The Stragglers came to Folkestone for the first time for many years (precise gap to be researched)for a game in the early autumn sunshine. Your correspondent was approached after the match by an elderly former Folkestone player, who recalled playing the Stragglers with Wyndham, Paul, Jim, Bottie et al in the ‘60s and was very pleased to see the Club thriving. Hugo managed to lose the toss, which put the Stragglers in the field earlier than some had hoped. Father and son Wards opened for Folkestone, and it was the younger Ward, who was the backbone of the innings, undefeated on 101 for his first century. He was assisted by a couple of what proved to be expensive dropped catches en route, which let down an otherwise pretty sharp Straggler fielding display. An early chase, slide pick up and throw by Theo was noted by the opposition skipper, and at the outer reaches of the longest boundary, very nearly in Dover, Al, who had surrendered the gloves to George BW, covered miles and was very nearly impenetrable. His flying dive to try to attempt one catch is worthy of particular mention, and was worthy of Tom Daley. There was an outbreak of terracotta at mid-off and mid-on, but it proved to be short lived and not contagious. The Folkestone bats guarded their wickets, defended watchfully and hit enough bad balls to the boundary to keep the score moving along. Alex Gotley and Cas Gross (both of Tarbarrow) each took wickets on Straggler debut, Hugo was as mean as ever, and Rory Boyd picked up two at the end, one a lovely ball shaping away edged through to George. Hugo had hoped to keep the score under 250, and the innings closed on 250 for 6 from 40 overs, without exposing the Folkestone tail.
The Straggler openers looked in sublime touch, moving sharply to 30 from three overs before Theo (16) was adjudged leg before. George BW (49) and Patch Mitchell (46), batting like gods for the next dozen overs or more, were well up with the rate and never looking like getting out. However, Nick Ward (3 for 25 while still recovering from his century) dragged it back for Folkestone. A clatter of wickets and the Stragglers were 118 for 4. Alex Gotley (16) and Hugo (44) got closer, and Nige, rolling back the years for 14, edged us within sight of the target. However, nobody could stay with Will Fenwick (28*) and the Stragglers fell 21 runs short.