ENJOYMENT of the game will be the main priority when Ludlow Cricket Club put on their competitive whites for the first time in 2020 this Saturday, says skipper Louis Watkins.

Ludlow host Newport at Burway in the first game of their Shropshire League Clive Smith Premier six-team mini group.

The Premier Division has been split into two groups in a summer season shortened by the coronavirus lockdown.

“I just think we need to go out there and enjoy it,” said Watkins, who has taken over the captaincy from Ruel Brathwaite this season.

“Both sides are going to be fairly rusty and it will be interesting to see what we can do. But it’s win/loss cricket, no draws, which is how I think it should be as it promotes positive cricket.

“The lads are just keen to get back playing some competitive cricket, it’s been a long summer of not doing a lot.”

New regulations – such as players’ hands and the ball needing to be sanitised every few overs – will need some getting used to but Watkins added: “It’s very little change really.”

Lower down, Church Stretton have been placed in the South Central group and will host Wellington fourths this Saturday, while Bishops Castle, in the Wales and West Group, will visit Guilsfield.

Corvedale, meanwhile, are one of the 15 Shropshire League clubs to decline invitation to take part in the mini-season.

They instead intend to play friendly games on Sundays and chairman Paul Mantle added: “I’m sure that we will be back at it next season.”

The Worcestershire League has adopted a similar format, splitting divisions into six-team groups and got under way last Saturday – with contrasting results for Tenbury Wells and Cleobury Mortimer.

Tenbury beat Droitwich by 26 runs as big-hitting duo Dave Hunt (44) and Ian Bowkett (43) added to Andy Adams’ earlier 41 to help Tenbury post 190.

Jamie Farrar (4-31) then struck twice in the opening over of Droitwich’s reply and while the visitors battled back, they fell short on 164 as Tom Gloster (3-43) and Bowkett (3-15) also impressed.

There was no such luck for Cleobury, who suffered a heavy eight-wicket defeat to Highley in their first game back.