DEFENDING North Wales Cricket League Premier Division champions Menai Bridge suffered their first defeat of the new season with an 18-run home reverse to Llandudno.

The in-form side were unable to find the necessary runs at the death against a side that are expected to be challenging them for honours at the conclusion of the summer’s fixtures, and Bridge will be aiming to bounce back at the earliest opportunity when they travel to an imposing St Asaph squad on Saturday.

Despite losing opener Matthew Jones (7) to a Gethin Roberts delivery early on, strong scores from Sam Rimmington and Danial Evans put the visitors back in the ascendancy until they were dismissed for 45 and 77 respectively.

Overseas player Luke Kenworthy was trapped lbw by Sean O’Callaghan after contributing 37, with Tom Thornton’s unbeaten 14 the only other double-figure score as the away side were all out for 211 from 48 overs in the middle.

Gerallt Roberts was the pick of the home bowlers, claiming three wickets for the loss of 37 runs, with Bridge skipper Dion Holden also in good form on his way to figures of 3-60.

Evans wasted no time in making an impact with the new ball by ousting the opening duo of Luke Jones and Jack Gower for six and four, and the all-rounder also took the prized scalp of O’Callaghan for just one.

The Bridge resistance came from Holden and Gethin Long, who made 31 and 69 in a dominant spell, and a nervy ending to the game was assured thanks to a superb 44 knock from Robbie Jones.

Lions’ skipper Jack Rimmington stepped to the fore late on with s standout spell that left him with figures of 4-45, which included his 500th top-flight wickets as the hosts were all out for 193 in reply.