Fixture Secretary’s XI

182/all out - 186/8
Full Time
Lost by 2 wickets

Match Report

The sun finally shone on Belmont and the Stragglers on a beautiful afternoon for the all Straggler fixture against the Fixture Secretary’s XI. Jonathan Neame was promoted to skipper in the absence of Nigel (mending combine, drier tractor simultaneously), and took to the field. Justin Hubbard (35) and Charlie Munton (29) kept Finn Hulbert and Dan Pritchard at bay initially, with Finn eventually inducing a miscue to remove Charlie. Ben Bowles relaxed his way to a half-century, and then fell to an exceptional one handed catch by Finn at mid-wicket. 137 for 2 became 149 for 6 in short order as the middle order fell to debutants Edward Mansel-Lewis (4 for 66), and leg spinning Nick Healy. Joe Gordon chipped in with a couple of wickets including father, Alastair. Watching the carnage from the non-striker’s end, Jack Taylor (36), who had been accumulating in singles and being denied the strike, suddenly let loose with a series of flashing cuts and drives. Just as a good total looked attainable, Jack was run out, and the senior statesmen at 10 and 11 failed to trouble the scorers. 182 did not seem enough.

Toby Snape, reinvented as a batsman, was in something of a hurry, and attempted to launch his first ball from Hugo into orbit…and failed, middle stump awry. Disappointingly Tom Wood was unable to convert a 12 month hat-trick opportunity (his last 2 balls of the 2014 season having been wickets), brother Jack surviving a miscue. However, Hugo did for Jack and then James Grant (25) at the other end, and at 39 for 3, there was a real wobble. Jonathan Neame (36) and Finn (32) restored some semblance of order, until Jonathan fell to the Chairman’s four-card trick – 3 successive boundaries and a skier to long-off to be caught by Hugo – eminently satisfying. Joe Gordon followed Alastair’s wide one to present a catch to Jack Taylor; Matt Simpson hoiked a full toss straight to Hugo at short mid-wicket, another remarkable catch; 125 for 7 put the chasers back under the cosh. However, a brace of terracotta warriors were up to the challenge, Nige clubbing 27 before falling to the first ball faced from Hugo on his return (alternating right arm fast with left arm spin), and Dan Pritchard (25*), who remained to shepherd Nick Healy through the last 6 overs to reach the target.