HOPES of a flying start to the league season for Prestwich were shattered by Woodhouses.

Professional Josh Butler sent the Heys team spinning to defeat last Saturday with an outstanding performance, taking nine wickets at a miserly cost of 37 runs.

With Prestwich invited to bat on a wicket looking incredibly firm, given the recent wet conditions, a total which just sneaked over the 100 mark was always going to be a tall order to defend.

Butler had sent Carl Hey, James Wharmby and Sam Holden back to the pavilion with just 16 runs on the board, and while glimmers of a revival flickered on a couple of occasions, Butler slammed the door firmly shut.

Tom Gibson made 15 before Butler deceived him with a beauty and David Taylor made 14 before he also fell to Butler.

The main bright spot was provided by South African Ryan Stanbury, who played some exquisite back-foot shots and cracked five boundaries in making 38. While he was at the crease, there was a chance Prestwich could set a reasonable target, but he was well caught and bowled by Nick Hardman – the only wicket to fall at the other end.

The visitors had to dig in to overhaul the 101-run target as the Prestwich bowling attack made life tough, with Holden snaring Mike Cassidy lbw for five to give them an early boost.

But despite the home side’s best efforts, Chris Reeves and Sam Crook ground out a vital 58-run partnership, forcing captain Andy Bradley to make regular changes in pursuit of the breakthrough.

Holden succeeded again in his second spell, bowling Crook for 25, and although he took two more scalps – Danny Ball and Nick Hardman – opener Chris Reeves’ unbeaten innings of 41 proved pivotal in his side’s six-wicket triumph. Holden finished with an excellent 4-24 return from 11.3 overs.

An early-season derby clash takes place on Saturday as Prestwich make the short trip to Stand, and then play host to Flowery Field on Sunday as part of a league double header.

* Prestwich Cricket Club is on the lookout for new scorers.

Budding or experienced scorers of any age are required to help with the club’s three senior teams at weekends.

Full training will be given. Anyone interested should call chairman Brian Lorenzini on 07850 947534.