ABBOTSKERSWELL skipper Charlie Hill hopes the 42-run win over Babbacombe will prove an omen for the season ahead.
Babbacombe just missed out on the promotion play-offs last season and are keen to go one better this term.
Abbots suffered a second successive relegation to drop into the C Division West and are determined to get out as quickly as possible.
Abbots made 234 all out – Tom Durman marking is arrival from Ashburton with 69 – then Elliot Adams and Riccardo Small-Boyce took three wickets each as Babbacombe were limited to 191 for nine in reply.
“I am happy to beat a team that will be there or thereabouts come the end of the year - positive stuff,” said Hill.
Charlie Mitchell (27) and Durman (69) got Abbots up and running with an 80-run stand for the first wicket.
Paul Bates (4-18) got among the wickets to slow Abbots down, but Alex Birt (34) and Paul Mitchell (26) rescued the situation with a stand of 49.
And with Connor Adams slapping 26 off 19 balls at the end, Abbots had something to defend
Babbacombe started slowly, pinned down by Ricardo Small-Boyce (3-28) and Birt (2-38), but began making inroads while Damon Calland (31) and skipper Steve Broad were together for a stand of 53.
No one else made more than Matt Inch (19) in the bottom half of the order though as Elliot Adams (3-10 off 9) put the brake on.
“It was a match-winning spell,” said Hill, who had a rare bowl himself in an effort to pick up the final wicket and last bowling bonus point.
Abbots are away to Plymouth CS&R this Saturday – the side who pipped Babbacombe to reach the play-offs last year.