STAND had a winning start prised from their grasp by a nine-wicket blast from Greenmount sub pro Bret Pelser.

The home side looked on course for a famous victory in their first match since promotion to Division One of the Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL) after bowling out Greenmount for 77.

Danish Ateeq led the way with four wickets for 29 runs from 10 overs, while pro Ali Azmat weighed in with 3-17.

Captain Stuart Catterall also took 2-7, including the key wicket of the visitors' leading scorer Darron Foy, who hit 24.

Admittedly, the wicket gave the bowlers some assistance, and Greenmount had toiled for 38 overs before being put out of their misery.

It took Stand 10 overs to get 14 runs on the board before the wickets started to tumble.

And when they did there was no stopping Pelser, who is the full-time pro at Bolton League side Horwich.

His figures of 9-24 from 10.5 overs included a hat-trick in the middle of the Stand reply which all but ended their resistance.

They went from 44-3 to 44-7, with the wicket of skipper Catterall starting the collapse.

Noman Ahmed was left unbeaten on 10 as the home side were all out with almost 20 overs remaining, while Matt Curphey was joint top scorer on 10.

The 12-run defeat was a harsh introduction to life in Division One, although Stand will not face much tougher opposition than Greenmount, who were relegated from the Premier League last season.