THE Murray Smith Accountants Cheshire County League's revamped Fred Graham Trophy gets under way with a first round tie between ECB Premier Division neighbours Chester Boughton Hall and Oulton Park at Filkins Lane tomorrow (6.15 pm).
The Twenty/20 competition features all 36 clubs and climaxes at Warrington on Sunday, August 14 when both semi-finals and the final will be staged.
In the First Division, Birkenhead Park's newly-arrived Pakistani leg-spinner Shahid Mahmood immediately made his mark against struggling Warrington. He took 6-41 to tumble Warrington out for 123.
Aussie Stuart Brohaska top-scored with 55 for Macclesfield, who also had Jason Knight (46) to thank for a useful tally of 184-9. Alsager were up for it and with 61 from University student Tom Smalley and 57 by stand-in skipper Ashwin Punja, Phil Cottrill (31 not out) and Mark French knocked off the runs.
Didsbury skipper Stuart Stoneman was the star of his club's first win since their demotion, by seven wickets in an 88 overs game at Heaton Mersey, who scored 134-7, Matthew Norbury 43, Stoneman 4-39. Dan Pugsley, 47, Mark Slater, 37 and Stoneman, 35 not out saw Didsbury home.
Winnington Park also won their first game, by 12 runs in a tight finish at Upton, whose batsmen remain out of form. Stuart Hayes 39 and Aiden Baker 30 helped Park limp to 125, Gary Dixon 5-27, Ian Linwood 4-15. Upton mustered only 113, James Cowell 5-46.
In Division Two, Timperley moved to the top following their 16 point draw at Congleton.
Timperley's star turn was Dominic Ball with a handy contribution of 57 to his side's 202-8, Rob Edwards 44, Andy Farr 4-68. Ball then took 4-27 to reduce Congleton to a 52-overs reply of 110-7, Adrian Dale 34.
Burnage almost achieved their first win at Tattenhall, where they enjoyed an 11-9 draw after posting 150, Stuart Heath 41, Gary Forster 5-37. Tattenhall had reached 143-9 at the close, Forster 37, S. Baig 7-42.
Brooklands wound up with a 14-9 draw against Grappenhall at George's Road after declaring at 181-7, Craig McTanney 50. Grappenhall responded with 148-9, Garry Edwards 4-46.
In the second round of the Cockspur Cup Dids-bury beat Prescot & Odyssey, Hyde beat High-field, Alderley Edge eliminated Huyton and Oxton triumphed at Rainhill where 14-year-old Andy Clarke took 4-39.