CHESTER Boughton Hall brought the cricket season to life with a century and a hat-trick last Saturday.
Revelling in the Macclesfield sunshine, teenager Warren Goodwin blasted the club's first senior ton for three years and then Cheshire spinner Robin Fisher grabbed his first hat-trick to clinch victory in their Murray Smith Cheshire County League match.
Following the departure of Eddie Roberts and Adam Bull, it was Andy Bennion who played the anchor role to Goodwin as the 17-year-old Birkenhead School pupil finished on an unbeaten 112.
Bennion's 66 was full of good placement in an undefeated stand of 173, which allowed skipper Alex Kegg to declare on 227-2.
Opening breakthroughs from Kegg and Kristian Rogers reduced the home team to 30-3 and Fisher's left-arm spin made that 40-4.
A rally from Macclesfield took them to 149-7 with 12 overs to go, but Fisher chose that moment to take his first hat-trick. His final figures of 6-18 off 15.4 overs helped send the hosts back for 149.
Chester completed a weekend double by beating Upton in the first round of the Cheshire Cup. The game ebbed and flowed dramatically with the Wirral side playing a full part in an entertaining game.
Kegg (3-15) and Rogers made early inroads and Steve Ogilby's direct-hit run-out reduced the home team to 50-5.
The foot was taken off the pedal at this stage and Upton grabbed the opportunity. Sloppy fielding and positive batting pushed the score up to 164ao.
Saturday's run-getters succumbed early and Chester were also reduced to 50-5 before Matt Griffiths (58no), Tom Ducker and Kegg steered the team home by three wickets and a trip to Cheadle or Timperley in the next round.
The seconds hit 233-9 (Jonty Hedgecoe 66, Tom Ducker 57, Phil Thomas 34) in a 31-run victory over Bramhall (Martin Thornton 4-29, Dan Riley 3-38) and the fourths beat Warrington by eight wickets (Ian Thistlewood 35no, Cliff Mallows 3-4).
Chester's first team are at home to second-placed Oulton Park in a Premier Division match tomorrow.