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Jesus College too strong at the Cass Centre

Jesters CC 171-7 (Boyd 46, Palmer 32)

Jesus College, Cambridge 174-6 (Short 2-27)

Lost by 4 wickets

Due to the Jesus square being out of action for a second summer, this year's fixture against the students took us to a lovely new arena - The Cambridge University Press ground at the Cass Centre.

We elected to bat on a pitch that certainly offered the bowlers encouragement and Robbie Hudson was back in the hutch in the first over after fending a vicious lifter behind. Undeterred, Old Johnian Mike Palmer rolled back the years, unfurling some exquisite cover drives on his way to 32. Ollie Doward and debutant James Boyd looked set for a decent partnership before tragicomedy struck. Ollie pushed the ball into the covers and ran through for the single only to discover his silent partner rooted to the spot at the non-striker's end! James made amends with a patient 46, keeping out the good balls (of which there were many) and punishing the bad ones with some bone-crunching front foot shots. He was ably assisted by another debutant Andy Owen, who scurried, burgled and nurdled his way to 29*. Our score of 171-7 off 40 overs looked well short of par.

And so it turned out. Despite having the home side 107-5 at the halfway mark, they were always well ahead of rate and cruised home with ten overs to spare. Another former Johnian, Andrew Short, was the pick of the bowlers with 2-27 - as is so often the case the young Jesuans could not adjust to his unique flight and pace. Other highlights were two breathtaking catches - Ollie Doward sprinting from point to short third man to take full length leaping catch as the ball spiralled away from him and Mike Palmer diving full stretch to pluck a bullet drive left-handed (his wrong hand) off his own bowling.

And there was time for not one but two most Jester-like nominations for Simon Rawson late in the evening. The first for smuggling his dog Ivy into various Cambridge haunts, including a private University club. Then later a second for leading Ol Thompson, who had pulled his hamstring in the field, 50 minutes walk out of Cambridge instead of to our accommodation in the centre of town at the end of the night.

Jesus would go on to win 'Cuppers' shortly after this fixture.

Our new game against The Woozlers at Girton College was sadly called off the following day after an overnight deluge and a bad afternoon forecast.

Jesters XI: Doward (c), Palmer, Hudson (wk), Pollard-Jones, Boyd, O Thompson, Lane-Ley, Owen, Harrison, Simon Rawson, Short


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