LECHLADE made a perfect start to life in WEPL Premier One with a comfortable seven-wicket home win over fellow newcomers Bedminster.
The visitors, who lost the toss, were rushed out for just 149 with only two men reaching double figures – former Gloucestershire captain Mark Alleyne top scoring on 61 and Kiwi Rich Sillars contributing 55.
There were three wickets apiece for Liam Smith and skipper Freddie Martin before Brad Dial’s unbeaten 50 saw Lechlade to maximum points.
Brothers Matt and Phil Jackson combined to give Downend a thrilling one-wicket home victory against Corsham.
The Wiltshire side appeared to be in a strong position when the siblings came together with eight wickets down and more than a hundred runs still required and overs fast running out.
But the pair went on the attack, Matt hammering 52 from only 32 balls (six fours, three sixes) and Phil finishing unbeaten on 49 (36 balls, three sixes, three fours).
There was still work to do when Matt was bowled by Tom Foley, but last man Callum Gregory contributed a crucial 13 to help see Downend over the line.
Gregory, one of four Gloucestershire players handed a new Academy Plus contract for the season, earlier finished with figures of 6-55 from his ten as Corsham were all out for 291.
Frocester, last season’s runners-up, went down by 21 runs at Clevedon where Chad Trainor claimed 5-54 and Uzi Qureshi and Dan Whincup hit half centuries, and Bristol succumbed by six wickets at Potterne.
In Premier Two Glos & Wilts, brothers Dan and Luke Davis shone in Thornbury’s 30-run success away to Chippenham.
Opener Dan smashed 78 from 72 balls while Danny Slade weighed in with 46 as the visitors battled their way to total 193.
Chippenham slipped to 66-6 but rallied before new skipper Luke Davis finished with 4-26 from 9.3, and Dan 2-23.
Rockhampton suffered a 19-run setback away to Cheltenham. Will Cartlidge claimed 3-48 from ten as the home side reached 214-6, ahead of Luke Sellers (4-45) putting the skids under Rockhampton.
Dave Hemmings’ 91 was in vain for Gloucester City Winget who went down by 112 runs at home to Burbage & Easton Royal for whom Deepak Joon plundered an unbeaten 221, and newcomers Hatherley & Reddings were edged out by seven wickets at home to Westbury & District.
Bishopston, in Premier Two Bristol & Somerset, lost by 45 runs away to Glastonbury while promoted Claverham had a century from skipper Lloyd Richardson but still finished 124 runs short at Taunton St Andrews.
Mike Sherratt made a strong debut for relegated Brislington who were four-wicket home winners against promoted Chew Magna in Bristol & North Somerset, taking 4-41 and then blasting 73 from only 50 balls.
Graham Herring’s 101 from 83 balls saw Bristol 2nds to a 42-run home win against Winterbourne, and new player-coach Tyrone Isitt’s 96 helped spur Stapleton to an eight-run victory at newcomers Pak Bristolians.
Relegated Knowle lost at Midsomer Norton and OB Westbury suffered a heavy reverse against Bath 2nds.
Tom Green grabbed tremendous figures of 5-7 for Dumbleton who bowled out newly promoted Cirencester for only 58 ahead of romping to a ten-wicket success in the Gloucestershire division.
Cheltenham Civil Service overcame Tewkesbury by five wickets and Chipping Sodbury trumped Corse & Staunton by 80 runs.
Paul Frape (54) and Matt Smith (51) shared an unbroken stand of 112 for Stroud, who thumped Apperley by 90 runs while Frocester 2nds overpowered Bourton Vale by 121 runs.