Keelan Nugent showed that big-hitting and class go hand in hand with a match-winning knock for Heywood under-15s against Littleborough at a well-supported Crimble.
Nugent hit three fours and a huge six in an excellent, retired innings of 25 as Heywood eased past their target of 75 set by Littleborough to claim an eight-wicket victory in their first league match of the season.
The run chase was set up nicely by captain Ben Thulborn, who looked in majestic form, hitting two sixes over midwicket with classical pull shots before being stupidly run out on 20.
It looked like Heywood would find it difficult, but Nugent and James Mills steadied the ship and some loose bowling, along with Nugent’s positive approach, meant Heywood hunted down their target easily.
In a match reduced to 16 overs a side, Heywood bowled well and at times fielded well to keep Littleborough to just 75.
Mills and Thulborn picked up a wicket apiece, and then Danny Joesbury helped himself to two wickets late on. Morgan Kay bowled excellently without reward.
However, there were some periods where Heywood’s concentration levels waned, and they will have to do more work on this over the season.
Littleborough CC 75-6 (Mills 1-17, Thulborn 1-11, Joesbury 2-18)
Heywood CC 77-2 (Nugent 25 ret, Thulborn 20)
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