AN UNBEATEN century from Craig Wells could not prevent an opening-day defeat for Swanage in a rain-affected clash at Stalbridge.

The hosts batted first in the Dorset League Division One contest and got off to a flying start, quickly reaching 100.

Swans managed to stem the flow of runs with Harry Long, Steve Ramsay and Ryan Stearn all claiming a wicket each. However, the hosts’ lower order managed to wrestle back the initiative and posted an impressive 221 for five from their 40 overs.

In reply, Swans got off to the worst possible start and were in deep trouble at 57 for six, requiring a revised total of 210 from just 35 overs.

However, the innings was rescued by an excellent century partnership between Steve Kent, who made 25, and Wells. Wells batted majestically, finishing unbeaten on 103 at a run-a-ball, his knock including 12 boundaries. Despite this, Swans ended up on 185 for seven, losing the contest by 36 runs.

Elsewhere, Swans’ second XI played host to Poole. The visitors batted first and were soon in trouble at 32 for four, with Charlie Dyke and Mike Nash both claiming a brace of wickets. Spinner Ron Barker added three wickets, as the visitors reached a very respectable 199 for eight.

In response to their revised target of 170 from just 30 overs, Swans got off to a solid start, but continually lost wickets with only Nash (53no) and Dyke making any impression on the visitors’ bowling attack. Swans were restricted to a total of just 123 for seven.