Once we had persuaded Noah to move his ark from the square, the first cricket match of the new season got underway – three weeks into term. The opposition, Stamford, had been equally affected by the weather and so it was very much an acclimatisation exercise for both teams. No matter how much time is spent in the indoor nets, playing on the real thing is a different proposition, especially for the batsmen. Batting first Loughborough was soon in trouble on an old-fashioned “green top” and at 4 for 2, then 26 for 3 it was clear that it was not be a high-scoring match. But after some dogged resistance, the home side eventually reached a very respectable and competitive 155 for 9 from their 50 overs, the highlight being an 8th wicket partnership of 65 between Ravi Gokani (25) and Savan Desai (36 not out). In reply Gokani bowled a superb opening spell finishing with figures of 4 for 10 from 10 overs and the game was in the balance to the end with Stamford edging home by 1 wicket with just 2 overs to spare. An exciting start to the season; let’s hope for better weather.