AYR Cricket Club got the defence of their Western Union title off to a winning start with a comfortable victory away to Stirling at New Williamfield on Saturday.

Captain Michael won the toss and elected to bat but lost his opening partner Neil Flack with only three runs on the board.

English and Jake Woodhouse then steadied the ship with a partnership of 87 when the captain departed for 38 and Woodhouse shortly after for 47.

His departure brought new Jamaican professional Derval Green to the crease for his first innings for the club, and he showed his intentions by sashaying down the wicket to face his first ball, which he despatched over the long on boundary for six before adding a further five maximums in his innings of 54 as Ayr were bowled out for 188.

Green and fellow opening bowler Scott McElnea each made early inroads into the Stirling innings as the home team were reduced to 22-2; they never never recovered and were bowled out for 96, with Hamza Tahir running through the Stirling tail to finish with figures of 4-10.

The Cambusdoon XI had a double header in the Western Union Championship due there being two extra teams in the league this year after a bit of restructuring. On Saturday they were at home to Partick, who won the toss and chose to bat and were bowled out for 218 in the last over of the innings, Pushkar Bhandari taking 3-49 and Davy Baines the younger taking 2-15.

In reply Cambusdoon got off to the worst possible start as they were reduced to 6-3, a position they never really recovered from, with only captain Ross Mitchell (29) and the Bhandari brothers, Pushkar (21) and Nari (23) making useful contributions as they were bowled out for 129.

The following day they were back at Cambusdoon, with Marress this time the opposition. The visitors won the toss and put Ross Mitchell’s team in to bat - a decision that looked quite promising as they dismissed openers Maxwell and Henderson with total at only 23.

But a partnership of 130 between Mitchell (53) and Jonny Baines (59) saw the momentum swing back to the Cambusdoon men as they ended their innings on 207-8 with a late cameo from Lewis Lilley (23no) helping on the way.

The Marress innings did not get off to the best of starts as Davy Baines claimed the early wicket of Dylan Neil before the total reached double figures.

A 50 partnership between between Khan and Hussan had their innings back on track before the leg spin of young Jackson Smith had the new zing stumps lighting up as he claimed three quick wickets to turn the game back in favour of Cambusdoon.

Smith then went on to claim another two wickets to finish to finish with 5-43 - his first five wicket haul in senior cricket.

Lewis Lilley took two wickets to go along with his three catches and Andi McElnea then finished off the Marress lower order as they were bowled out for 164 leaving Cambusdoon victors by 43 runs.

Thursday night saw the first of the midweek cricket start with the Cambusdoon XI in action in the Western Cup away to BBC Scotland and the match ending in a tie after Cambusdoon had scored 139-5, Mikey Maxwell top scoring with 66no and useful contributions from Jonny Baines (28) and Shaun Smith (23).

Smith again having a strong show in the BBC innings as he finished with figures of 3-23 as the home team were restricted to the identical score of 139-5.

This week sees another busy week of fixtures with Ayr at home to West of Scotland on Saturday in the Western Union and also at home on Sunday in the Scottish Cup to Watsonians after the match was cancelled two weeks ago.

On Wednesday they travel to local rivals Prestwick in the McCulloch Cup and are also away to Irvine in the Rowan Cup on Thursday.

The Cambusdoon XI are away to Albert Park on Saturday in league action and at home again to Marress in the Western Cup.