After the pounding taken by Straggler bowlers in the last two games, it was something of a relief to return to something resembling normality – or even a bit better. Milstead opted to bat, and, short of a full XI, facing some good early pace from Sam Attwood, struggled to get runs on the board. The Straggler team was positively arboreal, with a brace of Woods, the Attwood twins and three Smallwoods. Jack and Tom Wood persevered up the hill, and sneaked a wicket, as Jack held a sharp chance at mid-wicket. Theo then weighed in with 3 for 13, even with a couple of dropped catches. Milstead were subsiding. Will Attwood was extracting exceptional turn, and was well supported in the gully, with two sharp catches by Ben Simpson, to end up with 2 for 13. A last wicket flourish was just getting meaningful, when Sam produced a bullet from mid-wicket to secure a run-out. 132 all out from 37 overs, gave us plenty of time to enjoy tea in the glorious sunshine.
With four current Smallwood Stragglers, familial partnerships are often possible. Today Matt and Jasper opened for the Stragglers, and very nearly completed the chase without assistance. Jasper smacked 17 from the first over, and his intent was clear. Remarkably, when they strode to the middle, Jasper required a mere 6 runs to overtake his father’s career total. After 4 balls Jasper was ahead, and remained so until he was bowled for 55, the score on 102. However, Matt was not easily giving up his position in the rankings. Striking 4 substantial sixes either side of the wicket, and driving with all the natural ease, that proves the saying about the permanence of class, Matt reeled in Jasper’s score, and went on to 67, falling LBW with only 2 runs required. The Stragglers victorious by 8 wickets, and the saga of the leading Smallwood run scorer continues.