Picture: NEIL CROSS
Newton-le-Willows, who were crowned first division champions last year, made a dream start to their first appearance in the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition top flight for a decade when they hammered Birkenhead Park by five wickets at Prenton on Saturday.
The hosts batted first and posted a total of 215 from 52.2 overs (Morley 6-65) and then an opening stand of 83 involving Lyon (52) and Walkden, who went on to carry his bat for 94, put the visitors firmly in the driving seat and in the end they picked up 25 match-winning points.
Local rivals Rainhill were not as fortunate despite batting first against Southport and Birkdale at Victoria Terrace.
They amassed a more than respectable total of 249-5 declared, in which Edmondson blasted a century and McGladdery 82. But S and B rose to the challenge and lost only one batsman as they stormed to 250, thanks to a record-breaking unbeaten second wicket stand involving Fielden (135) and Whitehead (111).
In the first division, Rainford also had a five wicket triumph over Ainsdale at Church Road. The Seasiders, batting first, posted a total of 209 (Dotters 5-45) but solid knocks from Login (62 n.o.), Woods ( 45) and Bailey (37) enabled the hosts to cross the finishing line.
Both St Helens Town and Sutton got off to a successful start in division two and had little trouble overcoming Wavertree and Norley Hall respectively.
Town dismissed the Liverpool-based club for 79 (Rajendran 6-7) and then compiled the necessary runs for the loss of only two wickets, while Sutton (183 all out ) defeated the Wigan outfit (101 all out) by 83 runs.
Local second XI results - premier division: Birkenhead Park (194-8) Newton-le -Willows (128-8). Match drawn.
First division: Rainford (235-3 declared) Southport Trinity (192-7). Match drawn. Rainhill (115 all out) Spring View (119-4).
Second division: Norley Hall 225-7 Sutton 187-8. Match drawn.