We entertained the Shepway Stragglers this weekend. They're a wandering side from Kent made up with a fine blend of youth and experience. The younger element far outweighing the elder unfortunately for Menorca.
The weather was a marked improvement on last weeks chilly start to the season.
On Saturday Menorca won the toss and elected to take to the field. Both Wilson and skipper Cotton bowled economically at the offset with the latter removing Shepway's opener Baker - White for a second ball duck. After that we saw some superb hitting from both Jasper Smallwood and Ben Simpson. Simpson hitting a 64 ball ton including 8 sixes. Smallwood also hit 8 sixes in his 87. Menorca had bowled reasonably economically but the middle overs were punished with Sturgeon and Day coming in for some punishment. Shepway amassed 248/8 in their allotted overs which at this stage of the season with the outfield nearly as slow as some of the movement in the field is quite an achievement.
Menorca's reply got off to the worst possible as last weeks leading run scorer Hagger slapped a rank long hop straight to cover in the first over. Things went from bad to worse when youngster Jake Cockroft was castled second ball. Menorca 0/2 after only 5 balls. The lest said about our batting display in general the better which was such a disappointment following last weeks success. There was some dogged resistance from Sturgeon and Tysoe who scored 35 and 40 respectively. Menorca all out for 148 in the 33rd over.
Sunday's game followed a similar pattern with Shepway batting first. Opener Baker-White well and truly made up for his failure on day one with a magnificent 73 ball ton. He carried his bat to finish on 126* and was ably supported by Hilton 73 and Allport 70. Shepway's total of 283 proved way too many for the locals who were comfortably beaten by the opposition from the garden of England. Nico Ball and Nizamul Hossan joint top scored with 24. Hugo Snape the pick of the bowlers with 5/27.
It was particularly pleasing to see local clergyman Paul Strudwick at the ground following the palm Sunday service. A useful warm up for him prior to his biggest gig of the season next Sunday.