Farnham’s first team slipped to a six-wicket defeat at Addiscombe in their first league game of the season in the Surrey Championship on Saturday.

Captain James Berry continued his form from the previous season as he called incorrectly at the toss and Farnham were inserted.

The pitch immediately justified the home team’s decision to bowl first, with some deliveries going through the top of the surface and others pitching and rolling. Farnham struggled from the outset as Mike O’Mahoney was trapped in front from his first ball.

Wickets fell with regularity as the batters struggled to adapt to the conditions, combined with some questionable shot selection. Nathan Thorpe provided the main highlight of the innings when he struck a pull shot for a flat six, but his resistance only resulted in a joint top score of 13. This was shared with Tom Grimes, who worked hard to try to grind vital runs with the tail to add to the total, before he was adjudged leg before wicket.

The tail wagged as best it could but Farnham were bundled out for 79 in the 32nd over.

Farnham planned to make life difficult for the hosts by bowling tightly and making use of the surface. This plan was dashed however as the Addiscombe openers came out all guns blazing, aware of the demons in the pitch, and made quickly made their way to a 50 partnership. Aussie overseas James Moore was particularly belligerent and regularly targeted the short straight boundaries with multiple maximums.

Captain Berry shuffled his pack and introduced Farnham’s own overseas all-rounder Jason Grozdanovski. Farnham’s overseas had the last laugh as he had Moore well stumped by Ben Greenstreet, but his rapid fire 43 had effectively ended the contest as the hosts required only 14 more runs to win when he was dismissed.

Farnham continued to fight. Berry claimed two quick wickets and Grozdanovski took a second wicket before Addiscombe got over the line inside 18 overs.

A challenging start for the first team, who have a week off to dwell on their performance before they travel to Camberley on Saturday, May 25.