Just hours after the Jersey Cricket Board had announced a new deal with European Cricket Network – offering continental, Champions League-style competition for Island champions from 2022 – Farmers maintained their perfect start to the delayed 2020 campaign with a six-wicket win over ATF St Ouen Springfield, achieved with the help of superb bowling figures from Rhys Palmer [3-7, plus two maidens] and a stubborn middle-order partnership between Chuggy Perchard and Julius Sumeraeur.
The 2019 Jersey T20 champions’ latest Premier Division display was perhaps not as convincing as the two which set them on their way seven days earlier, but at the halfway stage of the regular-season they remain in pole position for a place in the grand final.
Rathbones OVs sit one win behind, following their 30-run triumph over RGA Walkovers.
A croaky Farmers captain James Perchard, who had taken a ball to the throat while keeping wicket in the first innings at Les Quennevais, said: ‘That’s three from three, so we’re well positioned now to get the bye into the final.
‘We bowled well up top and Rhys Palmer was exceptional. In any format of the game those figures are amazing.
‘They had a bit of a comeback through Jon Best and Ollie Nightingale to get themselves up to a potentially competitive total – we said at the halfway point that they were maybe 15 runs below par but they gave themselves a shot and when we lost a couple of early wickets the game was in the balance.
‘With these small chases it’s always difficult on a pitch which is a bit spicy. A couple of wickets and a couple of tight overs and all of a sudden the [required] rate clicks up quite quickly … so we did well to grind it out.’
St Ouen – playing their first top-flight fixture with a home clubhouse thanks to their new agreement with Jersey Hockey Club – were in trouble at 27-5 in the seventh over as Palmer wreaked havoc with ball in hand. The Island international battered the batsmen with stunning precision to set Farmers on their way, before opener Nightingale  and Best  offered enough resistance to nudge the westerners up to 94/8.
Will Robertston gave hosts St Ouen early hope in the field with two wickets in the second over, before Joel Dudley and Zac Tribe – scorers of a combined 165 against Walkovers a week earlier – came and went without too much of a fuss. Chuggy Perchard  and Sumerauer  soon steadied the ship, though, with the latter smashing a big six over long-on to take them across the line with three overs remaining.
At FB Fields, OVs added a second victory to their season’s tally thanks to an unbeaten 58 from captain Luke Gallichan – taking his side to 155/5 in their 20-over spell – and two wickets for 14-year-old debutant Charlie Brennan.
Jonty Jenner  and Mathew Donaldson  provided suitable support before helping restrict Walkovers to a 125-run reply, for the loss of seven wickets.
Ross Chadwick top-scored for winless Walkovers with a knock of 35, with Jamie Brewster hitting 29, including two 6s.
Daniel Birrell had earlier bowled both of OVs openers – Jake Dunford and Corey Bisson.
Brennan finished on figures of 2-11 off two overs. A fine introduction to senior cricket.