HUNTINGDONSHIRE'S under 19 cricketers suffered a disappointing defeat in the opening game of the new East Anglian League last week. The home side had looked in a strong position after making 268-9 from their 50 overs but Essex pipped them to the win with just eight balls to spare. Godmanchester duo Ollie Huggins (77) and captain Matt Durrant (68) put on a record-breaking stand of 133 for the second wicket but it was to no avail. The track at St Ives was perfect for batting but Hunts' middle order did not take full advantage after the big partnership and their eventual total of 268 did not look to be quite enough. The home bowlers did their best to protect their lead and at the halfway stage Essex had reached just 103 with the runs required rate up at seven runs an over. However a crucial stand of 81 between Rajnish Dohal (43 not out) and John Austin (47) from just nine overs turned the tide. After that blistering spell of batting Essex always looked comfortable and reached their target of 269 runs with eight balls and three wickets to spare. Pick of the bowlers was spinner Daniel Oldham, who claimed two wickets but was expensive, costing 63 runs. Fellow spinner Phil Adams recorded 1-35 but it was the visitors who went away happiest.