Nelson captain Neil Thompson was disappointed to lose a low-scoring game to East Lancashire by one wicket at Seedhill.
But he took heart from the way his side made the visitors fight for the win, after being bowled out for 89.
East Lancs professional Angelo Jayasinghe took 4-14 and Phill Aspinall a career best 5-26, with sub-professional Sehan Weerasinghe hitting 21 for Nelson.
Jayasinghe then hit 30 not out to see his side home, as Weerasinghe took 4-23.
Thompson, who will welcome professional Sanjika Ridma on Sunday, said: “It was a tough wicket to bat on, as the score suggests, and I’m not making excuses – we have to be better, you can’t be 89 all out and expect to win – but to have them 64-9, we were unfortunate in the end.
“Their pro got them over the line, but we bowled well and fielded quite well.”
Nelson will require a sub-professional at Rochdale tomorrow in the Worsley Cup, but Ridma is expected to make his debut at Middleton in the league on Sunday.
With the new league structure, the cup takes on extra significance this season, and Thompson said: “It’s a chance for Division 2 2 sides to show they can compete, and I’m sure there will be one or two upsets, but we expect a tough game.”