STAFFORD CC firsts started life back in division one of the North Staffs and South Cheshire League with a visit to Barlaston and suffered a narrow 45-run defeat.
Barlaston batted first and totalled 196-4 declared from 53 overs thanks to half-centuries from Chris Plant (53) and Ben Grange (50 not out).
In reply Stafford’s lost top order wickets quickly and were always struggling despite captain David Foster leading form the front with 59.
Once he was dismissed there was a lower order rally before they were all out for 151.
Barlaston professional Zafar Iqbal did most of the damage with an impressive 6-34. Foster will not be too disheartened however, after a Talbot Cup win at Oakamoor on the Sunday and will look to get off the mark in the league at home to Betley this Saturday at Riverway with a 12.30pm start.
Sunday’s cup win at division three Oakamoor was always comfortable after dismissing the hosts for 88.
In the wickets were David Foster 3-14, professional Aparajit Singh 3-27 and Guy Seaton 3-12. Seaton then top-scored with the bat with 38 as Stafford got home losing only four wickets.
Newly promoted Stafford seconds faced Premier B champions Barlaston seconds at Riverway.
After winning division 1B last summer, it was a tough opener for Stafford seconds. Batting first on a good Riverway surface Barlaston hit 205-6 from their 50 overs with Tom Gray leading the way with 49 not out.
In the reply, Stafford were never really in it as fast bowler Chris Dyer 5-32 and John Aked 3-26 cleaned them up for 102 with only Dave Cartlidge 25 not out offering any real resistance. Stafford will look to bounce back as they visit Norton on Saturday.
In the Stone league Stafford thirds were without a fixture while in division one the fourths faced their own newly formed fifths in a derby fixture.
The fourths won after hitting 226 all out mainly thanks to a good partnership between Bob Singh 76 and left hander Terry Jones 65. Veteran campaigner Neil Cameron picked up 7-56 with the ball in 17 overs.
In the reply the fifths were 100 all out. Brad Evans top scored with 32 as Manu Das 3-21 and Josh Rimmer, also 3-21, were in the wickets.
SANDON CC got off to a winning start in the Stone League, defeating Leigh by seven runs.
In a low-scoring game, Phil Talbot hit 27 and Steve Greatholder 19 as Sandon fell for just 70 runs. But it was enough as Michael Walley snapped up 5-24.