ST HELENS CC opened the season with a fine win over Huyton in the Penketh Trophy thanks mainly to an 80-ball century from Gareth Davies which contained seven fours and seven sixes.

His opening partner, Phil Roughley, normally a quick scorer himself, could only manage nine runs out of the 124 partnership.

Earlier Huyton had found scoring difficult against some accurate bowling with Steve Joran (2-15) and Bobby Kenny (4-17) the chief wicket takers. A late flurry from captain Mark Wilkie (56) and Stephen Ruane (19) pushed the score to a respectable 145 for nine off 45 overs. With Davies in such fine form St Helens reached 146 for two in the 25th over. Special congratulations are due to newly appointed groundsman Ken Jordan for preparing a wicket fit for play after snow and rain had fallen during the previous few days.

The second team, at Huyton, restricted the home side to 101 off their 45 overs and looked likely winners at 42 for 2. Roger Burrows 36 was not enough to stem a middle order collapse and the Saints finished 10 runs short of a total which they should have reached easily.

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