With defending champions Farnsfield sitting out the opening day of the season, Clipstone Colliery issued a warning that they could be one of their chief title challengers.
Clipstone breezed past Notts and Arnold Amateurs in their first fixture to suggest they could improve on last year’s third-placed finish in the league’s top division, known as The Championship. Mohammed Althaf Anwardeen was the hero of the day, taking 5-41, and with Jason Gorman weighing in with 3-7, the visitors were rolled out for 111 before Clipstone eased to their target in the hands of Henro Pike (32) for the loss of four wickets.
Newly-promoted Cuckney 2nd also got off to a solid start, beating Glapwell Colliery by 78 runs. Richard Bostock (58) and David Taylor (57) hit half-centuries in a total of 207 before Simon Mugava took 5-28 to dismiss the hosts.
Runners-up for the past two seasons, Papplewick and Linby look to be heading for another successful season after demolishing the 2016 First Division champions, Blidworth Colliery Welfare, by 183 runs. Magnificent tons by Harry Ratcliffe (189no) and Alex Lloyd (136) powered Papplewick to a score of 343-4 before Charlie Blatherwick bagged 5-82 to remove Blidworth for 170, despite a defiant innings of 60 from Ruve Louw.
The most exciting match of the day came at Fourth Avenue, where Thoresby Colliery just held on for a winning draw after making 242-5. North Wheatey with Leverton replied with 240-5.
It was also a close-run thing at Edwinstowe, where the hosts’ total of 176 was just not enough to prevent Anston winning by two wickets. The outcome was rough justice on all-rounder Adam Dutton, who made 41 with the bat and took 4-26 with the ball.