The premature end of summer, with a monsoon over much of the county, threatened the first all Straggler fixture for many years, against the Fixture Secretary’s XI. A dry Belmont, however, welcomed a somewhat disbelieving group of players, who had left home more in hope than expectation, and an interesting group it was too, with an age range of 49 years between junior debutants and the Shropshire gentleman, one John Parry. Ignoring what proved to be a brief and solitary shower, the Stragglers, lead by Charlie Munton, elected to bat in a T20, which turned quickly into a T30 match. The shower had rather livened up the wicket, and both batting and fielding proved something of a challenge. Toby Snape was unplayable, but also proved difficult for the keeper and long stop; the extras remained top scorer, until Eliot Forster, the only batsman to address the conditions with any success, took a degree of control. His 38 was top score in either innings, and he witnessed batsmen come and go at the other end, as the Stragglers limped to 138 all out. The leading bowler for the FS XI was Barney Taylor, taking 4 for 27 on debut, well supported by Henry Roberts and Alex Denoon Duncan.
Seb Leggatt extracted some remaining venom from the wicket as the FS XI set off in pursuit, and wickets fell sufficiently regularly to prevent any real momentum. David Santa Olalla tried to up the rate and was well run out by Archie Hammond; the diminutive Jonty Taylor completed his spell with a double wicket maiden; and Tom Wood induced two false shots to be held by Jake Ward at mid-wicket, the second with a graceful pirouette. This brought the last pair to the wicket, needing 22 from the last over, surely out of reach. However, Tom managed 6 wides from his first ball, the second was thrashed back over his head for 4 by Toby Sinclair, and then another wide. It was not to be, as Toby had one more heave and Tom fended off other aspirational catchers to secure victory by 10 runs.