Division One: THE disappearance upwards of Middlewich and Weaverham and downwards of Oakmere has left DAVENHAM as Mid Cheshire's sole representatives in the Meller Brag-gins Cheshire League First Division.
And they don't plan to hang around much longer. Skipper Phil Sharples believes this could be their year.
They have had success at 2nds and youth level in recent seasons and the work put into the junior section could benefit the 1st XI now.
'We are a young side and they have got more experience now. Promotion is the aim,' he said.
Davenham are boosted by the return of batsmen Mike Kouris after injury and Dave Massey, who took a season out.
During the winter, they have refurbished the clubhouse, groundsman's shed and scorebox at Butcher's Stile.
Davenham show off their improvements to Runcorn on Saturday.
AFTER two years fighting off relegation in Division Two, WINSFORD believe they are on the verge of better things.
But winning five of the final six games last season won't tempt coach Mark Nicholas into predicting promotion.
He said: 'We have assembled a good squad and the form book suggests we have turned the corner. The juniors we promoted matured over the season and came good at the end.
'We do expect our usual rollercoaster ride of results. What we don't expect is to be involved in a relegation battle again.'
They welcome back Barry Crellin - 30 wickets and 800 runs with the club in 2002 - and he could be the key to their prospects.
Nicholas is more forthcoming about other teams at Knight's Grange and anticipates the 2nds and four junior sides all competing for honours.
Screens bought with a £1,600 grant will grace Knight's Grange when the 1st XI start against Bowdon Vale.
One of 2003's biggest surprises was that OAKMERE were relegated.
On paper they looked far too good to go down - and now they look good enough to bounce straight back up.
And that is the target at Overdale Lane - especially as they celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer.
To help them, they have welcomed Chris Leech from Winnington Park. His experience could be a key factor.
Saturday's home match against Lindow will give the first indications.
BARNTON are overdue some success and 2004 could be their year, making up for the disappointments in Division Three of last September.
Captain Steve Yarwood recalls: 'We hadn't been out of the top two all season until the last couple of weeks.
'A lot of lads had not been in that position before and did not know how to see the games out.
'But there is a good feeling here. We had a good season even if we did run out of steam; we have had a good turnout, have got more senior players and there are a few possible signings whose names I don't want in the paper just yet.'
Barnton, however, have lost stalwart Jeff Langham, who has retired, and Graham Coull is also likely to hang up his pads. But among their newcomers is a Sri Lankan who has moved to Cheshire.
'He bats, bowls and looks useful. He might well go straight into the first team,' said Yarwood.
Barnton test the scoreboard erected over the winter against Ashley on Saturday.