Halebank 2, Moorfield 0: LAST year's beaten finalists Halebank savoured a solid start in their bid to go one better.
They were ahead in their Group One opener inside just five minutes with midfielder Dave Moorehead on target.
The game was evenly balanced despite Moorfield's early setback, with both teams twice hitting the woodwork.
Elliot Eyo troubled Halebank's defence but Richie Smith and John McWhinnie blocked his prospective path into the box.
Moorfield finally settled the tie with 15 minutes left when Richard Broth-erstone slotted home the cross which resulted from a Stephen Lewis free-kick.
Keepers Andy Lindsky and Moor-field's John Kennedy made some fine saves.
St Michael's 2 Cronton Villa 2: A repeat of last year's semi-final - this time at St Michael's new pitch and facilities - this Group One tie was very competitive.
Referee Dave Ellis had to be on top of his game to control it.
St Mike's opened their account with a well-worked goal from Paul Hughes but Cronton's comeback efforts were rewarded with a fine looping header by Kevin Gould, after a pinpoint cross from Craig Price at the corner flag.
St Michael's continued to attack the Cronton defence with their lively frontrunners getting their just deserts when Matty Craig slotted home from five yards.
This in turn brought Cronton back to life and from a free-kick 30 yards out, Mark Stanton fired home a fierce and unstoppable shot.
Cronton thought they had hit a winner with seven minutes to go but the referee had blown for a push.
Matty Fitzsimons stood out on his Villa debut.
Avon Athletic 3, Halton Borough 0:
Avon ruthlessly punished Boro for failing to take good early chances after a lively start to this Group Two tussle.
The turning point was a Halton penalty miss midway through the second half when Avon had been only one up.
Athletic had looked dangerous on the break from the outset but keeper Jason Fogg kept them out until the 20th minute.
A spot-kick awarded after a sloppy challenge by Boro left-back Paul McKiernon was hammered home by Paul McGuinness to the keeper's left.
Boro were in turn presented with a spot-kick in the 65th minute when the ball bounced up on to the arm of an unsuspecting Paul McCormick
But Mike Higginson's effort went the wrong side of the left post.
Avon promptly got a fine solo goal from Chris Pearce after a run down the left. And as Halton pushed forward, Andy McCarron fired in a close-range third.
Borough's Jonathon Harrison injected pace but poor finishing was the side's undoing.
Widnes Bayer 2 Village 4: Village came from behind to take control in a Group Two match which had been too close to call at the start.
An end-to-end encounter featured a number of hard challenges and referee Eddie Brady had to produce some yellow cards. Bayer took the lead through Leon Phillips but this was short-lived.
Terry Roberts evened things up after good work down the Village right.
Chris Perryman continued to disrupt the Widnes defence and was rewarded with two goals. And his brother Paul grabbed the ball when a penalty decision was given to slot past Bayer keeper Mike Dwyer.
Widnes grabbed a consolation through Ste Faulkner. nCup organisers have congratulated Widnes Rec head groundsman Ron Chappell for the excellent condition of the Liverpool Road pitches and thanked the match officials from Widnes Referees' Society. nThis Saturday's Group One action sees St Michael's play Moorfield at St Michael's and Halebank take on Cronton Villa at Blackburn Avenue, Halebank.
Group Two action again focuses on Widnes Rec, where it's Widnes Bayer v Halton Borough and Avon Athletic v Mill Brow. All these matches kick-off at 3pm.
They are followed on Tuesday by two more Group Two games, Halton Borough v Mill Brow and Avon Athletic v Village. Both are at Widnes Rec (ko 6.30pm).