by our correspondents
RAIN again decimated the Warrington cricket programme - but Grappenhall chalked up another victory in the Chapel Press Cheshire County League.
Losing the toss at Brooklands, Grappers were asked to bat first on what looked and proved to be a slow but difficult track.
They were soon in trouble, subsiding to 21-3 with both openers, Richard Green and Gaz Burns and number three Luke McCoy all back in the pavilion.
Adam Roylance was then joined by Aussie Jason Smith, and the latter proceeded to make it look a totally different game as he set about demolishing the Brooklands attack.
Roylance went for 15, but there were useful contributions from Iain Wright, 24, Andy Tetlow, 19, and Dan Hawke, 15 not out.
But it was Smith who dominated proceedings reaching his maiden ton for the club in only his second match. In a remarkable innings of power and placement that included seven fours and six sixes off just 88 deliveries he enabled Grappenhall to declare on 208-7 after just 45 overs with maximum batting points in the bag.
Brooklands reply was steady, but they lost opener John Birchall through injury, and then their first wicket at 30. Thereafter Grappenhall dominated the proceedings with Sam Guest maintaining his excellent start to the season taking 5-19 off 11 overs by relying on the virtues of a full length and swing.
He was ably supported by Steve Titchard and then Dan Hawke came back to mop up the tail with 3-14, as Brooklands subsided to 77 all out.
Possibly the only blot on the overall Grappers performance were a number of spilled catches early on, but to be fair it was a distinctly cold day which may have been a contributor to this.
Grappenhall 2nd went down for the second time in succession, but showed considerable fighting spirit against Hyde.
They were asked to bat first on a green seamer at Broad Lane and were soon in trouble at 66-6. Rob Slater played a brave and thoughtful innings of 39, aided by Lancs youngster Luke Williams who was last out for 34.
The pair helped Grappenhall to reach 135 - a difficult total to defend.
The visitors got off to a steady start but once Grappers got among the wickets, Luke Horsfield taking 3-39 and vice captain Jack Critchley 2-20, an unlikely victory became possible.
Sadly it was not to be, with the Hyde opener scoring a patient 48 to take his side close to victory. The visitors reached 136-7 with five overs to spare.
Warrington suffered a heavy defeat despite a good performance which saw opponents Congleton all out for a odest 141. Simon Hewitt took 6-23 and Matt Adams 3-48.
But Warrington's batsmen failed miserably and the side were back in the pavilion for a paltry 55.
In the Meller Braggins Cheshire League, Lymm Oughtrington Park suffered a disappointing defeat at Aston.
The home side batted first and were held to 114-8 declared, Phil Whelan taking 5-35 and Karl Wright 3-42. But Lymm's batsmen found the going tough and could only muster 91.
Stretton had an exciting three-run victory against visiting Langley.
Batting first, Stretton were dismissed for a modest 109, A Malik hitting 31. But Langley were dismissed for 106, A Amir taking 7-41 for Stretton.
In the Cheshire Alliance, Appleton lost out in a low-scoring match against Frodsham - thanks largely to a fine all-round performance by Frodsham's Ben Large.
His top scored with 32 out of his side's 111 all out, Mark Done contributing 27.
Then Large took six wickets as Appleton were bowled out for 90.
Appleton 3rd held out for a draw after their bowlers had been put to the sword by Chester Asians, who hammered 213.
Appleton were hanging on at 80-8 at the close, opener Marcus Pepper top scoring with 17.
Rylands were tumbled out for 48 by Trinity, Geoff Shaw, 15, being the only batsman to reach double figures. Trinity proceeded to 49-3, Nathan Lowe taking 2-17.