The second weekend of the league season took Heath to the comfortable surroundings of Preston Nomads.
The home side won the toss and got off to a good start with the ball as Ramani removed Blunt for no score. At the other end Phelps had made a fast start to his innings and kept the scoreboard ticking throughout the opening overs. With a few chances missed off the bowling of Kernan, Nomads replaced seam with spin and soon got their second wicket as Smith mistimed a lofted drive to mid-wicket.
Phelps moved past 50 before the end of the powerplay and then took the singles on offer as Nomads spread the field. With the score on 96 spinner Gane struck twice in an over to bring Phelps’ innings to and end on 69, before trapping Ed Long LBW for 16. With 25 overs left to bat Heath had time to rebuild and Bailey assessed the situation perfectly, forming a partnership of 50 with Haynes. With a platform laid and Bailey showing his ability to clear the boundary Heath were hopeful of passing 200, but wickets fell regularly during the final 10 overs and boundaries were hard to come by. In between a couple of run outs Bailey was bowled by the returning Kernan for a hard fought 43, and Heath finished their innings 197 all out. Gane was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 31 from his 9.
With regular opening bowler O’Keeffe out of the side due to injury his fellow countryman Jaydon Wright stepped up for his 1st XI debut and contributed to a tight opening spell with Everett. The pair conceded just 2 boundaries off the bat as Nomads struggled to rotate strike, and after Everett bowled O’Brien for 19 the introduction of Phelps brought about two more quick wickets. Nomads were behind the game at 40 for 3 off 15, and when Smith took a wicket in his first over Heath were firmly in the box seat.
To the confusion of a few in the field, captain Smith pulled Phelps out of the attack after just three overs and turned to seamer Menzies who immediately removed any doubts by taking the prize wicket of regular first teamer Philips with his first ball.
Through Menzies and Smith, followed by Bailey and Phelps, Heath strangled the Nomads middle order during a period of 18 overs in which no boundaries were struck. By the time Nomads captain Robinson came to the crease the required rate had reached 10 an over and the home side were not able to up the ante fast enough. Bailey took two wickets before Phelps and Smith returned to the attack to finish the job. Nomads were all out for 168 in the penultimate over as Robinson (36) was caught off Smith who finished with 3 for 33 from his 9.