Such is demand for places in the annual Straggler game against the Fixture Secretary’s XI at Belmont, that even the striking down of Eliot with less than an hour before the first ball, was accommodated with the late call up of Billy Selmon. The handicapper looked to have done his job well with the FS XI, apparently batting all the way to the tail, never quite gaining momentum. James Grant and Theo Allport both reached 50s, but it was never easy. Wickets fell frequently enough, and the final charge to declaration was undone by the canny introduction of Benny Smallwood. Benny bowled with great aplomb and precision, and winkled out Billy for a first Straggler wicket. Nigel was unsure if a declaration at 202 for 7 was enough.
Eight overs into the Straggler innings, and it was clearly not enough. A Graham Tyndall hat trick lead to some rapid activity with the barbecue and at 44 for 6 a very early close was on the cards. Toby Snape had other ideas, and, with Owen Moelwyn Hughes standing admiringly at the non-striker’s end, he flat batted the attack back over their heads with cavalier disdain. Owen and Toby achieved a notable landmark, relieving the Master Brewer and Matthew Schilder of the record 7th wicket partnership, as they put on 115 in quick time. Sadly it was not quite enough, as Toby fell to an unusual bounce, and Theo then did for the tail, leaving, inevitably, Benny undefeated for the third time in his Straggler career.