There had been some selection concern in the weeks leading up to the Junior BBfixture, with the majority of current, regular Stragglers in gainful employment and short of holiday time to devote to more important matters. However, Joe Gordon stepped into the breach and filled the side with talent from the Kent academy, Bradley Goldsack, Jan and Louis Gray making their Straggler debuts. Rory Boyd was playing his third Straggler game, Tom Burge and Albert Courage were both playing their second, and Albert brought Felix Taylor for a first game. Apart from Joe and the Chairman, the only Straggler regulars were Louis Glyn Williams and Oli Healy. In the end the Straggler side was appropriately youthful, brimming with talent, and too strong for a young Junior BB team. In brutally hot conditions, the Stragglers won the toss and chose to bat. Thomas Hobbes referred to the natural state of mankind as “nasty, brutish and short”; the Straggler innings was not nasty, but it was brutal and short. Joe batted with style, extraordinary timing and power; around him the other batters took advantage of some gentle bowling – Goldsack (36), Jan Gray (45) and Glyn Williams (41*) made the most of an electric outfield. Joe marched on, given encouragement with only a few more overs at the drinks break after 15 overs (score at 144 for 1). With Jan and then Louis blasting at the other end, there was a risk that a declaration might leave Joe short. However, he took a fancy to Benny, turning out for the Junior BB, and, with his 8thsix reached 109* from a total of 245 for 2 declared and an early tea.
The Junior BB innings began badly, as Benny took on a second run to a misfield, misjudged the arm of Oli Healy, and was well short. Albert Courage then weighed in with a sharp spell of 4 for 12, to leave the Junior BB struggling on 46 for 5. Straggler catching was not perfect, with a couple of sharp chances going to ground, but notable successes were the very sharp grab by Rory in the gully, and an extraordinary catch by Felix at square leg, needing to hand-off the umpire to reach the ball. Rory then picked up a couple of wickets; and, although some resistance was provided by Tom Nichols and Luke Berry in the Junior BB middle order, the Stragglers were on top. Oli fooled Tom with a change of pace; Luke felt to Felix’s catch. At 97 for 9, the end was near. However, the final pair were not going down without a fight, most notably young Sherwin, who commented after the game that his batting average was less then 1. Today he did his average a lot of good, taking on Louis Gray, Kent under-18 off spinner, and hitting 4 boundaries in an undefeated 22, in a partnership of 34, the highest of the innings. The final wicket fell at 131, leaving the Stragglers victorious by 114 runs.