Saffron Walden lost to Foxton by 11 runs in their opening Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Premier League Division One match of the season.

Jamie Rushford impressed on his debut with both bat and ball in what the club hopes will be a sign of great things to come, but Saffron fell just short in their chase to surpass Foxton’s total of 262 on the Anglo American Playing Fields.

Foxton lost six wickets during their 50 overs but thanks to Craig Park’s innings of 93 they made a decent start to the match. Park scored at above one run a ball and took control immediately after coming to the crease.

Rushford took two wickets for Saffron Walden for 33 runs, and he bowled with consistency throughout as he looked to restrict Park and his team-mates from closing in on 300 runs.

In Saffron’s reply three batsmen all passed the 50-run mark to give their side a competitive total.

Openers Stephen Larsen (52) and Rushford (50) put on 75 for the first wicket, while Michael Turner top-scored with 58 runs after Simon Parmenter, batting at no.3, had been out second ball.

Saffron Walden captain Joe Barrs said: “Despite being on the wrong side of the result, we can take so many positives from the game.

“We were particularly strong with the ball at the top of the innings and will learn how to maintain that for 50 overs.

“To have three of our top four all pass 50 in our first league game was also reassuring, and will allows us to build big totals this year.

“We take a lot of confidence from the game both for the rest of the season, and the next time we face Foxton.

“We are all excited for next Saturday [away to Eaton Socon].”

On Sunday Saffron Walden were in action against Great Witchingham in the ECB National Club Championship Group 13.

On this occasion Saffron won the toss and put themselves into bat first only to be bowled out for 150 thanks in no small part to Andy Laws who scored more than half of Witchingham’s total with a knock of 80.

James Hale was the star with the ball taking 4-24 from 8.2 overs.

In reply their opponents lost just four wickets chasing down Saffron’s total, scoring 152-4 thanks to opener Sam Arthurton’s 86*. Alex Haycock and Alex Thomas took two wickets apiece.