The weather relented to allow the Stragglers to gather early for a season finale picnic at Hollingbourne. However, it seemed that wine and sausages is not the ideal pre-match sustenance to induce resilient application in Straggler batsmen. 2013 has seen a number of top order collapses, only to find unexpected strength in the lower order. Charlie Munton (27) dropped two sixes in the field…and fell trying to make it three in a row. The remainder of the top order came and went without unduly troubling the scorer. A degree of resistance emerged once more in the lower middle order with Jack Wood (23), Simon Allport (33) and the Master Brewer (20), but it was never enough. Louis Glyn Williams marshaled the tail, but to no avail. 157 was unlikely to test the opposition.
Ed ‘Popstar’ Prest bowled with sufficient early pace to cause a degree of care. Jonathan did better, managing to get the occasional ball to rear from a length, with a one handed slip catch taken by Simon, and Theo snaffling another against his helmet. One handed catches became de rigeur, as Jonathan took a remarkable return catch well behind him, with both mid-off and mid-on already heading back to retrieve the ball from the fence; a truly miraculous catch. Two handed catches, however, seemed just too ordinary to bother with, and any advantage slipped away. Hope was briefly rekindled with a brace of flying stumps from Piers Richardson, bowling very fast on debut. However, the Hollingbourne opener was now on a mission, seeing it like a football, and hitting it like a golf ball. The six that took him to a century also took Hollingbourne to a comfortable victory. As ever the view from the Downs over the Weald, with a beer in hand, provides the perfect backdrop for the end of another season.