NANTWICH was the venue for Cheshire's first three-day defeat in more than two years.
Andy Hall's team lost by five wickets against Dorset at Whitehouse Lane, their first reverse since June 15 2004.
Resuming 136 ahead and with just two wickets in hand, the hosts only managed to add two more runs to their overnight tally and left Dorset needing 139 for victory.
Heaton Mersey pace ace John Farrow returned figures of 3-63 in his first county game of the season, but 57 from Darren Cowley saw Dorset over the winning line.
Hall said: 'I'm very disappointed we lost, but we didn't score enough runs in our first innings.
'There was some very pleasing individual performances, but 139 is not a very big total and Dorset were always favourites to get it.'
Cheshire's best performers were Nathan Dumelow, the former Derbyshire all-rounder who scored a brilliant 156 in Cheshire's second innings, while Neston's Chris Finegan claimed three wickets and an un-beaten 72.
Hyde's James Duffy finished the match with 74 runs.
The JW Lees-sponsored Cheshire side next host Herefordshire at Alderley Edge in their fourth three-day game of the season starting on Sunday.