LEWIS Smith’s first game as Hurst captain ended with a 45-run Division 2b victory at Royal Ascot, writes Richard Ashton.

Ollie Lovegrove top scored with 82 and there were also useful contributions from debutant Chris McCarthy (45) and the returning Max Carroll (42) as the away side posted 225-9 from their 40 overs, Charlie Dunnett the pick of the attack with 5-53.

Andy English (42) led the reply, but Smith (4-19) – who returned to the club from Datchet in the off-season – torpedoed any hope Ascot had of success as they were bowled out for 180.

Hurst host Bagshot this coming Saturday, while Royal Ascot visit Aldershot.

Finchampstead 2nds were beaten by six wickets via the DLS system in their opener at Beaconsfield.

Finches recovered from 25-2 to total 180 in 49 overs, and after rain had held up play Beaconsfield’s target was reduced to 131, which they achieved for the loss of four wickets in 28 overs.

In Division 2a, Australian import Nick McGuane served notice of his intent as Eversley battered Windsor by 147 runs.

After Jack Ford top scored with 57 in Eversley’s 236-6, McGuane grabbed 5-34 and Gus Cloete 3-37 as Windsor were skittled for just 89.

Eversley travel to Tring Park 2nds on Saturday.

Binfield began their campaign in dominant fashion as they hammered Farnham Royal by 10 wickets in Division 3a.

Jack Collett (4-23) and Matt Hayman (3-14) were the destroyers-in-chief as the visitors were shot out for 120, and Wynand Lamprecht (59no) and Sean Ennis (40no) then eased their side home in just 16.3 overs.

Binfield visit Slough 3rds on Saturday.

Finchampstead 3rds (67) were thumped by 10 wickets at home to Boyne Hill 2nds (68-0).

Jack Fisher took 5-40 for Wokingham 2nds (137), but they went down by 54 runs to Purley on Thames (191-9).

Skipper Jake Turner (65) and Rohan Rohan (62) were among the runs for Wokingham 3rds (249-6) as they beat Theale & Tilehurst (200-8) by 49 runs in Division 4a.

Muhammad Zile top scored with 58 for Bracknell (154), but their return to the division following last year’s promotion ended with a four-wicket defeat at White Waltham (156-6).

Bracknell host Sonning on Saturday.

In Division 5b, Eversley 2nds hammered Falkland 3rds by a remarkable 304 runs.

Captain Paul Ager (124) and Matt Martin (81) put on 152 for the opening wicket, and with Ben Martin making 52 and Falkland donating 64 extras, the Boars amassed a colossal 373.

The hosts’ reply never got going, and with Matt Reardon-Brown bagging 6-11, they were shot out for just 69.

Steve Jeffrey made 100 and debutant Olly Nicholson 86 as Binfield 2nds racked up 249-8, but they were ultimately edged out by one wicket at Henley 3rds (250-9), Ian Goddard taking 4-44.

Jeremy Wing grabbed 7-36 and Jason Carr made 56, but Royal Ascot 2nds (181-8) were edged out by seven runs at Slough 4ths (188).

Tom Hibbs (91no) and Rukhi Sosa (56) guided Hurst 2nds to 225-4, and that proved enough to secure a 97-run win against Sulhamstead 2nds (128) in Division 6b.

Finchampstead 4ths (144-9) lost to Reading 3rds (200-6) by 56 runs, while in Division 7a, Binfield 3rds (123) lost to Wargrave 3rds (177) by 54 runs despite Dan Humphrey making 52.

Dilip Maringanti snared 4-30, but Wokingham 4ths (91) lost to Yateley (92-7) by three wickets.

Satpal Singh Madham (4-23) and Mike Wyatt (4-24) starred with the ball as Royal Ascot 3rds (106-6) beat Aldershot 3rds (105) by four wickets.

On a tough day for the club, the only victorious Finchampstead side were the 5ths (187-5) who beat Bracknell 2nds (119) by 68 runs in Division 8a.

Scott Osler top scored with 53 for Finches before Nick Tinsley’s 4-4 helped knock Bracknell over in reply.

Zach Waight took 4-33 and Bill Burnett made 50 to inspire Eversley 3rds (169-5) to a five-wicket triumph against Boyne Hill 3rds (168-9), while Royal Ascot 4ths (177-6) lost to Thatcham Town 3rds (190-5) by 13 runs.

Arvind Bhat (46 and 4-29) starred with bat and ball for Wokingham 5ths (166) as they beat Bagshot 3rds (120) by 46 runs.

Eversley 4ths never got going with the bat as they lost to Marlow Park by five wickets in Division 9a.

The Boars could only post 95-6 in their 40 overs, and the home side reached 97-5 in 18.2 overs to secure an opening-day win.

Wokingham Oaks & Acorns conceded their game against Maidenhead & Bray 4ths.