A DECISION by the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association to schedule knockout games for a different day appears to have had the desired effect.

Entries for this season’s Littler Cup, the competition’s 100th edition, have almost doubled compared to the previous campaign.

A draw published this week includes 57 teams, while only 32 took part last term.

The first two rounds take place before the start of a new league campaign.

“There were too many byes last season, and that’s not good,” chairman Ray Brandreth said to members during their annual meeting.

“We’ve taken note that there is often a clash with other leagues when games are fixed for a Monday or Tuesday, and I hope we get more clubs taking part as a result of trying something different.”

Officials have opted for a Friday, while games from the quarter-finals stage onwards will follow on a Sunday afternoon.

Holders Wharton Cons A have been paired with Sandbach Park, from the second division, in the preliminary round.

Rudheath A, runners-up last year, begin a bid to go one better when they meet Castle B.

Seven teams – Barnton Cricket Club A, Comberbach A, Cuddington A, Limes, Lostock Graylams, Winsford Cons A and Winsford Cons B – have a bye to the first round.

Draw (team handicap in brackets)

Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association

Littler Cup

Preliminary Round (to be played Friday, April 6): Barnton CC B (120) v Frodsham RL A (20); Castle B (45) v Rudheath A (30); Castle C (145) v Wharton Cons C (55); Comberbach C (110) v Moulton RBL B (145); Coppenhall WMC (70) v Castle A (scr); Crewe PO (30) v Crowton (145); Crosstown A (30) v Alsager (5); Davenham C (145) v Crosstown (80); Davenham D (145) v Lions Over Park (145); Frodsham RL B (35) v Wharton Cons B (35); Hartford A (105) v Winnington B (145); Hartford B (145) v Moulton RBL A (60); Hazel Pear A (75) v Hop Pole B (65); Helsby (60) v Wharton Rec (100); Kelsall A (65) v Hop Pole A (30); Meadowbank A (40) v Comberbach B (50); Meadowbank B (125) v Tarporley A (100); Middlewich CC (20) v Delamere (115); Owley Wood A (50) v Winnington A (70); Owley Wood C (95) v Owley Wood B (120); Rudheath B (45) v Frodsham RL C (55); Rudheath C (80) v Norley (115); Rudheath D (145) v Davenham B (100); Sandbach Park (60) v Wharton Cons A (scr); Tarporley B (145) v Davenham A (60).