The Stragglers were welcomed by the TDMB XI to an unusually warm and sunny Broadstairs for only the second game of the season, which has been somewhat stuttering in May, and, with a side brimming with youthful confidence (did anyone mention hubris?) set off with substantial scores in mind. All was well before lunch, as Patch Mitchell (31) and Hugo Snape (35) despatched the attack to the farthest corners, and the score rolled along at nearly 6 an over. At the other end James Boyd-Moss was content to keep the good balls out and collect runs with more circumspection. A couple of wickets falling just before lunch, to leave the Stragglers on 160 for 4, did not seem likely to slow the march towards declaration. However, a glass of wine and a large lunch seemed to enliven the bowlers and remove the ability of the batsmen to see the ball. Young Jordan Cox, returning after a lively opening spell, removed the Straggler middle order in a matter of moments, and, in less time than it took the President to finish his pudding, all thoughts of a challenging declaration were off the table. Numbers 5 to 9 had contributed a mere 3 runs, the score was 166 for 8, and grim survival was the order of the day. James Boyd-Moss had been quietly keeping the scoreboard ticking along, and now took charge. A handful of boundaries saw the score race to 189, but he too fell having scored a careful 90. Still only at 2.45pm, the final pair, Ed Prest and the Chairman, needed to grind out some time, which they duly did. The opening bowlers were rebuffed, and tiring, even hit for a boundary or two. The Stragglers were not going to subside meekly, and the final wicket partnership of 45, only ending when Ed was very well caught in the deep by Jasper, gave the final score of 234 an air of respectability.
The TDMB XI could not have got off to a less promising start. Ed Prest had one opener back in the pavilion in the second over, and this was immediately followed by a Snape double act, as Hugo took the first of his slip catches to remove Jasper, the bowler Toby. It got worse, when Ed bowled Matthew Roberts, and the score a mere 13 for 3. Order of a sort was restored by Ed Solly and Stafford Cox, but the Straggler catching then reached unimagined heights as Hugo leapt to snatch a carefully played lift over the slip cordon to remove Stafford, and Jack Taylor dived low at third slip to pick up Ed – 72 for 5. There was lots of time left for the chase, but the batsmen became more watchful, choosing not to take on the big boundary shots. Chances had to be earned, and then held on to, and the catching display just kept on getting better. Jack picked up another, Patch held on to a screamer at short extra to remove Dan Pritchard, and James BM behind the stumps got in on the act. The final pair of Tim Burleigh and Matt Smallwood held up the coup de grace, Matt with some flourishes (and a new stroke – the Smallwood scoop), while Tim took on the persona of the wall. Hugo brought himself on, and it was fitting that the final catch should be yet another low catch in the slips for Jack Taylor – 143 all out.