The 2018 season got off to a belated start at Longdon. Four days of sunshine had enabled the match to be played although parts of the field were still damp. The new captain, Hutton, lost the toss and Nomads were sent in to bat. The openers followed the captain's instructions by getting off to a solid start with a decent run-rate aided by a good contribution from extras. After 9 overs Bonser and then Moritza after 13 overs were brought on to slow down the scoring. Moss replaced Terry but never really got started in his innings. Jones came in and started to play some elegant strokes with one magnificent 6 over the bowler's head. At 28 overs Nomads had reached 106-4. This seemed to be a good score on what looked like a slow scoring pitch and a total of 160 plus was anticipated. Unfortunately Brannigan, who had scored off every ball he had faced, got carried away and was bowled. This started the collapse. A misunderstanding between Rolfe and Hutton saw the ex-captain and the present captain stranded at one end with Hutton having to go for the first gonad of the season. He was soon followed by Heslington with the second gonad of the season. With the score having slumped to 120-7 in the 34th over, Hughes, Taylor and Hoddy added another 19 to give the score some credibility at 139ao.
The Longdon early season fixture is usually low scoring and Nomads still had hopes of achieving a victory. One point of contention was the opposition seeming to mow the pitch between innings which is not allowed.
Hutton decided to open with Hughes and Hoddy and the opposition got off to a flying start. However the bowlers started to find a better length and Hughes broke through and then Hoddy had 2 wickets in 2 balls. This seemed to take Longdon by surprise and it took the next batsman a good 5 minutes to appear. The play was then further delayed when Heslington, retrieving a ball from the boundary managed to hit a tree when throwing the ball in and the ball lodged. The tree also ate a stump which was thrown to dislodge the ball at which point play continued with a spare ball. With 4 wickets down for some 40 runs, the possibility of victory loomed. Unfortunately although Heslington claimed a first ball wicket with one that kept low, an injured shoulder prevented him from bowling more than one over on a pitch that would have suited him. Hutton was unlucky to see two difficult chances dropped off his bowling. Longon then comfortably reached their target with 16 overs to spare.
The Nomads bowlers probably bowled too short and wide of the wicket enabling Longdon, with their knowledge of how to play on their wicket, the opportunity to score quick runs taking the pressure off their batsmen.
[Disclaimer: Any offence caused by this article is unintentional, any praise is well deserved]
Date: 22nd April 2018
Start time: 1:30pm
Competition: 40 overs Friendly
Result: Longdon beat Lichfield Nomads by 4 wkts
Toss: Longdon won the toss and elected to field.
Scorer: J. Hoddy
Report: J. Hoddy
Weather: Warm, sunny