THE weather held firm for IW cricket’s first competitive matches of the season, following a three month hiatus due to coronavirus.

In Division A of the All Island League, Ryde I put in a solid team performance to beat St Helens by three wickets. 

 Ryde won the toss and invited the home side to bat first, and were immediately rewarded when sixteen-year-old pace bowler, Ollie Morgan (2-47) dismissed the dangerous pair of Lee Brown and Mark Allen, leaving St Helens 19-2.

 Hadley Carkeet (30) and Ronnie Cranfield (27) put together a useful partnership to take their team to 60, only for four wickets to fall with the score on 79 — Ben Gregory (2-28) and Frank Gumley (2-13) claiming two scalps each. 

Sam Rockley (2-26) and Matt Webb (2-19) ensured St Helens were eventually bowled out for 198, with Mike Parsons (55) and Simon Balloch (29 not out) doing the damage.

In return, a patient 40 from opener, Steve Tait, formed the backbone of Ryde’s innings, and six other batsmen recorded double figures, including a quick fire 38 from Harry Wratten and an even quicker 32 not out from Ollie Morgan.

The target was reached with more than four overs to spare and with three wickets in hand. 

Ollie Stubbings (4-55) and Marcus Kingsman (2-28) were the pick of the St Helens bowlers.

Newport I, meanwhile, were beaten by a visiting Shanklin and Godshill I side by six wickets. 

Shanklin won the toss and elected to bat second. Ryan Young (85) was pick of the Newport batting  before being thwarted by Mark Woodhouse and Ben White (3-25).

Nat Riddet (48) put in an impressive performance prior, and the team boasted a respectable 216-6 at the changeover.

The visitors responded well, and an heroic 96 not out from James Lucy set the wheels in motion. 

Ash Brett (2-33) did well to stem the tide, but an impressive Woodhouse (60) and respectable innings from Corey Sanderson and Ben White put the game to bed. 

It was shaping up to be a bad weekend for the home sides, but Ventnor I broke the trend by beating a visiting Northwood I side by five wickets. 

Northwood won the toss and elected to bat first, but could only muster 110 before being bowled out. Ross Whyte (3-17), Dan Cox (3-21) and Chris Russell (2-22) all contributed. 

In response, a 39 from  Cox, together with respectable innings from his teammates, ensured Northwood’s score was bested with five wickets to spare. 

In Division B, Northwood II were unable to raise a full side and conceded the game to Ryde II. 

A strong Freshwater side ran out deserved winners against a Ventnor II side and won by 121 runs.

An impressive Steve Priddle (71 not out) and Tom Turney (80) proved too much for the visitors, whose J Bradshaw (3-18) was the pick of the bowlers. 

Turney (4-16), Charles Andrew (2-28) and Jack Lees (2-26) ensured the visitors could only notch 101 before they were bowled out. 

Fellow Division B side, Shanklin and Godshill II bested Ryde Cavaliers by six wickets, with Seb Egerton-Read (41) and Pete Wright (38) leading the charge. 

Cavaliers struggled from the offset, and A Lucy (3-15), Norton Mew (3-29) and Josh Pope (2-32) ensured the visitors couldn’t find their rhythm.

Cavs’ Chris Higgins (2-31) did well to fetter the hosts, but couldn’t stop them hitting 149 to best his side’s score with six wickets to spare.