LAST season became a distant memory as Port City Leagues Magpies got off to the perfect start in their Mid North Coast Premier Cricket League opener in Kempsey on Saturday.
Led by Josh Felton’s impressive line and length bowling, the Magpies chased down Rovers mediocre total of 126 in the 20th over.
Felton finished with 6-26 off eight overs and was the star with the ball.
He benefited from the tight bowling of Brendan Badenoch (2-28 off eight) and Jesse Schmidt (0-13 off five) to rip through the batting order.
Captain Gordon Scott was impressed with Felton’s performance after he had previously plied his trade in second and third grade.
“We had a couple of new players in our team on Saturday and you’re always unsure and wary about what they’re capable of,” Scott said.
“But Josh was absolutely spot on and when Jesse and Badenoch kept the bowling tight, as a batsman you have to attack the next bowler.
“You just can’t punish how Josh bowled. He was on the money.”
Scott said he was surprised how well Felton performed, but was also confident he had the ability.
“I’ve known Josh for a couple of seasons and knew he had it in him,” he said.
“He’s going to be an awesome first or second change bowler for us this season and I helped him out with a leg-side stumping as well.”
The Magpies successful start to the new season was attributed to a new-look squad and giving an opportunity for juniors who had come through the ranks.
Badenoch joined from Macquarie Hotel, while Jake Hawkins joined from Sydney and was still introducing himself as the first ball was bowled.
“Jake came to our club last week and Brendan bowled really sharp, but the deck was dead and the quicker he bowled, the more the ball stuck into the wicket,” Scott said.
17-year-old junior Charles Adnum also impressed the captain with an unbeaten 34.
“I was really stoked with him,” Scott said.
“He mostly played third grade for us last year and had the odd hit in seconds; I’ve got no doubt he’ll be a superstar.”
Swashbuckling middle-order batsman BJ Schneider tried to end things with a quickfire 29 that included two fours and three towering sixes.
“The first ball he faced was a hat-trick ball and he hit it for six,” Scott said.
While satisfied to start the season with a win, the captain knows his team need to back it up.
“We had a rough season last year,” he said.
“But it was a real team effort from a new bunch of players and there are always things to work on, but it’s only round one.”