THE opening round Mid North Coast Premier League cricket match between Taree West and Wauchope RSL was evenly poised when rain washed out play at Johnny Martin Oval.
Wauchope won the toss and sent Taree West in on what looked like an very interesting pitch which proved to be right with a lot in it for the bowlers.
Wauchope bowled exceptionally well with Matt Day taking three wickets and Matt Miller and veteran Scott Mallyon taking two each. Will Clarke, in his premier league debut, bowled well to snare one wicket.
Clint Simpson, Lachlan Brown and Josh McLeod all scored 21 runs each to make Taree's total of 109 look respectable on a dicey pitch.
Wauchope were struggling at 3/33 when rain stopped play.
McLeod, Simpson and Brendan Mays were the wicket takers for Taree West.
Rovers v United
ROVERS put the rest of the competition on notice by defeating premiers United at South Kempsey.
Rovers were sent into bat and youngsters Mitch Korn and Jack Wakely made the most of some chances provided by sloppy catching from United. They posted a 66-run partnership for the second wicket which swung the game in the home team's favour.
Four of Rovers' top five made 20 or more allowing their lower order to swing freely in the final few overs.
Korn (62) was ably supported by Wakely (24), who was on debut in the Rovers First XI. Lachlan Dowling made 27 and Ethan Dowling a run a ball 21.
Nathan Ballard was United's shining light taking 5/42.
In response most of the United batsmen failed to get starts with Tom Burley hitting an unbeaten 69 in what was a lone hand. Rovers bowled well with all five bowlers taking wickets, but the standout was another of the youngsters, Harry Nemme, with 4-22. He was supported with good stump to stump bowling by Dan Wade 2-26 off seven and Josh Brenton 2-31 from seven. Burley ran out of partners in the 26th over with United all out for 131.
Rovers captain Ethan Dowling was pleased with their early season form.
"It's nice to start with a win but there is plenty to work on for us,'' he said.
"We have been building through the first two years of competition and our team is strengthening all the time with the Rovers juniors coming through to the First XI."
Port Pirates v Port City
THE match between Port Pirates and Port City was called off but not before Port City showed bowling will be their strength this year.
Captain Adam Broderick won the toss and sent the young Pirates team into bat. Wickets fell at regular intervals as they stumbled to 101.
It took a great rearguard knock of 32 from captain Connor Cook and the fact that extras were the second top score with 20 to help bolster the tally.
Sean Minns, Brendan Badenoch and evergreen spinner Jason Swain all took three wickets for City.
Port City faced only eight balls before the game was called off. Pirates will look to next week now to get their top order firing while Broderick would be be pleased with his bowlers after the first hit out.
Wingham had the bye.