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Keith Greaves might never make a farmer but he certainly made hay in a hail storm in this mid-April cricket encounter. New captain Heslington had marshalled a strong Lichfield Nomads team for the delayed season’s opener and his power of authority was clear from the start. New recruit Chris Jones was presented with his cap by the skipper before proceedings got underway. Westwood was given the opening duties with the bat alongside Gardner, but with only 17 on the board, the latter missed a full and straight ball from Sheikh and was bowled. Moss started swiftly with a fortuitous four off a thick edge flying over the wicketkeeper and could well have fallen before he got going, as a direct hit from Ruppelt had him struggling to make his ground after an over-enthusiastic call from Westwood. Only the umpire’s uncertainty saved him in the close call, although with no technology available, the batsmen had to be given any benefit of the doubt. Nomads moved along smoothly at around five an over, despite the damp outfield, slightly long grass and slopes rising to the boundaries at both sides of the wicket. Occasional flurries of good shots were interspersed with decent length, though rarely threatening bowling. Moss kept the fielders on their toes and good contributions were made down the order. Jones contributed well at six with a strike rate of 127, but again fell to a straight full ball. Heslington was in a positive frame of mind, striking the ball firmly before being caught at full stretch in the covers as Nomads finally reached 192. Brannigan and Hoddy opened the bowling as Lichfield looked to defend their total, the latter steady and the former bowling a quick pace. It was Brannigan who really troubled the batsmen with his excellent spell and laid the foundations of the win as he ripped through the top order, aided by a good diving catch from Westwood and a regulation one by Gardner off a rising ball which just clipped Ruppelt’s glove on the way through. Heslington was moving the field intelligently, as the bowlers kept to the plan, on a couple of occasions moving a fielder to an unconventional spot only for the ball to go straight to him. Fielding was tight although Brannigan clearly incensed by Gardner spilling a nick earlier, took aim at the keeper, rather than the stumps as the batsman scrambled, sending Gardner sprawling backwards in a heap. Hoddy finished his spell as Bashir and Hook began to raise the pace of the reply and Heslington brought Greaves on to weave his magic. The generally youthful Bugbrooke batsmen had probably not encountered this kind of pace before and appeared rooted, as they poked and prodded or occasionally played a little early, only to lift the ball into waiting hands. Westwood pitched in as Heslington took a catch low down, while Hughes completed the innings as Moss joined a cluster of six fielders with one catch to their name. A thoroughly sound performance from the whole team, including Jones on his debut. A Scores: Nomads 192 for 7 – Bugbrooke 108 all out. Result: Nomads won by 84 runs

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