Narrandera kicked off the 2018/19 Milliken Shield campaign with the pleasant road trip to Hay.
The core of last year’s team was there for experience but Narrandera were also happy to welcome James Langley and Horatio Davies- Botton on their debut.
Hay elected to bat first under sunny skies in what could only be described as perfect cricket conditions on the picturesque number one oval.
Sam Williamson and Ky Bloomfield opened up the attack for Narrandera and managed to contain the scoring but were unable to make a breakthrough.
This continued with Thomas McLellan and Isaac Kschenka the next change and Hay still coasting no wicket down with 41 runs on the board.
The next change of bowlers was Alex Wright and Tom Pearson and the feeling was it would take something special to start making in-roads in to the Hay batting order.
And special it most definitely was, with Mitch Forrest pulling off a stunning reflex catch at square leg from the bowling of Wright to give Narrandera their first wicket.
As is often the case one wicket brings another with Tom Pearson knocking back middle stump to leave Hay at 2 for 46.
Hay managed to steady the ship through the mid part of their innings and it took a straight one on middle peg from debutant James Langley to get the third wicket in the 20th over.
With 10 overs to go Narrandera buckled down and stifled the scoring opportunities for Hay and managed to take regular wickets.
Baxter Longmire chipped in with a wicket and Sam Williamson returned for his second spell to grab three wickets along with a single to McLellan and a stunning runout to finish up Hay’s innings in the 29th over with the score on 108.
After a hearty lunch Bloomfield and McLellan strode to the wicket with both players looking comfortable against Hay’s left arm quick Alice Caldow.
Bloomfield looked particularly good hitting down the ground with confidence. It was in the seventh over that McLellan missed a straight one and was bowled for 4.
Not long after Bloomfield was caught trying to force the run rate to leave the lads 2 for 24 in the 10th. Horatio was diligently holding up his end and eventually retired to give some of the others a turn in the middle.
Sam Williamson also started to look right at home and moved to six runs before he was caught hitting out against the spinner.
Kschenka, Pearson and Forrest fell in quick succession with Alex Wright doing his best to hold the innings together.
Unfortunately no one was able to build a big partnership as Jobe Litchfield, Baxter Longmire and Hudson Coelli all fell to Hay’s disciplined bowling and fielding effort.
James Langley and Horatio Davies-Botton remained not out at the end joined by Alex Wright who had retired four not out.
This left Narrandera on 55 at the compulsory close. The win was not to be but great experience for the side to take into round two which is once again on the road, this time at Lake Cargelligo.