GROVES captain Mike Caulfield couldn’t hide his disappointment as his side fell to a four-wicket defeat to Trafford Metrovics at Chester Road.

The home side were bowled out for just 97 before Trafford got themselves up to the below-par target, despite making hard work of the chase.

The result was the second TACS Partnership Cheshire League defeat in a row for Caulfield’s side, and the skipper made no excuses for his side's poor showing.

“We just didn’t turn up with the bat today,” Caulfield said. “The two opening bowlers for Trafford were good and didn’t give a lot to hit but we played some poor shots in losing wickets.”

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Groves soon found themselves in trouble as they lost opener Nick Brimble with just a single run on the board.

The home side’s innings never got going from there, with regular wickets falling as they struggled towards a competitive total. Despite some resistance from Mark Evans (21) and Neil Percival (15), the Groves could only limp to 97 from 43.4 overs.

In reply, Trafford threatened to run away with the game as their openers put on 53 for the first wicket. But Mike Garvey (3-25) and Vipul Jindal (3-31) managed to peg the away side back as the Groves searched for an unlikely win.

There were never enough runs for the bowlers to defend though, and Trafford crossed the finish line after 31 overs with four wickets to spare.

Caulfield ended the game fairly pleased with his side’s showing in the field, but was unhappy with their performance with the bat.

He said: “We gave it a great effort with the ball and in the field, I couldn’t fault the boys at all in that area.

“But we were at least 30 runs short. A score of 120 plus would have made for an interesting game that we could have won.

“We’re missing a few players at the minute but the lads who’ve come in should be able to do a job for us.”

The Groves, who remain fifth in the table, travel to in-form Barrow on Saturday.