Hereford Gents

Guy Shears' unbeaten 82 led the Imps to a comfortable six wicket win over the Hereford Gents in glorious conditions at Brockhampton.

Opener Shears hit nine fours and three sixes in his 91 ball knock, as the Imps raced past their 144 target in only 33 overs.

He received useful support from debutant Neil Powell (16), in a third wicket stand of 56, before adding a further 37 with Warwick keeper Jamie Coleman (17).

This came after the home batting line up's variety of over-ambitious shots, plus some accurate bowling and sound catching packed the Gents off in 39 overs for a total probably 75 below par.

Unlike the clubs' previous encounter at Dorridge three years ago, Gents' skipper Rob Watkins had even managed to keep all his players out of the local nick for the day! After briefly salivating over his power-packed batting line up at the toss, Rob had no hesitation in opting to bat, for the first time in living memory.

Stebbings and Scott started slowly against Tom Grundy, and less warily against an unusually wayward Will Noble (or the Imps Mr Fixit as he is now known).

In the ninth over, with the score at 37, Grunders made a double breakthrough, bowling Scott off his pads, then Austwick to possibly the worst shot ever seen on the ground.

After this, the Imps four-pronged spin attack took control. Wynnie's arm ball variations suited the damp pitch, and he took wickets in each of his first three overs, to reduce the Gents to 63-5.

At the other end former Wardens' great Matt Cox, returning to the UK after 13 years abroad, produced some teasing flight and sharp spin. Although Powell played some fine shots, the runs dried up at the other end, and the Gents lunched at 101-6.

After the most magnificent filled Yorkshire puddings, Nigel Moore (1-20) and Chris Williamson (2-16) soon polished off the tail, with Powell the last to fall, having struck seven fours and three sixes in a combative 90 ball 64.

Chris played one superb off drive before running himself out for 19, and Smithy fell to a slower ball bouncer, as rank long hops are now apparently known, clearing the way for Neil Powell and Shears to hurry the Imps towards victory.

After Neil missed a straight full toss, as straight full tosses are now apparently known, Jamie hit a couple of powerful fours, which with Shears in full flow briefly threatened to win the match before tea.

However, Powell's tidy leg spin stemmed the flow, leaving Shears to finish the job with 20 from a Stebbings'over soon after the cream scones.

Magnificent hospitality as ever from the Gents, Imps debuts for Cox and Powell, plus scorer Taff, and a wonderful day all round ended with reminiscences of "The Jobson Affair," and Rob Watkins promising to never bat first again under any circumstances!