BIDEFORD went down by 42 runs to Axminster in the clash of the promoted sides in the B Division.
Axminster were runners-up to Bideford in the C Division last season, but there was nothing second rate about them in their win.
A stand of 62 between Joel Seward (33) and Paul Miller (20) pointed Axminster towards their final total of 185 for nine after opener Johnny Hurford had made 52 in a 72-run partnership with Gary Larcombe.
With wickets in hand in the last five overs Axminster swung the bat, giving Paul Heard (3-15) some easy pickings in his second spell.
Bideford were soon in trouble at 23 for three with new Aussie Josh Roach, skipper James Ford and Chris Luxton all out cheaply. Nick Taylor (2-25) took wickets while Seward was bottling them up.
Dan Barratt (35) put up a fight and with bits and pieces from Heard, Josh King and Matt Shepherd got the tally up to 100 for seven.
Alex Wraight (3-18) and Dan Fuzzard (2-11) removed the lower-order batters to give Axminster a comfortable win.
Bideford skipper Ford was a little downbeat afterwards, saying: “We don’t look capable of scoring more than 150 at the moment.
“Axminster’s slow bowlers bowled well on a wicket that suited them. No excuses though.”
Bideford visit Ivybridge this Saturday.