Rainhill - the only local team in the premier division of the Liverpool Cricket Competition - were on the receiving end of an eight wicket drubbing against defending champions Northern in the opening fixture of the season at Moor Park, Crosby, on Saturday.
But the gulf in class didn't look likely when Rainhill, batting first, had reached 152-3, mainly due to opener Sean Vandome blasting (91) and
a challenging total looked on the cards.
It didn't materialise, however, as the middle order and tail collapsed like a detonated factory chimney and the visitors were dismissed for
Northern then made hay while the sun shone and raced to 172-2.
Relegated Rainford made a positive start to life in the first division with a home victory over Prestatyn by 113 runs.
Rainford, who batted first, were in belligerent form at the crease, smashing 247-7 in only 30 overs.
John Dotters (91) and Mark Potter (83) did most of the damage and then Andrew Pickavance (2-36), Josh Peake (3-24), Stephen Birkett (2-21)
and Andrew Davies (1-23) were to the forefront as the Welsh side toppled to 134 all out in 39 overs.
Opener Ben Walkden smashed a century, including 19 fours and a six, as Newton-le-Willows opened their campaign at home to Sefton Park.
Apart from Walkden's 113, there were other major and solid contributions from Chris Chambers (62 n.o.), Peter Barnes (30) and James Smith (25) as Newton, batting first, posted a total of 238-9 declared.
Park never looked likely to reach their target but battled away to earn a draw, reaching 144-6 at stumps (Sam Guest 4-39, Nathan Hughes
In the second division, St Helens Town made a flying start when travelling to Burscough where they cruised to a five wicket victory.
New boy Jaidel Richardson from Anguilla showed his early potential, claiming 2-32 from 14.1 overs of which five were maidens.
He was supported by James Davies (3-21), Phil Murgatroyd (2-33), Matthew Beilby (1-18), David Gaskell (1-22) as Burscough, batting
first, scored 164-9 declared.
In reply, Town reached 165-5 as a result of some steady batting with Gaskell (32), Craig Woods (27) and Beilby (24) helping to steer them
Neighbours Sutton were also in fine form, hammering Alder at West Derby.
The New Street outfit batted first and with opener James York making 95, which included 18 fours and one six, were able to post a total of
254-7 declared from 45.1 overs.
Joseph Noctor (54), Adam Onion (29 n.o.) and James Greener (22) also kept the scoreboard ticking over to leave the hosts facing a daunting
It proved beyond them as they were dismissed for 129 (Chathura Ranawaka 3-26, James Greener 5-32, Matthew Corrigan 1-15) .
Other results included: Ainsdale 2nd X1 221-1 declared, Rainford 2nd X1 225-9; Sutton 2nd X1 67, Wavertree 70-5; Fleetwood Hesketh 2nd X1 154
all out, St Helens Town 2nd X1 145.