WITH Durham Senior League clubs postponing their opening day fixtures because of heavily waterlogged grounds, the Durham Coast League did see some action, though four matches out of six failed to beat the elements.
Last year Murton could hardly buy a victory, winning just one league game and ending up as wooden spoonists.
However, a winter recruitment programme that resulted in six new players arriving paid immediate dividends as they equalled their 2011 wins tally with success in the very first match of 2012.
And it was a dominant display that got them off to a flier as they rolled hosts Silksworth over for just 48 inside 26 overs.
An unbeaten 19 from Steve Wright was the only bright spot for the Silks, who were roughed up by Murton new boys Richard Bentley and John Sample – two players who were former teammates at NYSD club Northallerton.
Bentley earned figures of three for 30 in 12 overs, but it was Sample who really scuppered the home team, his 12 overs of mesmeric left arm spin producing an outstanding return of five for 13.
For a moment Silksworth thought they were back in it when they grabbed a retaliatory wicket with Murton on just five, but Davey Hanson (24no) and Ryan Lowes (16no) ensured there were no more blips as the nine-wicket victory was secured inside 17 overs.
Seaham Park have had a lot more than a waterlogged pitch to worry them recently and with their fire-ravaged facilities still causing concerns, the switch of their scheduled home game against Easington to the ground of their opponents proved timely, with the game one of the two to go ahead.
Park’s recent team makeover raised question marks as to whether they could sustain another title challenge.
However, they put together a real team performance to dominate their surrogate hosts in a display that bodes well for the season to come – the one downside being their inability to provide the coup de grace and claim the win bonus.
Park put on 179-8 in 50 overs, with the runs shared around.
Top scorer was new boy Kamran Mansoor, who hit three fours and three sixes in a bright 44 and with three other batsmen making it into the 20s and a very useful dollop of 30 extras, Seaham were happy enough with their efforts against a five-pronged attack in which Ali Watson, Dane Wilson and Ryan Higgins shared six wickets.
Easington’s response was never convincing and despite 26 for both Ben Wicling and Wilson, it was primarily a rearguard action, albeit one that achieved its objective as they hung on with a score of 89-9 in 36 overs.
Mansoor showed his all-round abilities with a return of 3-28 from his 12 overs.