The opening weekend of the league season was not a pleasant one for Saffron Walden Cricket Club as both the first and second teams lost.

The firsts began the East Anglian Premier League campaign at home to Mildenhall but went down to a 46-run loss.

The Suffolk visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, making 263-7 from their 50 overs. Matt Allen was their top scorer with 71 not out while Walden's primary attacking threat was Nikhil Gorantla who claimed 3-47.

In reply they set off at a blistering pace and had 63 runs on the board when Tristan Blackledge was their first man out to the final ball of the eighth over.

Two run-outs in the top five proved crucial though and despite 63 from Alistair Russell, the hosts were eventually all out for 217 with four overs remaining.

Captain Ben Harris said: "It was a frustrating day. We made a few silly mistakes in the field and with the bat and we need to iron these out before next week.”

There were positives though, not least the return of England over 50's run machine Giles Ecclestone, who chipped in with 36.

Harris said: "It's great to have Gilo back, his experience at the crease will be invaluable to a young team, and Ali Russell showed great early form."

The seconds meanwhile were also up against it in their first match of the season, a one-sided encounter with Sawston & Babraham which ended in an eight-wicket loss.

Bowled out for only 123, the visitors then took only 19 overs at the cost of two wickets to ease to victory.

Captain Luke Ormsby said: "It was certainly not our day. They’ve made some very good signings for 2021 and I wish them all the success in their league this season.”

The seconds continue their preparations with a another home friendly on Saturday against Chappel & Wakes Colne while the firsts travel to Cambridge and their new ground for this season at Caldecote.

The club are now fully back in training with opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Club coach Ray Mordini said: "It’s been a long winter so it’s going to be great to provide cricket to all. If anyone is interested or even curious to play, get in touch."

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