BARKISLAND bounced back into the big time by walloping Emley Clarence.

And fellow Premiership new boys Holmfirth also enjoyed an opening day victory – but by a far more slender margin.

On a day when only nine men passed the half-century mark, the individual honours went to Golcar’s Steve Whitwam.

He first had Shepley in a spin, taking six for 39, then proved immovable with the bat, leading the Swallow Laners home with an unbeaten 68.

Barkisland went to the Welfare Ground with an exciting new bowling attack of Love Ablish (2-16) and Tinashe Panyangara (3-15).

But it was first change bowler Darren Robinson who really caught the eye, making an unbeaten 47 as the visitors totalled 192-7, then claiming three for 11 as Clarence were rolled over for just 47.

Earlier skipper Paul Winrow (31) and Simon Wheelwright (38) had given Barkisland a solid enough start with an opening partnership of 71.

It was a really close call at Holmfirth, where new Shelley signing Jason Coleman claimed a fine six for 33 from 21 overs in his first game to put the home side into big trouble.

Only Javed Iqbal junior put up much of a show, making an unbeaten 38 as the newly-promoted side posted a meagre 122-9.

But how Shelley missed Muthu Pushpakumara’s influence with the bat as they slumped to 56-5, and finally to 119 all out, Javed Iqbal senior picking up four for 19.

Third of the promoted trio, Clayton West, were not so fortunate.

Despite a five-wicket return from Paul van den Berg and an unbeaten 59 from Stuart Rank, Skelmanthorpe’s Amit Dani proved too good with 79 and four wickets.

Over at Golcar, it was all about Whitwam.

He put the skids under Shepley after they had moved steadily to 97-2.

The league’s top all-rounder had Shepley’s new opener Adam Wiles caught behind for 48 as the Marsh Lane men collapsed to 132-9.

When Golcar replied, Whitwam found a very useful ally in new recruit Craig Horner, who made an undefeated 39 in a 107-run second-wicket stand.

Reigning champions Honley got their new campaign away with a win although at times, it was a bit shaky against visiting Micklehurst.

Harlon Haye was quickly back in the groove with four for 39 from 17 overs, while newcomer Enamul Haque bagged three for 64 on debut, and came back well after conceding 21 in his first over as Micklehurst made 166-9.

Honley were quickly in trouble however, as John Greaves, Simon Kelly and Matt Cox were all back in the pavilion with only 24 on the board.

But Danny Howard came to their rescue with a battling half-century (four fours, one six).

He put on 78 for the fourth wicket with Richard Jakeman (37), before Zahid Ahmed saw them home and dry with an unbeaten 35.

Greg Buckley made a quick impression for his new club Elland, scoring an unbeaten 62 as part of a 98-run stand with Lee Baxter (42no) as the Hullen Edgers won at a canter at Lascelles Hall.

In the Frank Platt Conference, Slaithwaite will already be pleased with the first outing of their new overseas man Kana Vaghela, who led the Hill Toppers to a seven-wicket win over Almondbury with an unbeaten 83.

And their other close-season signing Mark Mitchell also came up trumps, taking five for 30 as Almondbury were dismissed for 121.