A SCORCHING start to the UCL Premier Division both on and off the pitch saw Holbeach United crush champions Long Buckby 5-1 and Spalding United defeat Kempston Rovers 4-2, while Deeping Rangers were held 1-1 by 10-man Quorn.
Amid sweltering conditions at Carter’s Park, the Tigers couldn’t have made a better start to their campaign as on-loan striker Sam Mulready lobbed home the opener inside 26 seconds.
The same player made it 2-0 with a clinical volley on 20 minutes, before strike-parter Robbie Harris deftly dinked the third just before the half hour.
Shell-shocked Buckby pulled one back when Rogers converted a harshly-awarded penalty, but Tommy Treacher instantly restored the three-goal cushion when he headed home a rebound after skipper Jamie Stevens had nodded against the inside of the post.
Only one more goal arrived after the break, but it was the pick of the bunch. Andrew Tidswell, who was excellent as an emergency left winger, superbly flicked the ball over a defender before rounding the keeper and tapping in.
Tidswell smashed the bar from 25 yards as John Chand’s Tigers went in search of more, but both sides understandably tired on what was the hottest day of 2012 so far.
Meanwhile, title favourites Spalding also got off to a winning start against Kempston at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
Pat Rayment’s side erased the memory of last Saturday’s FA Cup reverse thanks to a brace from Francis Green and strikes from fellow frontmen Jacob Joyce and Shane Tolley.
Deeping Rangers couldn’t make it a clean sweep for our sides, but they did pick up a draw at a Quorn side that were playing at a higher level last season.
Michael Byre did give Tuncay Korkmaz’s charges a half-time lead, while the Leicestershire hosts also had their keeper dismissed in the opening period.
But a leveller 18 minutes from time earned Quorn a share of the spoils.
Elsewhere, Bourne Town opened up with a 2-2 home draw against Northampton ON Chenecks in UCL Division One.
In the Peterborough and District League, Moulton Harrox beat King’s Cliffe 3-1 thanks to goals from Martin Gordon, Nigel Steadman and Tom Panton, while Pinchbeck United drew 2-2 at Stilton.
Moulton side second in the table and are one of only two teams to boast three wins from three.
See Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press for more on the weekend football.
• UCL Premier Division – Boston Town 1 Huntingdon Town 0; Desborough Town 2 St Ives Town 6; Quorn 1 Deeping Rangers 1; Yaxley 2 S & L Corby 3; Peterborough NS 4 Wellingborough Town 2; Spalding United 4 Kempston Rovers 2; Holbeach United 5 Long Buckby 1; Irchester Utd 1 Blackstones 3; Shepshed Dynamo 1 Newport Pagnell 1; Sleaford Town 1 Cogenhoe Utd 2.
• UCL Division One – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Thrapston Town 0; Bourne Town 2 Northampton ON Chenecks 2; Buckingham Town 0 Raunds Town 3; Bugbrooke St Michaels 2 Olney Town 0; Eynesbury Rovers 4 Northampton Spencer 1; Harrowby United 2 Northampton Sileby Rangers 3; Oadby Town 8 Potton United 0; Rothwell Corinthians 0 Rushden & Higham United 0; Wellingborough Whitworth 2 Wootton Blue Cross 0.
• Peterborough & District League: Premier Division – Deeping Rangers Res 1 Parson Drove 2; Leverington Sports 2 Peterborough Sport Parkway 3; Moulton Harrox 3 Kings Cliffe United 1; Netherton United 4 Peterborough ICA Sports 1; Oakham United 4 Ramsey Town 1; Riverside Rovers 6 Coates Athletic 0; Stilton United 2 Pinchbeck United 2; Uppingham Town Football Club 4 Whittlesey United 1.
• Division One – Hampton Sport 2 Maccasports 1; Ketton 0 Holbeach United Reserves 2; Langtoft United 3 Stamford Belvedere 1; Long Sutton Athletic 2 Moulton Harrox Res 2; Netherton United Res 0 Sawtry 2; Ryhall United 3 Castor & Ailsworth 1; Sutton Bridge United 2 King’s Lynn Town Res 7.