Marlborough’s two Tasman Premier League cricket sides made inauspicious starts to the new season on Saturday.
Both the Falcons and Dolphins bowled first against Nelson rivals ACOB and WTTU respectively, with contrasting success.
While the Dolphins were excellent in the field, restricting their rivals to 146, the Falcons allowed ACOB to amass 274 and were never in the hunt as both local sides struggled to make inroads with the bat.
Ultimately, the Falcons were beaten by a hefty 221 runs, while the Dolphins lost by 20 runs.
ACOB’s total was built around a superb 99 from opener Thomas Zohrab, along with 75 from No 9 batsman Felix Murray.
Tarin Mason, with 4-56 from his 10 overs while Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, helped by three late wickets also claimed four scalps, including that of Zohrab, one short of his century.
The home side’s reply was underwhelming, being bowled out for just 53 in the 21st over.
On Horton one, the Dolphins performed admirably in the field to restrict a handy WTTU line-up to 146, bowling them out in the 47th over.
When Will Smith removed both openers and Akhil Pant claimed the key wicket of Mason Thelin, the visitors were struggling at 35-3 and never really recovered their momentum.
Sam Baxendine, batting six, steadied the ship with a patient 48 from 84 balls and No 10 Billy Powick hung around for 24 from 44 deliveries, their 44-run partnership for the 10th wicket the best of the innings.
Dolphins bowled accurately, conceding just eight wides, and kept the pressure on their rivals. Three bowlers picked up three wickets each, Joel Pannell and Tom Sutherland bagging 3-18 while Smith claimed 3-23, all proving difficult to score readily from.
The home side’s run chase began disastrously, five wickets falling for just the addition of 28 runs as openers Baxendine and Josh Newport made big inroads with the new ball.
However, Dolphins began to resurrect matters when Corey Bovey and Tom Leonard got together, the pair adding 55 runs and bringing the home side back into the match before Bovey departed.
After that wickets fell regularly, leaving Leonard fighting a lone rearguard action. He was last man out, in the 38th over, for a splendid 64 from 80 balls with nine fours, a game-high score.
Newport, with 3-29 from 10 overs and Baxendine, 2-16 from eight, led the WTTU attack well, with help from Jon Routhan, 2-30.