vignette, Jersey JE3 6HY, Jersey