GOATACRE skipper Ed Wilkins said he was pleasantly surprised with his side as they claimed a seven-wicket win over South Wilts in their first ECB National Club Championship contest.

After losing the toss and being ordered to the field, the villagers were comfortable as they dispatched their cup opponents for 144.

Goatacre duo Josh Langley and Jack Haines had particularly productive afternoons with the ball, registering three and four wickets respectively.

With the bat, Haines got Wilkins and his side off to a good start with 54 before being run out, Oliver Jones chipped in with an unbeaten 54, while new recruit Joe Breet added 16 before being caught out.

A combined seven between Sam Burdock and Wilkins meant they reached their target with ease as they eventually finished with 146-3.

Wilkins revealed the weather meant his side have been slightly behind schedule in terms of hours of practice in the bank but admitted their cup win was a good starting point.

“It was fairly comfortable to be honest. A lot more comfortable than what we would thought it would be at the start of the game,” said Wilkins.

“I think it was probably a good toss to lose. The field was long but they had struggled to cut it with how the weather has been.

“We knew their top five or six players, we were able to get off to a good start and we held on for the full 40 overs.

“We had a friendly the week before that was a bit of a mismatch. Before that, we have struggled to get outside and practice at all because of the weather.

“So to go down there and see everyone in the team perform so well, I am really pleased with that to be honest.”

After Sunday’s win in Salisbury, Goatacre will now face the winners of Basingstoke & North Hants versus Totton & Elling tie in the second round on May 13.

Historically, Goatacre have been a formidable Village Cup side, but following their promotion to WEPL Premier One last year, Wilkins says they will be unable to compete in the competition but will look to enjoy a cup run.

“Normally we play in the Village Knockout Cup but anyone who plays in the first team can’t play in that competition now,” he added.

“I think we will take this one as seriously as we can. We got one or two of our first team out on Sunday and it was good to get everyone together before the league starts.”