GWERSYLLT PARK have a baptism of fire in the first game in the North Wales cricket’s top flight.

But skipper Iroshan De Silva says his side will be ‘up for the challenge’ at Menai Bridge, who will again be one of the favourites to win the Premier Division title.

“We are so looking forward to this season,” said all-rounder De Silva, who led Park to Division One title glory last season.

“I’ve said to the boys that we only lost one game last season but that we are going to lose more this summer. And we must keep going to make sure we finish in a mid-table position.

“Menai Bridge away is a good start for us. We aren’t expected to win as they are a very strong team and have excellent players.

“But we go there with nothing to lose and we, as we always do at Gwersyllt Park, will give it our all. We’ll certainly be up for the challenge.”

Park are boosted by having Jake James and Ryan Collier back from a stint at Brymbo while they have had mixed news on two more imports over the winter.

“We were bringing in an overseas player, Dhananjaya Bandara, from Sri Lanka but there have been issues with his visa,” added De Silva, who is delighted with his other new signing, Indian left arm spinner Venumadhav Madhav.

“He had been playing for Bersham and is now in Wrexham working after finishing in Leicester University.

“We asked him to come in for a trial and he looks good and will be a good addition to the side.”

Gresford skipper Matt Thompson is anticipating a tight tussle as his side opens the new season with a trip to Ystrad Road to take on Denbigh.

“We always have close games versus Denbigh,” he said.

“They have been around us most of the time we have been in the Premier Division.

“We had a close game there last year which was called off halfway through. We are looking forward to it.”

Following an extremely wet opening to the year, the weather had improved in the past fortnight, after the league’s decision to postpone the first matches.

Thompson added: “The ground is looking much better than what it was.

“It was a sensible decision from the league to postpone the fixtures by two weeks. Our ground is ready to go.”

Tomorrow’s other Premier Division match sees Llandudno at home to Bangor.

There’s a big Division One opener between Mold and Pontblyddyn, with both sides suffering relegation from the Premier Division last time out.

Moving in the other direction were Brymbo Seconds and last season’s Division Two champions start at home to Halkyn.

Connah’s Quay have home advantage versus Northop Seconds, while there are away days for Hawarden Park and Buckley, to Dolgellau and Bethesda respectively.

Elsewhere, Abergele play host to Conwy.

Division Two fixtures: Bangor 2nds v St Asaph 2nds; Corwen v Marchwiel and Wrexham; Gresford 2nds v Bersham; Llanrwst v Llay; Mochdre 2nds v Menai Bridge 2nds; Pontblyddyn 2nds v Carmel & District.

Division Three: Buckley 2nds v Mold 2nds; Conwy 2nds v Bethesda 2nds; Gwersyllt Park 2nds v Denbigh 2nds; Halkyn 2nds v Pwllheli; Hawarden Park 2nds v Caernarfon; Ruthin v Connah’s Quay 2nds.

Division Four: Bersham 2nds v Abergele 2nds; Carmel & District 2nds v Dolgellau 2nds; Hawarden Park 3rds v Ruthin 2nds; Marchwiel and Wrexham 2nds v Llandudno 2nds.