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Champions beaten in opening fixture

Sensational bowling by Ollie Webster sent St John’s crashing to defeat on the first day of the Standard Bank Premiership.

Last year’s champions were rocked by the Ramsey captain, who finished with figures of six wickets for only eleven runs.

Put into bat, the Saints were dismissed for 35 with opener Paul Nicholson scoring a defiant 25.

However, any thoughts that the Ramsey batsmen would have an easy stroll to victory were soon dashed.

Greg and Nick Hawke opened the St John’s attack and soon had four of their opponents back in the pavilion.

Eddie Cleator broke the spell with a pull for six and, aided by Webster, steered his side home to a fine victory by six wickets.

Cronkbourne and Castletown battled out a close game at Tromode.

Matt Ansell, just back from a week’s training at the ICC Centre of Excellence in Spain, quickly dismissed both of the Town’s openers.

This brought skipper Mark Williams and Wicus Wessels together for a stand of 71.

They looked on course for a good total when Phil Richardson turned the match with 4 -15 from eight overs.

The southerners fell from a comfortable 93 for 2 to 127 all out.

Wicus made 56 and Mark cracked an important 39.

Seamer Andy Sewell then took three wickets in an aggressive opening spell for the Town and put the home team in deep trouble at 14 for three.

Carl Wagstaffe and Will Wood hit back and took the total to seventy before Wagstaffe went lbw to Peel Taggart for 28.

Wood was deceived by Guyan Dissenyakke for 28 as well and home supporters became very nervous.

Ryan Burns and Adam Killey calmed their fears and, with only eight runs to win and four wickets left, all seemed well.

But Killey was dismissed for 16 and another batsman was caught, resulting in a tense cliffhanger finish.

Burns kept his head and cracked the winning runs to finish with 22 not out to give Cronkbourne a morale boosting victory.

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