Larne Cricket Club’s First Eleven began the season with a disappointing six-wicket defeat to Holywood at Seapark.
The home side won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to field first.
Overnight rain and an alarmingly cracked pitch meant conditions were difficult for batting and Larne struggled against some accurate bowling.
The top four batsmen were all clean bowled before left-handers Chris Dempsey and Chris Keenan revived the innings with a gritty fifth-wicket partnership of 30.
Holywood’s spinners eventually removed the pair and then ran through the tail to dismiss Larne for just 75.
Larne, who are sponsored by Rubys, made a good start with opening bowlers Eddie Hunter and Michael Lyle posing plenty of problems for the opposition.
Holywood reached just 19 for 1 after the first ten overs and a confident catch by Barry McFall at square leg meant Larne were still in the game.
Off-spinner Darren Stanton was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up two wickets, one of which was down to a brilliant diving catch in the outfield from Keenan. Sharkey’s patient innings of 29 though saw Holywood home by six wickets and ensured defeat for Larne.
With the Seconds’ match at Sandy Bay being washed out it means the club will have a busy and important Bank-holiday weekend ahead of them.
The Seconds will hope to play their first match of the season on Sunday at Sandy Bay when they face CSNI.
The Firsts are also scheduled to be in action at home on Saturday against Drumaness and then face an awkward trip to Dundrum on Bank-holiday Monday.
Practice continues on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Sandy Bay with everyone interested in playing cricket being very welcome to attend.