Earby lost a run-fest at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel as they opened the Ribblesdale League season with a 52-run defeat.
Applegarth skipper Matt Nutter lost the toss, but Immanuel elected to bat, and went on to post 271-5 in their 45 overs, before Earby were dismissed for 219 in reply.
Nutter took some positives from the display: “It was a funny one, with the weather, I would have bowled if I had won the toss, but they chose to bat on a pretty green wicket.
“We didn’t bowl well enough really, but we also had a lot of bad luck – I thought we had their pro Shubham Khajuria, who made 63, out plumb lbw on 10. But they took the game to us, they came out attacking.”
Nutter (63) and sub pro Ryan Canning (75) put on 112 for the first wicket in reply, but the run rate was tough to live with and Earby were dismissed for 219 off the last ball: “I said to the lads, last year we would probably have been out for 100. I was going to bat at five or six, but I went to open with Ryan and try and get on with it.
“We were up with the run rate, and I’d just hit a six before being out to the worst ball of the game.
“Ryan was caught on the boundary, and Richard Craddock (33) batted well, but the run rate got too much, and we missed out on a batting point in the end.”
Earby have signed former Barnoldswick pro Shashrika Pussegolla for tomorrow’s Ramsbottom Cup group game at Read, while the evergreen Stephen Hipgrave will play after taking four wickets for the seconds on Saturday.