It could all have been so different had not O Ruymians started with only 9 fielders – due to the mistaken assumption that this was a half-day match … for the first time in 80 years! As it was, Dragons skipper Chris Arnold commendably offered himself as substitute fielder. He then, unusually, dropped Jeremy Page off the second ball of the day, and in attempting a run-out, gave away the overthrows which brought up 5,000 Dragons runs for Jeremy – who then went on to score 137 not out!
His opening partner, Matt Tavare, unfortunately found a Ruymian fielder and was caught before we could see enough of this fast-developing young batsman. After Jamie Churchman`s century the previous day, Chris looked en-route to a fatherly riposte when he was suddenly and brilliantly stumped down the leg-side. Bryn Luffman and Jeremy Page took the Dragons to lunch at 120-2.
Lunch in the School dining-room only differed from the previous 79 years in that there was no dream topping for the excellent apple pie. Also, `Tommy` Thomas was away in Norfolk which reduced the boundary banter somewhat. However, there was no lack of colour on the boundary with an abundance of bright new Dragon hoodies amongst the younger supporters.
Back on the field after lunch, Jeremy Page moved effortlessly on towards another century aided by the youthful Bryn Luffman who impressed greatly with an excellent 76 on debut. His departure just before the declaration heralded a flurry of wickets as Cleton Payne was undone by the Ramsgate bounce (or lack of it) and Charlie Farrant gently lobbed his second ball to deep mid-off. It was left to Tom Randall to show the way with a fine 6 in his brief 13* before the declaration at 271-6 (51 overs).
The Old Ruymians innings started brightly for the Dragons when debutant Will Downes struck in the first over but further wickets proved hard to come by. After 30 overs, O Ruymians were 145-2 and well-placed. Then Charlie Farrant removed the dangerous Buchanan with a peach and almost immediately there was an impasse. ORs disappointingly unable (or unwilling) to score 137 in the last 18 overs and the Dragons unable to tempt or blast the remaining batsmen ….despite using 8 bowlers. In the end, 80 off 8 overs was too much and the game petered out into a dull draw with ORs finishing on 217-5 (48 overs) – possibly the result of so little all-day, non-limited-overs cricket being played these days.
Bowling: S Wade (6-1-25-1) C Farrant (8-1-34-1) W Downes (8-2-17-1)
Batting: J Page (137 not out) B Luffman (76)