NEWLY-promoted Astwood Bank endured a baptism of fire as they suffered a nine-wicket defeat to Fordhouses in the Birmingham League Division Three on Saturday.

After last week’s washout, Bank played their first-ever match at this level and a found a side who had suffered relegation from Division Two last summer too hot to handle.

After losing the toss, they were put into bat and lost the key pair of captain Steve Adshead and Brandon Miller cheaply.

Adshead, so often the run-scoring spearhead for Astwood as they won the Worcestershire League in 2013, was trapped lbw by Atif Alio for 14, while new addition Miller was caught by Ian Walker off Chris Guest’s bowling for a duck.

If not for Thomas Harris, who top-scored with 33 runs, Astwood would have been dismissed for less than the 101 they had made in 33 overs.

Astwood made an early breakthrough when Adshead caught Ashley Davies off Dan Thomas, but Niall Cooper (27) and Tumelo Bodiba (64) propelled Fordhouses to 102-1 in 27 overs.

“We lost the toss on a dampish wicket but even with that we didn’t score enough runs,” said Adshead.

“Thomas Harris did very well to reach 33 runs, but the rest of the team were feeling a bit unsure before the game.

“To be honest, apart from Fordhouses’ opening bowlers, who were very good, there was not that much that should have worried us.

“It’s just one of those results and we have to bounce back.”

Bank responded by defeating Harvington by 50 runs on Sunday to progress into the next round of the National Village Knockout, with Pete Alexander hitting a century.

Astwood return to action in the league on Saturday, when they entertain Kings Heath, who thrashed Penn by 247 runs last weekend.

Adshead said: “It was a good response by the players and just what we needed.

“We’ve got good players here and they just to find their feet at this level.”