GRAPPENHALL’S firsts had a tricky start to their league season on Saturday, but one of their young stars ensured they recovered for a cup victory on Sunday.

Grappers kicked off their Cheshire County League Premier League campaign at Bramhall, but struggled after being put into bat on a bowler-friendly pitch.

They lost early wickets as the hosts’ three-pronged spin attack took advantage of helpful conditions before Arthur Pennington and Gaz Burns built some resistance.

Pennington made 30 and Burns struck 42, but Grappers were dismissed for just 119.

Grappers needed early wickets, and new signing Raki Rao provided them as he opened the bowling with his off-spin.

Rao picked up 4-62, but Bramhall were able to knock off the runs for a five-wicket win, with Sam Guest picking up the other wicket.

However, thanks to Pennington, their fortunes reversed 24 hours later as they beat Elworth by seven wickets in the Cheshire Cup.

Guest and Arran McCabe took three wickets each as Grappers restricted the visitors to 196-9 bowling first, with Rao claiming two scalps.

Pennington then took over and compiled a superb unbeaten 108 to see the hosts over the line.

Fellow opener Malcolm Agar was the next highest scorer with 28.

On Saturday, the seconds won a remarkably low-scoring game against their Hyde counterparts on their return to the Second XI Premier Division.

Bowling first, Grappers bundled the visitors out for just 69 thanks in no small part to an excellent return of 5-18 from Will Metcalfe, with skipper Ross Arrowsmith and spinner Matt Titchard picking up two wickets each.

The hosts made heavy weather of their reply and found themselves perilously perched at 38-6, but Arrowsmith steadied the ship and guided them to a two-wicket victory by hitting an unbeaten 23.

On Saturday, both Grappers sides take on their Didsbury counterparts, with the firsts at home and the seconds on the road.

The thirds visit Nantwich on Sunday.

Elsewhere, a superb all-round performance from Ashley Scholes helped Warrington to a seven-wicket win at Mobberley in Division Two of the Cheshire County League.

After skipper James Rudd elected to field, Scholes opened the bowling and took 7-26 as the hosts were skittled for 124, with the other wickets to fall coming for James Fletcher, who picked up two, and Sam Houghton.

Not content with his superb bowling display, Scholes came out as an opening batsman and hit an unbeaten 71 to take Warrington home comfortably.

They welcome Hale Barns to Walton Lea on Saturday.