Holding out for a hero at Jesus College
Jesters 182 all out (Doward 48, Hudson 39)
Jesus College, Cambridge 184-4
Lost by 6 wickets
At 81-0 a big total beckoned, but five quick wickets brought the students of Jesus College back into the contest and they made relatively easy work of the chase, albeit aided by seven dropped chances and some outrageous luck at times...
After a pessimistic forecast from Andrew Short, who had been scouring the radar all morning, we set off for Cambridge with little expectation of a full game of cricket. Happily, weatherman Short's prediction was straight out of the Michael Fish handbook and the match got underway on time as drizzle gave way to a dry afternoon. So confident was Andrew of a day dragging his feet in the pavilion he didn't even bother bringing his kit from the College car park.
Inserted by the opposition, Ollie Doward (48) and Robbie Hudson (39) - an opening partnership first seen at Bishop's Stortford Colts in the mid 1980s - got off to a flying start. But after the former deposited the ball into a tributary of the River Cam, we collapsed from 81-0 to 110-5 with some blaming the soggy ball for their demise. Only Ros Atkins, one of four former Jesuans in the side, got to grips with the conditions, smiting a rapid and entertaining 29. Jesus' left arm tweaker Hamish bowled beautifully for his four wickets.
It was left to the lower order to restore some respectability. Simon Rawson was beginning to cut loose before being pinned in front of his stumps as Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" blared out from the nearby Pride Festival on Jesus Green. "No you won't", said umpire Hales.
Out came proud Jester Andrew Short to "Holding Out For A Hero", adding what we hoped would be a valuable thirty runs for the final wicket with Dan Hayes. Dan's blistering lofted extra cover drive off the returning opening bowler was the shot of the day.
Simon Rawson cruised in to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up", forming a stingy new ball partnership with Dan Hayes, whose eight overs gave up just 14 runs.
It was Dan who struck first, although the breakthrough should have come earlier, with the Jesus opener extremely fortunate to survive a snick behind that could be heard above the Pride soundsystem.
The reprieved batsman then unleashed a series of guilty swipes which pushed the score all too rapidly towards three figures. His knock was ended when Ollie Doward leapt one handed in the gully to pluck a fierce slash out the air off debutant Tom Darby, who bowled with pace and guile and was unlucky not to take more wickets (not helped by three dropped catches).
In all, seven chances were grassed and DRS was not available to affirm a fast piece of work by Robbie behind the stumps and two close run outs.
Ros Atkins and Sam Grimshaw picked up late wickets to give us hope but Jesus captain James Douie's fifty guided his team to their target with a handful of overs to spare. Thanks go to James, whose optimism the rain would stay away allowed us all to enjoy a keenly contested match and a hearty session in The Champion of the Thames afterwards.
Jesters XI: Doward (c), Hudson (wk), Grimshaw, Darby, Harrison, Atkins, Travers, Simon Rawson, Twigg, Hayes, Short