CHESHIRE premier action returned to Broad Lane for the first time since 2019 as Grappenhall Cricket Club entertained local rivals Toft.

The outcome was a four-wicket loss for Grappers but there were positives to take from the second innings fightback.

The match saw debuts for two winter arrivals, Kiwi overseas all-rounder Tom MacRury and Lancashire seconds batsman Arav Shetty.

Leicestershire all-rounder Eddie Barnes was also available with his county having a bye at the weekend.

A strong crowd turned up throughout the day.

Put into bat first on a slow, soft wicket, Grappers made a solid start to reach 36-1 off eight overs before losing three quick wickets.

Captain Peter Barnes (32) and Ben Bodha (40) re-built the innings, adding 43 for the fifth wicket which proved to be the highest partnership of the match.

From 86/4 and eyeing up a score upwards of 150, Grappers then fell to 122 all out.

Defending a low score, Grappers knew they had to start well in the field and through Barnes they did just that, removing O’Sullivan for a duck.

Lancashire batsman Rob Jones then showed his quality with a run-a-ball 25, putting the game in Toft’s favour as they reached 49/1 off 15 overs.

Ian Hall and Arran McCabe took a quick wicket each as Grappers sensed an opportunity, but the game remained in Toft’s favour with so few runs on the board.

Skipper Barnes introduced spin into the attack through Tom MacRury, who gave Grappers a sniff with excellent figures of 3-17.

Unfortunately for Grappers, Toft were able to get home by four wickets.

Widnes away for Grappers next week and they will be keen to get their first win on the board.

Grappers second XI opened their Division One season with a win at neighbours Widnes.

Widnes were bowled out for just 125 with 18-year-old James Knowles picking 3 for 34 off 10 overs, Ross Arrowsmith achieving superb figures of 2 for 15 off 12 overs and young debutant Tom Bramhall bowling superbly for 1-29 off 11.

Grappers chased down the total for the loss of five wickets with plenty of overs to spare, Arthur Pennington top scoring with a superb 53, ably supported by Arrowsmith with 40.

The third XI home T20 Cup clash with Davenham was rained off, with Grappers being 9-0 inside the first two overs of the day.