The 1st XI visited Witcombe CC for their season opener; their first game in GCCL Div 4 after promotion last year. New skipper Jaime Waring won his first toss and elected to bowl on an overcast and blustery cold afternoon. Minch were up against it in their first 4 overs; having to field with only 8 players after a carful got lost, delayed and very heavily fined on the way to the game! Peter Wallis and John Turton bowled well though to minimise the damaged. Once Hampton achieved the full quota they turned the screw and applied good pressure on the Witcombe batsmen with good tight fields and decent lines from the bowlers. Turton struck first removing Fletcher caught behind by Cruikshank. Carter and Fuller managed to put together a small partnership but always struggled for consistency before Jaime Waring entered the fray and trapped Carter lbw. Leon Pretorius bowled well without any luck on debut but managed to maintain pressure on the batsmen as Witcombe struggled for runs – only Fuller looking fluent at the crease. Oli Cooper, another player on debut, profited from Pretorius’ tight spell and quicky picked up two wickets in his 4 overs as Witcombe looked to press on. Waring and Wallis returned to mop up the tail, Waring bowling Fuller for a well made 61 as he ran out of partners. Witcombe finished on 127 all out from 37.5 overs. Jaime Waring the pick of the bowling with 4 for 23 and Pete Wallis returned a tidy 2 for 7. Minchinhampton made fairly light work of the reply and never looked in danger despite losing opener Dave Gordon early on for 8. Pretorius and Ablett put together a solid looking partnership and propelled Minch towards the total. A little stutter saw Pretorius and then Ross Britton quickly follow each other back to the pavilion but Ablett 44 and Alex Waring 26no steadied things and despatched anything lose to the boundary. Ablett didn’t quite manage his fifty, chasing a wide ball from Kulkarni, but Stephens was able to join Waring and see Minch home in 24 overs. A solid and promising start to the season. Skipper Waring will hope this adds to confidence ahead of next weeks home fixture against Langford CC.