Walsden got off to an inauspicious start to what is seen as a crucial season before the Central Lancashire League splits into two divisions in 2013.
They need to finish in the top eight to go into the first division and were beaten by the team who last season finished third.
With James Rawlinson back to boost the batting line-up Walsden were hoping to get off to a good start, even though their new professional Ranil Dhammika had not arrived from Sri Lanka in time for the game.
They called in the services of Ashar Zaidi to stand in, who obliged with three wickets, but could only add 15 runs as Walsden chased a Rochdale total of 203.
But again it was Rawlinson who carried on where he left off two seasons ago with a great knock of 63 at the top of the order.
Fellow opener Jake Hooson managed 18 and Matthew Dawson made 23.
Walsden got up to 161 for six and looked to be in with a chance before they crashed to 173 all out with professional Garry Park grabbing three of the last four Walsden wickets.
l WALSDEN’S second team were completely demolished by Rochdale at Scott Street.
The visitors made 154 for six and then bowled out the home side for a meagre 84.
Stuart Hanson (18) and openers Josh Gale (10) and Josh Highley (10) were the only players to make double figures.