|Sat 11th July 2009||2009|
The Straggler side to face the Babes at Torry Hill was neatly divided between those on the down slope of long cricketing careers, and young thrusters. The top order were the latter, with Archie Hammond and Theo Allport getting the Stragglers off to a sound start. It was too good to last, and 46 without loss became 50 for 4 with such alacrity that a drinks break had to be taken to allow batsmen time to pad up. The fall of the fourth wicket introduced the calming influence of Matt Smallwood (eventually falling to an exceptional catch at square leg), and as in 2008, the senior members of the team dragged the score towards a meaningful target, although even that was uncertain, when Nigel Snape holed out at 129 for 7. Mark Baker White, Nick Tapp and Paddy Butler milked the extras ruthlessly for another ten overs, and 194 was eventually posted.
A number of familial contests were acted out in the match, and both Babes openers fell to relations, Jasper Smallwood caught by his father, and Will Attwood caught off brother Sam. When Babes captain, Charlie Munton, arrived at the crease and reached the boundary with consummate ease from the off, an early finish seemed on the cards. Archie Hammond, however, immune to the carnage, lured Charlie down the wicket, and a relieved Theo completed an urgently needed stumping. Paddy Butler teased out some more impetuous young Babes, but the target (at 185) always seemed too little, until it was belatedly corrected to 195, leaving 11 needed off the final 2 overs. With two wickets remaining, three runs were required off the last ball for a memorable Babes victory, but they failed to make adequate contact, and a nail biting draw was a very suitable result.