Saffron Walden Cricket Club will be hoping for much better in the season to come after a disappointing start to their pre-season efforts.

The first team hosted Bishop's Stortford at the Anglo-American Playing Fields and they fell to a nine-wicket loss.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Saffron Walden batting against Bishop's Stortford. Picture: IAIN WALKER.Saffron Walden batting against Bishop's Stortford. Picture: IAIN WALKER. (Image: Iain Walker)

One of the wettest winters on record had done little to help the surface at AAPF but the work of groundsman Grahame Sneath got the game on.

But that was probably in the mind of the Stortford captain who, after winning the toss, sent Walden into bat.

A partnership of 40 from openers Alex Pierson (31) and Tom Bonham (23) looked promising, but opening bowler, Stortford’s Simon Lindop (3-26) put paid to that with three wickets in two of his overs.

Getting to the boundary was tough so Ben Harris went airborne, thumping two sixes and two fours before being out for 22 from 18 balls.

An eighth-wicket partnership of 39 from Dan Farmer (14) and new recruit, Sam Robinson (13) and a burst of 15 from 17 balls from tail-ender Ollie Rae, were too little, too late as the hosts fell to 158 all out from 40 overs.

Stortford then rattled the required runs off inside 28 overs, Robinson getting the only wicket to fall as Joe Hawkins got 81 from 72 balls.

The seconds also lost, beaten by 31 runs by Foxton Granta but the match was made memorable by the senior debut of Harry Silverwood, a last minute call-up for his injured brother and playing on his 13th birthday.

He hit an impressive and unbeaten 38 as Walden got to 243-8, with 112 from stand-in skipper Mihir Chandraker.

That though was short of Foxton's 274-7.

The East Anglian Premier League begins on Saturday with Walden away to Copdock.

The seconds are at home to Blunham on what is an open day for the club between 10am and 2pm.