The game against Standard Athletic Club, Paris was very much Toby’s game, and the sides, full of Toby’s friends, met at The White Lion in Selling as guests of Jimmy and Libby before the match to remember Toby and his Straggler career.
What became clear about a Straggler side replete with stars of yester year, is that recovery of youthful skill does not always come easily. SAC batted first and Matthew Schilder found a timeless rhythm to remove two early batsmen, but it became harder work, with a slip cordon which was decorative rather than functional. Belmont is a lovely ground, but it is also large and aging Stragglers were obliged to do a fair bit of chasing balls not quite reaching the fence. Both James Grant and Jonathan Riches have played for the Stragglers, but today they tucked into Straggler bowling with gusto. Eventually Chris Villiers continued with the success he has enjoyed at Belmont in recent seasons, and picked up 3 late wickets all well held in the deep, but it was too late to prevent a useful declaration at 206 for 7.
Tea was well attended, and the Stragglers do not often go out to bat with more than 60 in the crowd. However, Straggler openers Hamish Morrison and Andrew Cox were rather too early into the T20 crowd pleasing shots, falling respectively to attempts at a reverse sweep and a dilscoop. That rather set the tone, and wickets fell to SAC’s opening bowlers with alarming regularity. From what looked like an awesome batting line up on paper, only Matthew Schilder managed to find his form of old, finally falling 9th out for 51. The Stragglers managed a miserly 114, to lose by 92 runs.
To complete the day, Jimmy awarded the bottle of champagne that was due to Toby for passing 3,000 Straggler career runs in 2009, to Man of the Match, Ben McDonald of SAC for taking 5 for 41 and 2 excellent boundary catches.
|Standard Athletic Club|