Valley and Union took the honours on a very early opening day of senior club cricket on Saturday.
“Real” cricket does not start till the end of the month but the Dick Hunt Trophy holiday competition began with back-to-back twenty20 doubleheaders on artificial decks at St Kevin’s College.
Matt Lilley provided the highlight of the early round with a swashbuckling 86 as Union beat Oamaru by 66 runs.
Lilley clubbed seven fours and five sixes in his innings, adding 116 for the fifth wicket with Blake Martin (34) and guiding a powerful Union XI to 154 for six off its allotted overs.
New opening batsman Kunal Mahajan (26) and Jordan Bartlett (24) made starts but the Oamaru innings fizzled out at 88 for seven. Glynn Cameron (three for five) and Brad Fleming (three for 18) did the damage with the ball for Union.
Union backed up in the afternoon with a 27-run win over Albion.
Sam Bastin (27), Blake James (22 not out) and Fleming (21) all chipped in as Union made 138 for eight. Ricky Whyte led the Albion attack with three for 21, and Levi Ewing and Jayden Stockbridge each grabbed a brace.
Stockbridge, the club’s new Australian import, whacked 44 but got little support as an underdone Albion team managed 111 for eight in reply.
Earlier, Valley had started the season with a nice run chase, posting 139 for three inside 16 overs to run down Albion’s 135 for nine.
Nathan McLachlan led the chase with a sparkling 53, belting four fours and two sixes, and got support from Rhys Petrie (31).
Jonty Naylor (39) and Brad Kernahan (38) had paced the Albion total, while Nathan Barnes took three for 37 for Valley.
In the afternoon, Oamaru got Mostert-ed by Valley.
North Otago star Francois Mostert blasted an unbeaten 90 to guide Valley to 145 for three in pursuit of Oamaru’s 143 for three.
Mostert hit eight fours and six sixes, getting some support from Neil Gilbert (25) as Valley won in the 15th over.
Zachary Naldrett had sparked Oamaru with an unbeaten 52, while Nick Johnston added 47.
Another round of the holiday competition will be played this weekend.