St Albans CC opened their season against Holtwhites Trinibis with a hard-fought draw at Clarence Park on Saturday.
The hosts bowled first and got off to a good start with both openers removed swiftly by Dan Rosson and Richard O’Toole.
Mark Telkman (three for 25) and Mohammed Hussain (one for 44) then did well to contain the run rate and pick up wickets at regular intervals. Returning for a second spell, O’Toole (three for 25) helped wrap up the innings as Holtwhites posted 169 all out off 50 overs.
The St Albans chase got off to a similar start to that of Holtwhites with both openers, Matt Howeson (0) and Martin Jones (3), being removed before the total had reached double figures.
While Aaron Jones batted well for his 21, the Saints chase never really got off the ground as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Despite tight bowling from Holtwhites, Ian McKinlay (18), Phil Caley (20) and O’Toole (21 not out) managed to guide Saints to a total of 117 for eight off 50 overs to secure the draw.
The Seconds got off to a poor start, losing away to Sandridge.
Despite a strong opening stand between Mike Curtis (32) and Andy Rudlin (10), the Saints struggled to score against tight opposition bowling and were dismissed for 114. Sandridge never looked in trouble chasing the small target and despite a good opening spell from Charlie Smith (three for 26), batsmen Merryfield (38) and Peters (38) batted well to see their side home, winning by six wickets.
The Thirds fared equally badly at home to Southgate Adelaide.
St Albans were bowled out for 79, having been 25 for five at one stage and it was only thanks to sensible batting from Callum Thorner (23), Zach West (12) and James Thompson (10) that they managed to reach any kind of a total.
Adelaide nearly gave Saints a shock victory with a combination of good bowling from Christian Hay (three for 31) and Tom Townend (two for 26) and some poor batting. But they managed to crawl over the line eight wickets down to secure their first win of the season.