The first game of the season can often be an exercise in blowing the cobwebs away, but the 1st team showed little sign of dustiness to race to a comfortable success over rivals Roe Green.
Danny Pawson and skipper James Wharmby hit half centuries to set a daunting total of 278-9 before sub pro Geeth Kumara (pictured) took 6 for 37 to dismiss the visitors for 150.
Prior to the match, players, umpires and club officials and supporters from both sides held a minute’s silence in honour of Harry Lewis, a legend of the game who played for many distinguished years at Prestwich.
Having latterly turned to umpiring, it was uncannily apt that the first notable event in the game thrust the umpires into the spotlight – a situation Harry would have lapped up. Was Justin Kenyon’s catch completed, before he tumbled to the ground injured and the ball spilled out? The umpires deemed not, and Wharmby went on to reach a fluent 50, before Jordan Stephens made no mistake with a well-taken catch at long-on. It was Wharmby’s 42nd first team 50 (inclusive of 7 tons).
Umpire Brian Cutler then had to retire after hurting his knee, and like the unfortunate Kenyon, could not return to the field.
Pawson made a typically robust run-a-ball 64, and there was an excellent knock of 40 from Alex Taylor on his 50th innings for the first team, backed up by 29 from debutant Ryan Maddock and 24 from Sam Holden, to ensure the innings did not fade away.
Kumara’s spin then took centre stage, picking up six wickets. Ex-Prestwich player Danny Jones top scored with 44 and his departure at 128-3 signalled the end of Green’s hopes. He was caught by Pawson, who was taking his 37th catch for the club, putting him one ahead of none other than….Danny Jones.
A 128-run victory, reaping 6 points, was an excellent start in the team’s bid to retain their premier division title.
• An innings of 63 from 44 balls from Qasim Memon was not enough for the 2nd XI to overhaul Darcy Lever 1st XI”s imposing total of 240 for 8. Muhammad Arif returned the best figures of 3 for 43, while Stevie Ritchie and Umar Arif picked up two wickets each.
Skipper Steven Lorenzini (22), Matthew Cuthbert (24), and Lewis Smith (20) all failed to capitalise on good starts, and ended up 78 runs adrift.
• Tom Ward ran riot for the 3rd team, hitting an unbeaten century in their opening match victory at Westhoughton 3rds. He cracked 116 not out, including 13 fours.
Adam Taylor was next highest on 31 as the top order all made useful contributions to set up a total of 254-9.
The home side reached 200 for 4 in reply, with veteran Glenn Bullock making 81. Anees Arif took 2 of the 4 wickets to fall.
• The 4ths lost out in an agonising finish at home to Astley and Tyldesley 3rds on Sunday. A thriving opening stand of 87 between captain Pete Staley (43) and 14-year-old Ellis Compton (34) gave them the ideal platform, but the regular flow of wickets thereafter curtailed the score to 151 for 8.
Finlay Lester kept Prestwich firmly in the game, with excellent figures of 4 for 20, supported by Sam Staley (2 for 24) and Simon Jackson (2 for 27). However, the visitors edged over the finishing line with one wicket to spare.
• The 5th team were defeated in a friendly at Walsden last Saturday where the hosts made 258-8. Thomas Orrell cracked an unbeaten 88 in reply, but the side were all out for 157.