Defending champions Shireshead survived an almighty scare before beating Silverdale by four runs on the opening day of the new Westmorland Cricket League season.
The title favourites chose to bat first only to lose Tom Jacques and Danny Wilkinson early as the experienced duo of Jon Mason (2 for 26) and Paul Moffat (4 for 44) bowled with great control.
Paul Yates and Nick Rafferty (25) took the score to 36 for 2, but a middle order collapse left the innings in a perilous state at 57 for 6.
Simon Gould (40) held the innings together and was well supported by James Rafferty and Jack Dodd with Shireshead bowled out for 111.
The Silverdale reply began circumspectly as both James Rafferty and Wilkinson bowled tidy spells but there was no early clatter of wickets and Silverdale gradually built momentum as Mason (26) and K Forster took the score to 52 for 1.
Young leg-spinner Rowan Upton (2 for 36) and Peter Wilson (5 for 29) were now bowling in tandem and they slowly wrestled the game back in the favour of the champions, Upton removing both Mason and Forster.
At 89 for 4 the odds were still heavily stacked in Silverdale’s favour, but when Wilson removed J Hargreaves suddenly the game was on as the scoring dried up.
The introduction of Jacques (2 for 2) into the attack proved crucial, but fittingly it was Wilson who took the last wicket as Shireshead grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.
Elsewhere on the opening day Heysham lost to Windermere, Westgate were three-wicket winners over Ambleside, Warton proved too strong for Arnside and Burnside upset Carnforth’s return to the top tier with a six-wicket win at Lodge Quarry.