SHRIVENHAM succumbed to a disappointing 99-run defeat to Great Horwood on the opening day of the season.

The 2013 Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division One runners-up travelled to newly-promoted Great Horwood hoping for a winning start but an opening-wicket stand of 321 from Tom Spurr (189 not out) and Stuart Parker (94) left Shrivenham chasing an almost impossible target of 323 to win.

The remarkable partnership broke Horwood’s previous record, and Spurr’s 132-ball knock was also the club’s highest individual score.

Shrivenham’s Matt Brown took the only wicket of the innings but Bowles insisted that the side will bounce back.

“Horwood put the pressure on us straight away by being aggressive and we struggled to settle into a rhythm. We missed a few opportunities and they made us pay,” he said.

“We tried to chase the score and batted well, but unfortunately the regular fall of wickets meant we never looked like getting there.

“It was a tough day for us but we will be looking to bounce back next week.”

Despite never really looking like challenging Horwood’s big total, Shrivenham will take some comfort in their reply with the bat as 70 from Rhys Mills and Rob Wycherley’s 55 not out helped the visitors accumulate a creditable 223-7 from their 45 overs.