Rolls, Papplewick and Byron Abbey off to flying starts in Mansfield Cricket League

SHEP SHAPE -- pace bowler Adam Shepherd, whose wickets helped Rolls-Royce Leisure to victory on their return to the Mansfield League.
SHEP SHAPE -- pace bowler Adam Shepherd, whose wickets helped Rolls-Royce Leisure to victory on their return to the Mansfield League.

The new MANSFIELD AND DISTRICT SUNDAY LEAGUE cricket season opened earlywith a fanfare of success for teams in the Dispatch district.

The 2014 league features six local sides -- HUCKNALL in the Premier Section, two teams from ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE, two from PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY, and also Newstead-based BYRON ABBEY.

And of the three who were in action on the first day, all celebrated a victory or a winning draw.

Pride of place went to Rolls, who marked their return to the league with a ten-wicket eclipse of Creswell in Section Two.

They skittled the home team for just 94, which would have been considerably less without a stubborn 60 (two sixes and eight fours) from Greg Searston.

The Rolls bowlers to inflict the damage were Adam Shepherd (three for 17 in seven overs), Tom Lungley (three for nought in two), Oliver Mattick (two for 17 in 5.4) and Chris Hudson (two for 32 in seven).

Opening bats Shaun Levy (55 not out, eight fours) and Ross Carnelley (32 not out, three fours) then polished off the runs in only 20 overs with an unbroken stand.

THE TOP order also found runs easy to come by in a winning draw for Papplewick away to Belper Meadows in Section Four.

Captain Ross Fitz-John blasted 75, including three sixes and nine fours, off only 53 balls in an explosive first-wicket partnership of 137 with Tom Bowers (60, one six and seven fours).

With Joe Walker adding an unbeaten 58 (one six and three fours) and Antony Woolley 23, Papplewick posted a total of 243 for five in their allotted 40 overs.

Belper replied with 160 for seven, which revolved around knocks of 56 (one six and nine fours) for Dave Boyes and 53 (seven fours) for skipper Joe Slater.

The pick of the Papplewick bowlers were James Stokes with two for seven from seven overs and Alex Hudson with two for 36 from eight.

CAPTAIN Matt Thrower led by example in a comfortable 104-run win for Byron Abbey away to Shirebrook in Section Five.

Going in at number five, Thrower fired an undefeated 52 (one six and six fours) to help Byron to a useful total of 186 for four.

Phil Collins (one six and six fours) and made 44 and opener Matt Guy 43 (seven fours) before Byron shot out Shirebrook for just 82, with bowlers Gary Devonshire (two for 29 in ten overs), Lee Christie and Chris Curtis among the wickets.