GRAPPENHALL Cricket Club’s first XI are now reliant on others if they are to reach the Cheshire County Cricket League Division One final.

They were leapfrogged at the top of Division One West by Sale, who beat them by three wickets on Saturday.

After being asked to bat first on a difficult wicket, Grappers limped to 143 all out as only Richard Green (36) and Grant Hodnett (31) were able to master the bowler-friendly conditions.

In response, the Grappers bowlers worked hard and took regular wickets to keep themselves in with a chance of defending their total.

Sam Guest and Adam Roylance claimed two scalps each while there were also wickets for Arran McCabe, Lewis Porter and Albert Pennington, but Sale reached their target in the final over.

It was a much better story for the seconds, however, who cruised to a sixth win in a row.

Will Fell starred with the bat as he hit 74 to help Grappers to 220-5 off their 40 overs, with Ross Arrowsmith and Iain Wright finishing unbeaten on 40 and 36 respectively.

With the ball, Jack Critchley took 4-28 and Ian Hall’s eight overs yielded three wickets at a cost of just six runs as Upton were dismissed for 143 in reply, wrapping up a 77-run win for the hosts.

The thirds lost agonisingly by just one run at Nantwich having restricted their hosts to 123-7, with the spin bowling trio of Martyn Jenks, Zak Judge and Ben Bravington taking the bulk of the wickets.

Judge then finished unbeaten on 30 with the bat after Alex Perry had smashed 35, but Nantwich took the final Grappers wicket with just two needed for victory.