Buckinghamshire paceman Simon Stanway captured six for 47 to deny reigning champions Cumberland a first-day advantage as the race for the Eastern Division pennant hotted up at Carlisle.
Buckinghamshire, 29 for five at one stage, rallied to 137 all out off 57.5 overs as allrounder Steve Naylor dug in for a priceless 74 not out. Stanway then bowled unchanged from one end to take six Cumberland wickets in 23 overs as the home side declared on 122 for seven off 46 overs.
In the Western Division, it was a day for the spin doctors at Bridgnorth as the fellowship of slow bowlers consumed 72 of the 104.2 overs on the opening day of Shropshire's match with Berkshire. Significantly they also shared 11 of the 13 wickets to fall as the first innings honours ended virtually even. Shropshire's 226 for seven off 56 overs was matched by Berkshire's 215 for six off 50, with the visitors shading the bonus point count 6-4.
Half-centuries from Bryan Jones and Jon Perkins underpinned the two innings.
Minor Counties Championship:
Carlisle: Bucks 137 (SP Naylor 74 not out, DM Wheatman 4-31) & 12-1 Cumberland 122-7 (SF Stanway 6-47).
Bridgnorth: Shrops 226-7 (JBR Jones 73, NA Fusedale 4-85) & 5-0 Berks 215-6 (JR Perkins 67).