Holkham embarking on their inaugural mini tour to Cambridge meant this was our first encounter not played in the shadow of the Hall. Having defeated Grantchester the previous day the Holkham X arrived on a glorious day at Queens’ with hope in their hearts and throbbing heads following a night out on the town. Before the match could get underway there was the matter of evening up the sides. The visitors had X whilst The Philanderers had mysteriously assembled XII. The upshot was the handing over of Rory Davidson a part time resident of North Norfolk and secret admirer of Holkham.
So after winning the toss Captain Sir George Pearson inserted his own side. After the early loss of Will Wright the innings went into overdrive with Matt Samson & Rob Gill putting on a 2nd wicket partnership of 140 before the turbocharged Gill was run out for 87 from a magnificent throw by none other than Rory. Matt went serenely on his way until retiring at 93 with a broken finger sustained several weeks ago! Alex Carew & John Howe then calmly continued the innings until the end of the designated 35th over with the score at 256 for 2 wickets.
At the resumption of play, following an excellent tea, The Philanderers took the field with six wicket keepers amongst the assembled throng. How George decided upon which would follow his chosen occupation I do not know but he who was, namely John Howe, performed well taking 2 catches and making 2 stumpings. As can be the way with Holkham their scoring rate was never really quite on target. Doubtless with many suffering from hangovers it was hardly conducive to a scintillating run chase. Anyway wickets fell at regular intervals although the intervention of Rory at No. 6 saw some exuberance creep in but those at the other end found the excitement too much. Edward Pearson was the most successful bowler with 4 wickets whilst Will Hammond took 3, the last two of which came with consecutive balls at the conclusion of the 35th and final over. All out for 173, with Rory still blazing away for his adopted other club at 68 not out, and an 83 run victory. We may consider a permanent transfer providing our asking price is met!
As ever our encounter with our friends from Holkham was most convivial but just for a change it was us waving goodbye to them at the departure point.