MISTLEY Rugby Club had mixed fortunes on the opening weekend of the Eastern Counties League season.

With a squad of younger players, their first team travelled to Hadleigh.

They were under the captaincy of Ed Barrie, who replaced the injured Matt Course.

Hadleigh were first to score with a penalty.

A converted try then followed but a good passage of play from Mistley, including a penalty, reduced the deficit to 10-3.

A loose scrum then gifted another try to Hadleigh, as Mistley dropped off the pressure, and the half-time score was 17-3 to the Suffolk side.

More Hadleigh dominance in the second half, and bad Mistley tackling, allowed further tries as the score was increased to 39-3.

However, a penalty try at the end was some consolation for Mistley and the final score was 39-10.

Course, the new captain watching from the sidelines, said there was plenty to build on with the makings of a good young squad.

He was impressed by a spirited performance, during which his players never gave up.

Gary Booker was man-of-the-match, with other notable performances coming from Barrie, Dan and Matt Hexley and Jack Tompkins.

Meanwhile, Mistley's Marauders were at home to Clacton Kestrels and won 58-19.

They saw the welcome return of some senior squad members, including Bertie Baxter, Stephen Betts, Robert Bloom, Dougall Meston and Phil Weedon.

The father-son combination of Mark and Kieran Hexley also wore Mistley colours for the first time, as did Mike Wright.

There were two tries from Wright and Reece Kirkham and one apiece for Betts, Lewis Stratz, Chris Coogan and Anthony Wares.

Bloom's conversions sealed a great win.

Clacton fought admirably and did not let their heads drop.

Wright was man-of-the-match.

Tomorrow the first team are at home to Ipswich YM and the Marauders are away to Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.

Both games kick-off at 3pm and are being sponsored by Invision Advanced, of Manningtree.