The going has certainly been tough for St Ives so far in their return to the Cambs & Hunts Premier League top flight, but captain Ricky Greiller is confident his men can soon get going.

Shaun Asplin bowls for St Ives in their defeat to Wisbech. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONTShaun Asplin bowls for St Ives in their defeat to Wisbech. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

St Ives, promoted as runners-up last summer, find themselves propping up the Whiting & Partners Division One standings after starting the campaign with four successive defeats.

The latest of those was last Saturday when title-chasing Wisbech romped to a 173-run verdict at the One Leisure Outdoor Centre.

It was a game which featured an all-too-frequent storyline as far as Greiller is concerned.

His side bowled and fielded relatively well despite Wisbech, a team blessed with some classy run-scorers, reaching 304-9. Michael Speed, Shaun Asplin and Murray Reid claimed two wickets apiece.

But St Ives' own effort with the bat again left plenty to be desired as they wilted for just 131.

Opener Umair Tariq hit a quickfire 39, but only Speed (27) and Tom McCarthy (26) made other contributions of any substance.

"It has certainly been tough," acknowledged St Ives skipper Greiller. "But then we always knew it would be.

"There's a big gap between the two leagues and that has been highlighted in our first few games.

"We have not gone down the route of paying multiple players to make sure we can compete at this level. Instead we are viewing it as a learning experience for our young players.

"We have an average age of somewhere around 23-years-old in most matches, whereas the teams we've faced so far only seem to have one or two youngsters.

"I've been pleased with our bowling and fielding on the whole, but the batting is a long way from being up to scratch.

"I'm sure we can up our performances as the season goes on."

A tough trip to Saffron Walden is next up for St Ives this Saturday.