BABLAKE Old Boys got their 2016 Warwickshire League Premier Division campaign off to a bad start after losing by seven wickets on the road at Kings Heath.
The home side were still clearly reeling from relegation from the Birmingham League last season as they claimed a comfortable win on Saturday afternoon.
On a bitterly cold opening day, Bablake captain Tom Cowley lost the toss and Bablake were put into bat first.
Opener Ross Arnold failed to trouble the scorers but Tom Betts (24) and club chairman Jason Pyott (37) helped steady the ship.
Wickets then fell at regular intervals, until Clark McCallum (30) and Sam Eames (19 not out) launched a recovery to put on a useful eigith wicket partnership of 45 as the visitors were bowled out for a disappointing, but competitive total of 151 in the 45th over.
Still confident of gaining a positive result, Bablake set off on their task of defending the modest total. Sam Eames removed the Kings Heath opener Khan and paceman Adil Hussain bowled very well with out any rewards.
Ultimately, Bablake were thwarted by a series of dropped catches and Kings Heath stalwarts Gary and Stuart Shephard who rode their luck to score 40 and 58 not out respectively to seal victory by seven wickets with eight overs to spare.
A frustrated Bablake skipper Tom Cowley said: “If only we could catch, this would have been a different game. If you drop eight catches you will always lose.”