Like many other leagues in Yorkshire the Huddersfield League opted to delay the start of the season by a week but it meant promoted Mirfield Parish faced an opening clash against a Shepley side who are tipped to challenge big guns Hoylandswaine and Delph and Dobcross in a bid to win a first league title since 2013.
Greg Wood has returned to captain Shepley after five seasons with Wrenthorpe and he will have been pleased with his side’s impressive opening display.
Shepley powered their way to 363-4 declared as new Australian overseas player John Anderson struck 82 from 61 balls including eight fours and eight sixes.
Dan Wood was the star though as he smashed an unbeaten 174 off 138 balls, which included 13 fours and 14 sixes.
Danny Glover hit a quickfire 77no before the visitors declared with an over remaining.
Parish acquitted themselves well, despite never threatening to overhaul Shepley’s impressive total, and they made 162-8 with overseas man Nazar Hussain top scoring with 52 not out from 62 balls including four fours and three sixes.
Parish travel to Armitage Bridge on Saturday before hosting Golcar in the Sykes Cup first round on Sunday.
Moorlands must wait another week to get their season underway after their trip to champions Delph and Dobcross was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Moorlands will hope to finally get underway when they entertain Shelley on Saturday, while they have also been drawn at home in the Sykes Cup on Sunday when they host Kirkburton.
Mirfield suffered an agonising three-run defeat away to Hall Bower in their opening Conference fixture.
Hall Bower had two half-centurions in their innings of 173-8 with opener Matthew Crane (65) and lower order batsman Ryan Beaney (60) leading the way but tight Mirfield bowling kept them in check.
Emma Boult (3-46) was the key wicket taker for Mirfield.
Mirfield were edging towards their target thanks to useful contributions from Wilbur Pomorin (31) and Andrew Young (38).
However, Russell Evans claimed a crucial 3-22 as the visitors fell agonisingly short and Hall Bower breathed a sigh of relied.
All three Mirfield sides will be at home on Saturday, with Denby Dale the visitors to Memorial Park as Mirfield look to bounce back from their narrow loss.