REIGNING premier Albion and Mornington scored first- up wins when the Gunnedah District Cricket Association first grade competition began its new season on Saturday.
Mornington defended a smallish 139 in its 40 over-a-side opener at Kitchener Park against Kookaburras for a one- run win while Albion smacked 6-218 at Wolseley Park before dismissing Court House for 144.
Wee Waa import Ben Edwards led the Albion run- scoring with an 84 at first drop.
Openers Sam Crafter (18) and Damien Baldwin (20) had put on 44 for the first wicket before Edwards strode to the crease to dominate the innings.
Blake Small also chipped in with 34 while this season’s captain, James Mack, was unbeaten on 22.
Ben Haire was the pick of the Court House bowlers, claiming 2-22 from his five overs, with Michael McEvoy taking 2-44 off his seven overs while Farran Lamb and Matt Avendano took a wicket apiece.
Court House also fielded nine men plus 12-year-old terrier Caleb McIlveen.
The young son of opening bat Grant McIlveen made a number of courageous stops in the field.
Court House openers Grant McIlveen (17) and Haire (18) gave the side a fair start while Avendano also made 30 and Sam Doubleday clouted 38 at the end.
Small finished with a good all-round game by capturing 3-56 from his eight overs of leg spin while Andrew Swain took 2-21 and Mitch Swain, Andrew George and Ty Baker all grabbed one scalp each.
At Kitchener, Mornington batted first and made 139.
Trent Hilton (28), Jamie Mitchell (15) and Josh Leys (19) all chipped in but Adam Mooney topscored with 50 batting at seven.
Shayne Riordan was one of two Kookaburra bowling stars, claiming 5-18 from his five overs. Wayne Ryan also snared 4-13 from his six-over stint.
However, Kookaburras could not chase down the Mornington total despite Eddie McGuirk’s 50 at number three.
Skipper Paul Lodge (16) was the only other real contributor with the bat as Cliff Stokes (4-29) ripped through the batting in his 7.5 overs.
Josh Leys also claimed 2-17 in his eight overs.
Next week, Albion plays Kookaburras (Wolseley Park) and Court House tackles Mornington (Kitchener).