BACK where they belong after a season in Division One, promoted Chester Boughton Hall have added three new faces to their first team squad as they aim to re-establish themselves in the county's top flight.
Heath Pritchard helped Chester win the championship in 2006, but he has been replaced with another Aussie, 23-year-old Shane Jones, as the club's pro.
A right-handed batsman and off-spin bowler, Melbourne-based Jones arrives in the UK from Footscray Edgewater CC. He toured Sri Lanka with Australia under 17s as well as representing Victoria at U17 level.
The experienced Jim Gillson has moved down the road from Christleton to Filkins Lane.
Recruited to bolster Hall's batting, Gillson will be a strong influence on the younger members of the club.
All-rounder Roger Smith has been signed from Bootle. Smith's dad Rod was a well-known player on the region's cricket scene and he enjoyed many scraps against Chester in the 1980s and 90s.
OULTON PARK completed a 'double double' last year - consecutive County League and Cheshire Cup triumphs - and look set to challenge again in 2007.
They have lost established bowl-ers Stewart Eaton and Chris Jones and leading bat Paul Berry, but in comes Cheshire cap Guy Emmett, captured from Bowdon, and two teenagers from the Little Bud-worth club's youth section - Jonny Kettle and Jimmy Guest.
Other clubs would be mistaken if they see the moves as a sign of weakness, according to Oulton Park spokesman Steve Yates.
He said: 'It is not a shift in policy. They are in the first team on merit and Oulton Park will still be the team to beat.
'We have got a very good side and players a cut above everybody else in the league. Some sides may fancy their chances but they would be wrong to see the promotions (of Kettle and Guest) as a chink. We'll be up there.'
Oulton Park officially open their new nursery ground in June.
With Gillson now at Boughton Hall, Matt Parkinson has taken over as skipper of CHRISTLETON.
He has a proven track record having led the club to promotion in 2004 and third place in the Premier Division in 2005.
Parkinson has strengthened his squad by recruiting Cheshire fast bowler Paul Allan and all-round-ers Paul Eastwood and Pilac Lamb. Trinidadian Darron Cruikshank returns for a third season at Little Heath.
Christleton's second team will be keen to carry on the form that saw them win promotion last season on the back of a 19-match unbeaten r un.
Brian Wareing will continue to juggle being captain of the seconds with his role as head groundsman.
Mal Joyce keeps control of the thirds.
An electric scoreboard has been installed ready for the new season and, in recognition of this, Christ-leton's Little Heath ground has been chosen to host Cheshire's match against Shropshire on May 20.
After finishing fourth-from-bottom last season, NESTON will be hoping for an improvement in 2007.
But they have already got off to a bad start, losing heavily in a warm-up match against Toft last weekend.
A patient half century from Jack Smith was the only batting highlight for Neston, who posted 154ao.
The Wirral club's bowling and fielding effort left those involved with much to ponder as Toft comfortably wrapped up victory.