COLCHESTER and East Essex captain Jake Foley says their opening-day triumph over Hainault and Clayhall was a great way to start the new season.

The Castle Park side are looking to immediately bounce back from their relegation to Shepherd Neame Essex League First XI division one.

They started off in the best way possible, after clinching an impressive seven-wicket win in a match reduced to 38/35 overs following a 77-minute rain interruption.

Foley said: “It was a great way for us to start the season and spirits were high afterwards.

“It was a great all-round team performance and we never gave up.

“It was good to get the season off to a winning start and we did what we needed to do.

“We had wanted the maximum 25 points but that wasn’t possible because of the weather, so 20 points was good to start with.

“Ours was one of only two games in the division to get completed, so that gives us a bit of a head start.”

After winning the toss, Foley put Hainault and Clayhall into bat and they initially made a solid start, reaching 90 for the loss of only one wicket.

But Colchester’s bowlers made inroads after that, with league debutant Denson Narayan (5-31) claiming an impressive five wickets in his ten-over spell.

It helped reduce the visitors to 152 for nine, in their allotted 38 overs.

“We won the toss and we wanted to bowl first – we had a wicket to suit us with four seamers playing and I knew that there was a bit of rain around,” said skipper Foley.

“We always felt that we could bowl them out.

“At one stage, they were on 80 for one and looking like they were in a good position but we never let them get away.

“Denson looks a handy all-rounder.

“He made a very good start for us with the five wickets and I felt his bowling would be suited to that wicket.

“It was good to get him involved and enjoying his cricket.”

Despite losing Foley (six) early on, fellow opener Greg DeSilva hit 69 and Jack Hebron (69 not out) also performed well, as Colchester reached their target inside 21 overs.

Foley added: “We knew we needed to get through our overs quickly and get the total.

“When Hebron and Greg were at the crease, they knew that there would be rain and they looked to get on with it.”

Colchester II had reached 56 for two at Ilford II when their Second XI Premier Division match was abandoned due to rain.