The big guns flexed their muscles as the Cambs League and Lincs Premier Division seasons got under way today (April 20).
Cambs Division One title favourites Wisbech started out with a maximum-points win over newly-promoted Waresley as did likely title challengers Ramsey and March over Castor and Camden respectively
New Newborough skipper Gareth Clingo expects his side to win Division Two and his players backed him up with a nine-wicket thumping of Ickwell, while a much-strengthened Bourne side bashed Sleaford on the first day of the Lincs Premier Division season.
Alan Burton is skippering Wisbech this season after leaving Peterborough Town and he led from the front with a patient unbeaten 90 which occupied the 45 overs his side used at Waresley.
Josh Bowers and Gary Freear both contributed 53 as Wisbech piled up 228-5 and the latter also claimed three wickets as the home side were dismissed for 150.
March were involved in a game full of twists and turns. They crashed from 81-1 to 87-7 before totalling 135 and Camden were 41-0 before losing all 10 wickets for just another 51.
Shardel Brahambhatt (29 & 4-19) took the-man-of-the-match honours for March.
Ramsey recovered from 115-5 to reach 212-7 against Castor at Cricketfield Lane. Taylor West (69no) was another new skipper in form while Michael Cafferkey (62) was another former Peterborough Town player in the runs.
Castor didn’t compete after a promising first 90 minutes and were dismissed for just 79, mainly thanks to 5-23 for Sam Rippington, prompting charismatic captain Rob Vitas to comment: “The team has changed completely from last season, but the results remain the same.”
Nassington were happy with their draw with reigning champions Foxton as ninth-wicket pair Daniel Bandaranaike and Bill Brice batted out the final 17 overs after the home side had slumped to 71-8 chasing 173-8.
Will Compton (5-36), singled out as one-to-watch by captain Clingo, was the destroyer for Newborough as Ickwell were shot out for 83, but that was four more than Yaxley managed on the way to a nine-wicket reverse at Histon.
Khalsa were relegated from Division One last season and they might not go straight back up if their six-wicket defeat at Weston Colville proves a reliable guide.
Bourne batsmen Pete Morgan and Conrad Louth have started the summer in imperious form. They delivered an unbeaten century stand in the first Rutland Division One match of the season last weekend and delivered another in the far more competitive Lincs Premier Division today.
Louth finished undefeated on 54 at the Abbey Lawns against Sleaford today and Morgan was still there on 50 when the win, set up by 4-36 from Darren Cousins and 3-31 from Colin Cheer, was completed.
Market Deeping won the local derby in this division and ruined the first-ever appearance at this level of Spalding.
Deeping won a vital toss before Tom Andrews (5-24) ripped through the top of the Spalding order. New professional Meli Aditia also impressed taking 3-5 from 11 overs as Spalding were shot out for 84, of which Zimbabwean Campbell Light struck 52.
Chris Jones (34no) then steered Deeping home despite three wickets for the impressive Light.
MARCH beat CAMDEN by 44 runs
March 135 (T. Howgego 35, S. Brahambhatt 29, T. Phillips 27)
Camden 91 (S. Brahambhatt 4-19, S. Seymour 3-19).
NASSINGTON drew with FOXTON
Nassington 139-8 (D. Bandaranaike 41no, B. Brice 28no).
RAMSEY beat CASTOR by 133 runs
Ramsey 212-7 (T. West 69no, M. Cafferkey 62, L. Stewart 26, S. Steel 3-52, R. Woolley 3-61).
Castor 79 (S. Rippington 5-23).
WARESLEY lost to WISBECH by 78 runs
Wisbech 228-5 (A. Burton 90no, J. Bowers 53, G. Freear 53).
Waresley 150 (J. Hastings 3-31, G. Freear 3-46).
HISTON beat YAXLEY by 9 wkts
Yaxley 79 (R. Clarke 26).
NEWBOROUGH beat ICKWELL by 9 wkts
Ickwell 83 (W. Compton 5-36, J. Fulton 3-28).
Newborough 84-1 (S. McCracken 48no).
WESTON COLVILLE beat KHALSA by 6 wkts
Westn Colville 114-4
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
SPALDING lost to MARKET DEEPING by 5 wkts
Spalding 84 (C. Light 52, T. Andrews 5-24, M. Aditia 3-5).
Market Deeping 86-5 (C. Jones 34no, C. Light 3-32).
BOURNE beat SLEAFORD by 9 wkts
Sleaford 138 (D. Cousins 4-36, C. Cheer 3-31).
Bourne 139-1 (C. Louth 54no, P. Morgan 50no, B. Stroud 20).