MENAI Bridge continue to impress in the opening stages of their North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title defence with a 43-run home victory over Denbigh.

The champions inflicted a first league defeat of the campaign on a talented Denbigh side during an entertaining affair, which moves them up to third position in the standings ahead of their trip to Connah’s Quay on Saturday.

Things did not begin well for the home side in the middle as Andy Clarke removed Jack Gower for eight, with Ed Gadsby following soon after on 13 at the hands of Jack Griffiths.

Opener Luke Jones and overseas star Sean O’Callaghan steadied the Bridge ship until the former was skittled by Clarke on 36, with O’Callaghan producing a fine innings on his way to a 14-boundary knock of 78.

Clarke took his tally for the day to 4-48 with the scalps of Carl Jones (0) and Gerallt Roberts (8), with Sam Lewis taking three wickets at the expense of 46 from a ten-over spell.

A crucial half century from stand-in skipper Gethin Roberts played a significant part in their success before he was dismissed by Stuart Griffiths on 51, with the same bowler taking out Dion Owen (0) as the hosts were all out for 231.

Roberts wasted no time in making his presence felt with the ball in hand with the wickets of Andy Thomas (0), Lewis (14) and Joe Clayton (25), with Liam Bibby taking the prized scalp of captain Harrison Jones after the all-rounder contributed eight.

The one constant throughout was opener was Gerallt Lyall, who finished the day unbeaten on 69 from 122 deliveries but ran out of partners at the other end as the visitors made 188 all out in reply.

Bibby ended the day with figures of 2-27, with Matthew Jones also helping himself to a pair of victims to finish on 2-32.