After a series of weather-related setbacks, Laurelvale managed to launch the Section Two season on Monday with holiday delight.
Cregagh arrived at the Villagers aiming to impress following last season’s promotion but Laurelvale produced an assured display to record victory by 78 runs.
Gary Murphy posted 58 with the bat and Lee Edgar’s 10-over bowling spell produced seven wickets at the expense of just 30 runs.
Those two individual performances provided the foundation for a winning start to the season and captain David Sinton finished the fixture encouraged by a number of aspects.
Adam Pearson and Sinton both put 27 runs apiece on the scoreboard, the former with an unbeaten appearance. Michael Burns registered two wickets and Jeff Haire enjoyed a tight bowling period.
“Cregagh have had youth success recently and they arrived at Laurelvale as a very young squad featuring players with experience of that Graham Cup win,” said Sinton. “We worked hard to make sure the game went ahead after a few disappointments leading up to Monday.
“We were down at the club early on to get the cover off and give it a chance to dry up in the morning sun.
“We had some decent partnerships that kept our scoring ticking over as play went on, then the bowlers came in to complete a positive team display.
“It was really pleasing to see improvements in areas we had highlighted before the season for particular attention.
“Our shot selection was a lot better and we displayed patience to wait for the right opportunity.
“Even batting 50 overs was a real boost moving forward compared to last season.
“It was great to get a game and even more important to claim the win, especially as we have a free date this Saturday.
“We then face Armagh in a derby the following weekend.
“There is a chance we could rearrange a match for Sunday but that cannot be confirmed until later in the week.”