LECHLADE debutant Michael Craigs announced his arrival in the Glos/Wilts Division with a devastating opening-over hat-trick, as Gloucester City Winget were thrashed by 154 runs at the Spa Ground.

Craigs struck with his fourth ball, trapping David Hemmings lbw for 0 and then followed that up with the wickets of Richard Howells, bowled, and Scott Montgomery, lbw, to secure a sensational debut three on a row.

Lechlade captain Joe Breet had earlier won the toss and had elected to bat, and Lechlade posted 303-7 declared with Breet contributing 119 off 111 balls.

Breet joined Paul Godding at the wicket in the third over after Oli Thornley had been dismissed with the score on 13. Breet and Godding then put on a partnership of 120 before Godding was bowled for 56.

Breet added a further 131 runs with Arran Dickinson (18), Ryan Higgins (34) and Craigs (12) before being dismissed in the 40th over. The Wiltshire batsman’s innings was controlled, with his first 50 coming up off 54 balls and his century off 92. Asanka Vithanage and Sam Burdock then put on a further 37 before Lechlade declared on 303.

Gloucester never looked like threatening the Lechlade total after Craigs’ devastating first over and, following a short show of resistance, John Cowells was bowled by Vithanage for 26 and Will Steadman run out by Burdock for 30. Gloucester wickets fell steadily over the next 12 overs before they were eventually dismissed for 149, with Craigs finishing with 4–39 and another Lechlade debutant, Higgins, claiming two cheap wickets.

Lechlade skipper Breet said after the game: “We have hit the ground running with an impressive win today. I very pleased with the lads as they all played for the team and all did what was asked of them. We have several key players to come in and I’m sure we will only get better from here on.”

Lechlade completed a successful opening weekend with a narrow, one-wicket National Village Cup win against Shrewton on Sunday. Ali Kilham top scored with 42, while Vithanage with 5-23 and Dickinson with 2-12 were in the wickets.

Lechlade’s second string also won on Saturday with a nine-wicket victory at the Manor Ground against Purton. Purton were restricted to 117 before Lechlade knocked the runs off in less than 17 overs, with Killham and Riz Hassan scoring 46 and 34 not out.