The Stragglers turned out a relatively young side for the midweek game at Nonington, and were met with a slightly younger opposition, although both sides were leavened with some gritty experience. The Stragglers were invited to bat, and the Straggs own Geoffrey Boycott, Jeremy Godden, began to dig in for the duration. Apparently unaware that boundaries were available, he began by practicing his 9-iron, gently pitching the ball over mid-off and mid-on for twos, and then went into his shell with a long series of singles. At the other end James Felton swung at the wrong ball, and then Tom Tribe (29) swung at every ball in a partnership of 73 with Jeremy. The middle order of Harrison Wells, Benny Smallwood, and skipper Louis all came and went as wickets began to tumble. Jeremy finally wandered out of his crease to be stumped for a grimly effective 65, another victim of the ever-wily Adam Cork. However, a total of 146 for 6 at the end of the 30th over in a 35 over game looked a little light. Fortunately, Louis had selected some lower order talent, and Will Allen, fresh from A-levels at Kings, smacked a brisk 28* to bring the innings to a close at 191 for 8.
Nonington opened with a high degree of caution, surprised, perhaps, to find the Chairman first up for the Stragglers. Archie Barwell, bowling on one leg for most of his spell, gave nothing away at the other end, and the Chairman induced an early breakthrough, a seriously sharp catch by Benny behind the sumps off an inside edge, the first of two fine grabs. However, this brought in Dan McHugh, a man with a point to prove, which he did in fine style to bring up both his half century and century partnership with a huge six back over the bowler’s head. The bowler in question, Kevin Baker, on short-term loan (Thursday afternoons only) from Mersham responded with a ball the stopped dead in the pitch and the next big hit was miscued nicely to Louis at mid-off (the first of three catches for him). Picking the ball from the brightly setting sun was the biggest challenge. Nonington were still well up with the required rate, but Kevin (2 for 32) struck again to remove the other opener and set off a mini collapse to 130 for 6 (one of which was a first ball ramp off Louis caught by the Stragglers very own Sandra Biles taking flight from behind the stumps – an exceptional flying catch). Skipper Adam Cork hits a long ball and set out to chase down the rest of the target in a hurry. However, Tom Tribe (2 for 9) introduced the ‘bear trap’ (slow full toss with fielder on the boundary). Adam fell into the trap, James Felton taking a good catch. Louis finished with figures of 3 for 6, as he and Tom kept the lower order in check, and Nonington ended on 162 for 9, a Straggler victory by 29 runs.