LEDBURY top Marches Cricket League Division Two despite not playing their second game of the season.

Their match against Kington seconds was called off as the visitors could not raise a side but that followed a hard-fought, 19-point opening success at Shirebulls.

Asked to bat first, Ledbury openers Matt Ehrlich and Paddy Merryman (15) started brightly before Jamie Brighton struck trademark boundaries.

Ehrlich fell for 23 to leave Ledbury on 60-2 but Luke Ledbury (31) and Brighton added 90 runs for the third wicket.

Brighton fell for a fine 73 and 29 from David Nash, as well as lusty blows from the lower order, upped the total to 222-8 with Jo Privett taking 5-56.

In reply, Shirebulls openers Chris Breeze and Privett made life difficult for Ledbury's bowlers but the introduction of Jamie Turner's leg spin in the 23rd over saw him bowl the latter for 35.

Turner (4-26) grabbed two more quick wickets before Maurice Embrey accounted for Breeze (29) with the target beyond Shirebulls.

The pacey Nash (2-27) was rewarded with several wickets and a hand in a run-out.

With two overs and three wickets left, Turner swooped through a fine catch by wicketkeeper Paul Allen but Shirebulls batted out for 149-8.

Ledbury seconds started their Division Three campaign with a fine 19-point success against Glangrwyney, thanks to a superb 149 not out from Luke Ledbury.

The hosts were asked to bat but started poorly with both openers departing cheaply before Rob Greening and Ledbury added 87 runs.

Greening (34) was run-out in the 29th over but then Ledbury, with 10 sixes and 12 fours, dominated a fourth-wicket partnership of 73 with Lee Clueit (14).

He smashed 46 more runs in the last four overs in the seconds' 242-6.

Greening claimed an early run-out in reply but Tim Jones batted well for the visitors.

Jeff Arlott struck with his first ball to make it 66-2 after 17 overs only for brothers Tim and Nick Jones to post 86 runs for the third wicket.

But Rich Davis grabbed the wicket of Tim Jones (92) after a fine catch by Si Ritchie.

Nick Jones (57) was bowled by Josh Evans (3-38) and Ritchie (2-27) claimed quick wickets as the Welsh side finished on 208-8.

The seconds then slumped to a disappointing 184-run defeat at Strollers after being bowled out for 81 in just 24 overs.

Ledbury were unlucky not to get early wickets as Richard Lerego (26) and Peter Skirrow (22) posted 50 for the first wicket.

Mark Powell (30) batted well before being dismissed by Vicky Evans (1-27) but Strollers smashed the last 15 overs to finish on 265-3 through Simon Albright (68no) and Jonny Powell (85no) with an unbeaten 167-run fourth-wicket stand.

Ledbury's batsmen gave their wickets away as only Stu Evans and Arlott, with 10 each, managed double figures and David Doughty claimed 5-19.

The firsts visit Almeley tomorrow, while the seconds host Luctonians.