Trent Stirk scored an impressive century in Newcastle & Hartshill seconds’ comprehensive victory over Bignall End in NSSCL Division Four.
Hosts Castle were in imperious form with the bat as they piled up 253-3 from their 40 overs in the formative stages of the afternoon.
And it was Stirk who was the architect of that run spree as he compiled 107, off 112 balls, hitting 13 fours and two sixes along the way.
Ethan Brown was also in fine early-season form with an unbeaten 74, while Harry Ford added 39.
Bignall End’s reply started off solidly enough as Gareth Moulton (17) and Andrew Howle (15) led them to 32-0.
But the innings then fell apart in quick fashion as the visitors were routed for just 69.
Deacon Purcell’s 3-10 fronted the demise, but Thomas Onions, Harry Sapsford and Sam Bridgewater all took two wickets to highlight the unity in the Castle bowling ranks.
Rob Bennett produced a devastating spell of bowling to inspire Bagnall Norton seconds to victory at their Meir Heath counterparts.
Bennett captured 6-7 to leave Meir Heath all out for a mere 47.
Matthew Reynolds and Dave Evans chipped in with double strikes, while Bilal Iftacar top-scored with 13.
Nick Maskrey claimed 3-8 after the runaround, but 18 from Tony Dutton soon had Bagnall Norton celebrating a six-wicket win.
Elworth cruised to the points in their home meeting with Hem Heath thirds.
Four wickets apiece from Isaac Austin (4-22) and Daniel Roberts (4-25) unseated Hem Heath for 84, despite Farhar Ul Islam (20) offering some semblance of resistance.
Jack Jones claimed a couple of quick wickets in Elworth’s chase, but Tom Bamford’s unbeaten 40 and 23 not out from Joe Stephenson wrapped up an eight-wicket win for the Cheshire side.
Barlaston seconds won by the same margin on their journey to Moddershall & Oulton thirds.
A fine bowling display set Barlaston on the road to victory as they limited their hosts to 126 all out.
Elliot Wilson (4-24) and John Aked (4-30) shared eight of the wickets to fall.
Joe Hawkins (32) and Ishara Weerasinghe (24) were the only Modd men to make headway against the visitors’ attack.
Barlaston broke the back of the target thanks to openers Leigh Matthews and Rob Aked, who put on 115.
Matthews ended up unbeaten on 66, hitting 10 fours, with Aked dismissed for 53 with the winning line firmly in sight.
Porthill Park thirds had few concerns in wining on their trip to Silverdale seconds. Ben Hardy’s 11 was the principal contribution to Silverdale’s disappointing 80 all out.
James Cope (3-11) was in fine form with the ball for Porthill Park, aided by Matthew Mason’s double strike.
Matt Smith took a couple of wickets of his own after tea, but they were the only successes for the hosts.
Mathew Guest (43no) and Chris Matthews (33no) did the necessary to seal the points.
Onneley made home advantage count to defeat Stone SP thirds.
Stone SP thirds put up a strong challenge, though, after posting 167-9 from their allocation.
William Farmer’s 47 and 40 from Gareth Jones helped them on their way, while Adam Edwards (3-17) and Darren Walker (3-38) fronted the Onneley bowling effort.
Joel Davies, Tom Holdway and Corey Jones secured doubles in reply, but Jake Short (32), Walker (26) and Tim Goodwin (22) earned Onneley a two-wicket win.