Waringstown started the Ulster Bank NCU Premier League season with a resounding six-wicket win over Muckamore on Saturday.
The joint reigning champions won at a canter, despite newly-promoted Muckamore putting in a spirited display.
The villagers are sure to be tested more this Saturday when old rivals North Down are the visitors to The Lawn.
Lee Nelson, taking charge as first-team captain for the first time, won the toss and opted to bowl first on Saturday.
The wicket was an excellent one for batting and although new professional Shaheen Khan struck early to remove Patrick Fisher, the visitors progressed to 35 for one.
However, Muckamore’s hopes of posting a big total floundered against Waringstown’s much-vaunted spin bowling attack.
Gary Kidd trapped Craig Drummond lbw , Barry Scott fell to his former Strabane team-mate Phil Eaglestone and crucially Kyle McCallan bowled professional Craig Michan for 30. At 105 for six Muckamore were in deep trouble but they rallied thanks to a 61-run stand between Brian Baguley and Richard Keates.
The pair took Muckamore to 176 for nine, which was well below par for the conditions. Eaglestone finished with three for 37, McCallan two for 25 and Gary Kidd’s figures were a miserly two for 14 off his 10 overs.
Waringstown were out of the traps quickly in reply with James Hall smashing 38 from just 31 balls, including seven fours.
Nelson continued the good work with 33 that included six boundaries while the icing on the cake came from Khan.
The South African struck an unbeaten 57 from only 44 balls, including eight fours and a six.
He shared an undefeated stand of 48 with Greg Thompson for the fifth wicket.
Waringstown were winners by the 28th over, meaning they had won with more than 22 overs to spare.
The ball sponsor on Saturday is Jim Moore.