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Champions make winning start to title defence

Ramsey powered to victory in their opening match in the Standard Bank Premiership on Saturday.

The 2012 champions had a fine eight wicket win over Castletown and look set for another title challenge.

Batting first, the Town lost three quick wickets to Ollie Webster before Wicus Wessels began to hit out.

He made 23 before being caught off the bowling of Shaun Kelly.

That made it 36 for 4 and Webster picked up two more wickets. Then Gayan Dissanayake went on the attack with a lively 36. He was aided by a quick-fire 20 from Euan Quayle.

The innings ended on 120 and Castletown’s hopes rose when they dismissed one of the Ramsey openers in only the second over.

However Kelly, promoted to number three, took control and cracked a match winning 59. Rob Webber made a gritty 23 not out as Ramsey cruised home by eight wickets.

Cronkbourne won a cliff-hanger finish against Valkyres at Tromode. The visitors recovered from 40 for 3 to finish on 186 for 6. Tom Reader was in form with 48, while Ben Bennett scored 34 and Abdul Khan 31.

Cronkbourne lost an early wicket, but Jaco Jansen calmed their nerves with an excellent 40. When he departed, skipper Alex Stokoe took over, but wickets began to fall at the other end.

At 147 for 6 the game was in the balance, then Stokoe departed for a fine 66.

In mounting tension as the overs ran out, Adam Killey steered the side to a narrow three wicket win with a calm 16 not out.

The new Peel & St John’s club won their first match in style.

Against Crosby they struggled to 140 for 6 before recovering to 216 for 9. Akkie van der Berg shone with a stylish 62, skipper Phil Littlejohns made 31 and both Mike Oates and Alex Williamson hit 24.

The Crosby reply was going well at 37 for 0 after 10 overs but then Chris Hawke struck. He took three quick wickets and the Marown side were in deep trouble at 44 for 4.

Jacob Hicklin and Martyn Oates battled away, but the side were dismissed for 129. Hawke ended with 4 for 12 and Littlejohns returned 3 for 10.

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