HELENSBURGH Cricket Club’s first XI lost their first home match of the season by six wickets against Ayr on Saturday – but skipper Gregor Chambers says he’s encouraged by the progress being made by his team.

Winning the toss, Ayr put the home side in first on a softish, green wicket; openers Stuart Adams and Duncan Stephens looked in control until Stephens mistimed a flick off his legs.

Darren Butler then set about the Ayr openers with some nice timing and fine shot making; the change of bowling brought a slow down in pace as well and Butler got one which stuck in the pitch and he promptly popped the ball up to mid-off for 18.

READ MORE: Helensburgh captain has high hopes despite opening day defeat

Skipper Chambers got one that kept low and went for a duck as did Clancy and when Thornton fell with the score on 62 for five, the inevitable looked like happening – but Helensburgh battled away to take the score to 112, opener Adams top scoring on 29.

After tea there were some brief signs of hope, with new boy Freddie Parffrey sending the Ayr opener’s stump cartwheeling and then Clancy picking up a second wicket.

But the Premier champions of two seasons ago still had plenty in the locker with skipper McElnea scoring an unbeaten 65 to lead the visitors to a comfortable win.

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Skipper Chambers said: “I was disappointed not to have put a more competitive score on the board, but I’m very encouraged at this stage with what we’re doing.

“I think we played better this week than last, so we’re heading in the right direction.

“Ayr were champions a couple of seasons ago and we gave them a couple of scares today, but we will need to put a bigger total on the board if we’re to give our bowlers a chance.”

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Next up for Helensburgh it’s Dumfries away on Saturday, May 18. The club would like to thank its match ball sponsors IC Transformations, Business Coaching and Mentoring services.

Meanwhile, All Stars Cricket training sessions, for children aged between five and eight, take place at Ardencaple every Thursday under the coaching of Gregor Chambers.