It felt a bit like the fall of Constantinople in 1453, as the Stragglers were overrun by The Turks at Belmont. A fair batting performance, somewhat disrupted by an early tea to listen to the last rites being performed in Bloemfontein, with contributions from Jonno Hancock, Alex Reece, George Baker White and ‘the re-invented as a batsman’ Will Gow, was topped off nicely by Patrick Mitchell’s third century in as many seasons (each of these has been reached with a six). Finally declaring at 221 for 6, we thought we were in with a chance.
However, the wheels started to come off with the first ball, as the Chairman had left the radar at home. Better bowling from James Stabb and Alex Reece was supported by some lamentable fielding and catching, which reached its high point with the Boulanger, in discussion with the umpire at square leg, shelling a catch off George’s bowling. Will Gow proved that he had every reason to stick to batting with an over of long hops which varied from poor to rank. By the time Jonno Hancock pitched in with a couple of wickets, Sean Keaton had cruised to a century and the game was all but over, lost by 8 wickets.