HEREFORDSHIRE gained their first success of this year’s NCCA 50-over competition with a conclusive six-wicket win over Staffordshire at Eastnor.

The county side, who lost their previous match against Norfolk, were in control from the start as they went on to repeat their victory over Staffordshire in the final of the 2016 tournament.

Staffordshire won the toss and chose to bat but were up against it from the final ball of the first over when opener Callum Hawkins was caught behind by Luke Powell off the bowling of Sam Keeling-Wright (2-22).

With James Rudge (3-29) also picking up early wickets, the visitors were soon in trouble and subsided to 30-4.

Matthew Morris (51) and Reeve Evitt (13) engineered a partial recovery but both fell to the promising 16-year-old debutant seamer Toby Cox, who also added the scalp of Sam Atkinson (12) on his way to the fine figures of 3-24 from 10 overs.

Ben Chapman-Lilley (1-24) and Taylor Cornall (1-37) were also among the wickets as Staffordshire were dismissed for 163 from the penultimate ball of their 50-over allocation.

In contrast to the struggles experienced by the Staffordshire batting line-up, Herefordshire got away to a flying start as Chapman-Lilley (54) and, especially, Cornall (49) powered forward in an opening stand of 76.

Cornall eventually hoisted one to be caught on the midwicket boundary one short of his half-century in the 13th over.

Daniyal Khan and Nick Hammond, on his 50th appearance for Herefordshire in all formats, followed quickly, but skipper Matt Pardoe came in to steady the innings.

Although Chapman-Lilley departed for a well-made 54, Pardoe (35 not out) and Ollie Walker (14 not out) guided the home side to victory with more than 17 overs to spare.

Next Sunday, Herefordshire travel to Whitchurch to take on Shropshire who today suffered a chastening nine-wicket reverse against Norfolk after posting a seemingly impressive 295-8.

But before that, Herefordshire will be hoping for a bumper turn-out at Eastnor on Wednesday when they take on Gloucestershire in their annual ECB showcase match.

This takes the form of two T20 matches with the first starting at 10am.