A new era began in successful style in the Cambs & Hunts Premier League last Saturday.
The St Ives & Warboys first XI triumphed in their first outing since a winter merger which saw the two local clubs join forces.
Captain Jack Haycock smacked an unbeaten 65 as his men saw off Castor & Ailsworth by eight wickets in a rain-affected clash at the St Ivo Outdoor Centre.
Veteran Shaun Asplin (4-22) and young talent Michael Speed (3-19) spearheaded a fine bowling effort as the visitors were dismissed for 113 and St Ives & Warboys had no trouble in easing past a revised to cruise to victory.
“A win on Saturday was a perfect start,” said skipper Haycock. “It was one of those days where just about everything went right.
“We won the toss, Shaun in particular bowled superbly and then we got off to a flyer with the bat.
“The weather made things a bit nervy as we had to come off for rain four times while chasing, but we got there in the end.”
A first success was swiftly followed by a first defeat as St Ives & Warboys went down by four wickets at Blunham on Bank Holiday Monday.
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Former skipper Ryan Withers, who is now based in Australia but back in this area for a month, top-scored with 32 as the locals were dismissed for 128 before their Bedfordshire hosts eased to victory.
“It was a tough defeat to take,” added Haycock. “I felt 128 was actually a par score on a green and slow pitch, but one of the Blunham openers smashed 42 off 26 balls and that proved to be a match-winning contribution.”
It meant Blunham claimed a second local scalp in the space of three days after they inflicted defeat on Huntingdon & District last Saturday.
A top-scoring effort and a five-wicket haul from returning club legend Nomi Khan was not enough to rescue the situation at St Peters Road in another rain-affected fixture.
Huntingdon & District were dismissed for just 90 with Khan (27) helping them recover to some sort of respectability from a dreadful start which reduced them to 10-5.
He then swooped for 5-35 as Blunham edged to their revised target of 76.
Kimbolton triumphed at Waresley in a clash of two local sides who suffered relegation last summer.
Sam Johnson top-scored with 41 as Waresley reached 194-9, but Kimbolton reached a revised target of 170 with four-and-a-half overs to spare.
Nick Borkett was their star performer as he followed up three wickets with a knock of 51