THE welcome sound of willow striking leather could be heard across Montgomeryshire last weekend.

Cricket clubs across the region returned to the field of play for the first time in more than three months following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

Guilsfield hosted local rivals Welshpool while Llanidloes welcomed Aberystwyth Commoners to the Recreation Field.

County Times:

Action from Guilsfield's friendly with Welshpool. Picture by Gary Williams.

Elsewhere Newtown Cricket Club held an inter club match at their Elephant and Castle Recreation Ground on Pool Road.

Meanwhile Bishop’s Castle players warmed up for the new season with an inter club match at the Manor.

The clubs used the friendly matches as final preparation ahead of the start of the Henshalls Shropshire Cricket League season on Saturday.

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Action from Newtown Cricket Club's inter club friendly. Picture by Dave Evans.

A Llanidloes Cricket Club spokesman said: “We have a decent size squad this year and we tried to really mix things up and give everyone a chance in both innings.

“It was just a chance for us to get a bit of match practice in before the season starts.

“We lost both innings by 20 and 30 runs, but the result wasn’t really that important.

“They had some really decent bowlers and kept things a lot tighter than we did in the day.

“We had a few swings and misses and a few dropped catches but it was just great to be back out there dusting the cobwebs off in front of the home fans enjoying the sunshine.

“We will definitely have to improve when we play Welshpool this weekend.”

Elsewhere Builth Wells geared up for their season in the Marches League with a home friendly against Wales Over 50s.

The national side arrived on the back of the curtailed Over 50s World Cup in South Africa which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wales closed on 200-6 with the home side led to glory with two overs to spare courtesy of a Dylan McPhee half century.

County Times:

Action from Guilsfield's friendly with Welshpool. Picture by Gary Williams.