HAGLEY Cricket Club aim to make the perfect start to life in Worcestershire County League Division One against Oldswinford this Saturday.

After promotion from Division Two, Hagley are looking to stake a claim in the top flight by getting some wins under their belt in the early stages of the season.

They travel to their local rivals for the first meeting between the teams in over a season and it’s a game given extra spice by the fact Oldswinford’s former skipper Jamie Perks will line up for Hagley, after switching clubs during the winter.

Captain Russ Andrews said: “It will be really good to play our local rivals as we always have a good game down there.

“We haven’t played them for more than a season as they have been above us in the first division so we are looking forward to Saturday.

“We have a good set of players and our availability has been really good over the past couple of seasons compared to previous years.

“All of the players are keen to play and this has allowed us to put out strong sides consistently.”

The only addition to the Hagley squad has been South African bowler Bernard Erasmus. He replaces Australian opener Chad Hitchcock.

Erasmus got off to a positive start, taking five wickets in last weekend’s 19-run win against Alvechurch and Hopworth.

The friendly match also saw James Trinham hit a ton, along with a half-century from captain Andrews and 64 from Joe Lennon.

Meanwhile, Oldswinford’s new captain Tom Blunt, who has been at the club since the age of 11, is looking to make a positive start to the season.

The Albemarle Road outfit finished a creditable eighth last time around in what was their first year back in Division One.

He said: “We are looking forward to the coming season with a focus on youth. Our squad is based on young players aged between 16-21 and we are looking to give them as much experience as possible.

“The club have had a core of players over the last few seasons and aim to build on that with the addition of four loyal players returning to the club.”

Pedmore finished a solid sixth last season but head to Redditch this Saturday in something of an injury crisis.

The bowling department has been hardest hit, with Dave Skelding (ankle), Richard Musk and Paul Taylor (both knee) several weeks away from full fitness.

It’s not all doom and gloom as the club welcome back all-rounder Wasim Ashiq who missed most of last season through injury while they have also signed seamer Asif Iqbal from Coombs Wood.

Skipper Stuart Bate said: “We’ve been blighted by injuries a bit but we have aspirations of at least matching what we did last season.”

Enville warmed up for the new season with a narrow four-run friendly defeat at Coombs Wood.

Jon Stanaway and Dan Boswell scored heavily as the hosts racked up 259-5 from 45 overs batting first.

Matt Branch scored a superb 108 in Enville’s reply. Spencer Mann (44) and Leigh Passmore (45) also looked in impressive form.

Enville start their Division Two season on Saturday when they travel to Netherton.

It is the highest level Enville have played at since the formation of the league.

Elsewhere, Stourbridge Social start life in Division Three when they host Harborne and Lye get their Division Four campaign under way with the long trip to Ross-on-Wye.