Hamstead A made an excellent start in their bid to retain the Premier Division title with an 8-2 mauling of Colebridge Braves. Steve Robinson registered a hat-trick for the champions, with solid support from Pete Waite and Steve Bertie.
Beaufort Sports A edged Bournville A 6-4 thanks to a Jon Ludlow treble, while Colebridge Aces registered the same score against visitors Beaufort Sports B. Michael Browne, Pat Glynn and Alan Caffery were unstoppable for Smiths Wood A in a 10-0 demolition of Hamstead C. Jack Styring produced a defensive masterclass for Smiths Wood B at Sutton Coldfield A to earn a maximum and lead his side to a 6-4 success. Hamstead B beat Streetly A 6-4 despite a superb unbeaten display from England ‘old boy’ Ray Dixon.
Bernard Oliver took the step-up to Division One in his stride as the ‘legend’ included Dan Ranford amongst his victims for Colebridge Eagles in a 5-5 draw with clubmates Dinosaurs. Streetly B showed esrly title potential in an 8-2 thumping of Streetly C courtesy of Steve Taylor and Barry O’Brien trebles. Martin Round and Purdip Shoker were both unbeaten for Sutton Coldfield B in a resounding 9-1 defeat of Bournville C. Smithereens and Sutton Coldfield C shared the spoils in a 5-5 draw.
Colebridge Falcons clawed a 6-4 result from Sutton Coldfield E in Division Two as Frank Cotter was a max man and Jamie Fellows picked up two singles on his debut in a higher grade. Pen-holder Mark Hadley smashed his way to a treble for Colebridge Giants, but his side were toppled 6-4 by an excellent team effort from Jacombs A. Ivy Leaf A and Colebridge Hawks drew 5-5 with two wins each for Tony Arends and Paul Thomas for Ivy and Micky and Chris Welsh for Hawks. Alan White led Walmley A to a 6-4 success at Smiths Wood C with a smart maximum.
Beaufort Sports C and Bournville F drew 5-5 in Division Three. Tony Sheldon and Kwok Ng proved unplayable for Bournville E in a 9-1 hammering of Quinborne. Ken Lancaster, at 83, the ‘grandfather’ of the league chopped and floated his way to a maximum for Sutton Coldfield F over Walmley C. The unorthodox Gerald Billington also notched a maximum for Sutton.
Sutton Coldfield G were indebted to a Mick Williams treble in a 7-3 away win at Jacombs B in Division Four. Ian Nash of West Midlands Fire was too hot for Bournville G but the visitors still came out on top 6-4, while Colebridge Jaguars and Ivy Leaf B drew 5-5.