There was “relief” all-round for Wollaston as they picked up their first win of the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire League Premier Division season.
Three outstanding individual displays proved the difference as Mark Ralph’s team secured an emphatic 154-run success over fellow early-season strugglers Horton House.
Matt Jones struck 127 not out and shared an excellent unbeaten stand of 167 with youngster Cameron Melly (82no) as Wollaston reached 272-3 from their 50 overs.
And, despite Alex Mills hitting 50 at the top of the Horton order, the rest had no answer to Chris Perry’s devastating spell of 9-3-19-7 while Shea Gribben (3-49) took the other wickets to ensure the hosts were dismissed for 118.
And captain Ralph is now hoping the sweet taste of victory will give his team some momentum after a tough start.
“It was a bit of a relief really,” the Wollaston skipper said.
“There were a couple of good individual performances and Matt has had his injury problems, he didn’t play much last year so it was nice to see him get amongst the runs.
“And I think his experience really helped Cam, who is only a teenager. They put on an excellent stand and that really set things up for us.
“We felt we had done quite well in a couple of the games early in the season and if certain things had gone our way then the results could have been different.
“We felt a bit unlucky on those occasions but to get this win is great and it gives the boys a taste of what it feels like to come out with the right result. Hopefully it will give us some momentum.”
Elsewhere in the top flight, Brigstock lost their grip on top spot after they went down by three wickets to Old Northamptonians.
The morning leaders were dismissed for 162 with George Groenland top-scoring with 49 while the rest struggled against Rob White (4-35) and Richard Kaufman (3-48).
And, despite the best efforts of Tashwin Lukas (5-43), Tom Heathfield held things together for ONs as he made an unbeaten 72 to see them over the line on 166-7.
Rushden & Higham Town continued their good start to the season with an 88-run success at Oundle.
Chanaka Ruwansiri struck 112 as Rushden closed on 299-8 from 50 overs, despite the efforts of Tom Norman (3-35) and Liam Fresen (3-68).
And Oundle were bowled out for 211 in reply with Rohin Thapar (5-56) and Chris Law (4-46) doing the damage for Rushden while Conor Craig (51) and Ben Smith (43) top-scored for the hosts.
Finedon Dolben made it three wins from their last four matches with a seven-wicket victory at Geddington.
The hosts struggled to put runs on the board and were restricted to 167-8 with George Parker finishing unbeaten on 37 while Jack Chopping (4-40) was the pick of the Dolben attack.
An opening stand of 88 between Ewan Cox (62) and Sean Davis (44) put Finedon in control and they cruised over the line on 168-3 with Jack Keeping (33no) finishing the job.
Desborough suffered a heavy 122-run defeat at the hands of Northampton Saints.
Mark Wolstenholme (72) and Mohammed Rizvi (53) led Saints to a good total of 242-7 and Desborough had no response.
Only two batsmen made it past 20 as they were bowled out for 120 with Rizvi (5-14) completing an outstanding individual display.
Will Baines was the star of the show as Burton Latimer made it back-to-back wins in a low-scoring clash with Stony Stratford in Division One.
Things were looking bleak for Burton when they were dismissed for just 104 as only Aiden Cunningham (31) and Luke Odell (27) got past 20 with Joshua Whitehead (6-26) doing the damage with the ball.
But Stony also struggled with the bat and they were skittled for 80 with Baines (6-36) leading the way for Burton.
Charlie Lawrence took seven wickets as Earls Barton picked up their first win of the season.
Lawrence (13-3-38-7) ripped through the Weekley & Warkton order as they were bowled out for 124 and it would have been a lot worse without the contributions of Reg Griggs (50) and Michael Evans (40) as numbers eight and nine respectively.
Barton took their time in the reply but Leigh Sheridan struck an unbeaten 53 to see them to victory on 127-4.
Elsewhere, Loddington & Mawsley (188-7) maintained their unbeaten start with a draw at East Haddon (233-5).
Sam Coleman struck his maiden Northants League century as he helped Wellingborough Town 2nd to a 170-run win over St Crispin & Ryelands 2nd in Division Four.
Coleman had support from Zachary Bean (67) and Richard Curtis (65) as Wellingborough reached 302-3.
And Karl Tapp (3-16) was the pick of the bowlers as St Crispin were bowled out for 132 in reply.