BIG BASH: Wests batsman Chris Young on the attack yesterday against Hamwicks at Harker Oval. – Picture by Dean OslandTWO of the hot favourites for the Newcastle grade cricket Twenty20 crown suffered shock defeats yesterday in the opening round.

Two-time defending champions University fell seven runs short of chasing down Waratah-Mayfield’s 119 at University Oval and Hamilton-Wickham were rolled for 73 in reply to Western Suburbs’ 9-86 at Harker Oval.

With Webber brothers Sam and Matt and captain Kirk Mullard in their ranks, Hamwicks boast some of the most destructive hitters in the competition.

Only a month ago at Harker Oval Sam Webber belted 15 sixes in a knock of 175.

But yesterday Webber made just six in five balls in a game that failed to produce a single six.

Fresh from match figures of 9-60 in the two-day win over Cardiff-Boolaroo, Rosellas captain Ben Woolmer took 2-14 off four overs against Hamwicks.

‘‘We bowled and fielded very well,’’ Woolmer said.

‘‘It was definitely a good win with only 86 on the board. We were looking a bit dodgy at the start at 6-30.’’

No.5 Wests batsman Todd Griffith top-scored for the game with 28, an innings that proved a saviour for the home side.

University captain Josh Emerton said he believed his and Daniel Odd’s dismissals led to the loss.

‘‘We restricted them pretty well as the pitch was dry, but a couple of decisions were pretty costly at our end,’’ Emerton said.

Waratah’s Myles Cook (34) and Nathan Hudson (36) were the backbone of the Tahs’ 119 from 19.3 overs.

Opening bowler Nathan Martin then cemented Waratah’s second win of the summer with a spell of 4-24 in 3.1 overs.

Merewether (5-124) chased down Stockton-Raymond Terrace’s 123 with four balls to spare at Lynn Oval.

And Charlestown got the points when they defended 5-154 against Toronto (140) at Ron Hill Oval.

Wallsend’s Joe Curk (56) ensured the Tigers handed Cardiff-Boolaroo a 91-run defeat at Wallsend Oval.

The Tigers made 7-196 and dismissed the CBs for 105 in 13 overs, thanks to 4-23 from Cameron Roxby.

Competition leaders Belmont (4-148) chased down Newcastle City’s 7-144 at Cahill Oval after an unbeaten 53 from skipper Mark Littlewood.