2019 season

Team-by-team guide

Cheshire League

Sports writer Andrew Simpson casts his eye over what has been a busy winter for clubs across mid Cheshire as they prepare for a new season.

Oakmere return to the top-flight, joining Barnton, Kingsley and Weaverham following their relegation from the Cheshire County League at the end of last summer.

Middlewich and Winnington Park will both be looking to improve on last year's showings.


Division One

Captain James Hodgkinson

Simon Hancock’s decade-long reign as first-team captain has ended, leaving James Hodgkinson to take over.

Brilliant batsman Sam Connap, who amassed more than 700 runs last season, is replaced by fellow Aussie Brayden Tracey who hails from Melbourne.

Matthew Bebbington returns after a six-year absence and wicket-keeper Matt Gosnall is on board too after moving to the area.

The 2018 season was one of struggle, and Barnton only secured their position in the top-flight late on, but they can be more optimistic this time around.

Last season

League 9th

T20 Cup Second round


Division One

Captain Ben Stoddart

The Crofters set a high bar with an impressive finish on their top-flight debut and a repeat would be welcome.

They must be wary though of Barnton’s second season toils after they did similarly well in 2016 following promotion from the second division.

Stability is key, and they have kept together a group that has progressed steadily, but Aussie all-rounder Hayden Lanza – 500-plus runs and 41 wickets in the league last season – is a tough act to follow.

Last season

League 5th

T20 Cup Quarter-finals


Division One

Captain Craig Phelan

Oakmere return to the Cheshire League's highest level for the first time since 2014 following their title success last summer.

They have replaced one South African overseas star with another, although Matthew De Villiers has big shoes to fill following Slade Mitrovich's stunning campaign that saw him score more than 1,000 runs.

Skipper Craig Phelan will not have Matty Norton available as often as he'd like because the bowler has work commitments, but Joe Roddis takes on some of the burden he carried in 2018.

Last season

League 1st (promoted from Division Two)

T20 Cup Third Round


Division One

Captain Jake Lightfoot

The Russets have suffered back-to-back relegations and their primary aim is to halt that slide.

That won’t be easy after skipper Ian Eaton, their most reliable batsman, stood down while Jonny Littler and Jack Oldham have left to join Oulton Park.

However captain Jake Lightfoot, encouraged by the application he has seen during winter nets, knows a positive start can start to rebuild damaged confidence.

Last season

League 12th (relegated from the Cheshire County League's Division Two)

T20 Group stage


Division Two

Captain Nick Gill

After arresting an alarming fall that saw them demoted in three successive seasons, Middlewich start a new campaign with optimism renewed.

Nick Gill takes over from Phil Parry as skipper, but he will still be able to call on his predecessor as a bowler.

However Middlewich must improve at the crease – no player made it beyond 400 runs in 2018 – in order to avoid another battle at the wrong end of the table.

Last season

League 10th

T20 Cup Second round

Winnington Park

Division Two

Captain Alec Butcher

Winnington had hoped to be a contender for promotion last season but couldn’t find the consistency to keep pace with rivals ahead of them.

That will be where they are looking to improve most, while youngsters Sam Barnes and Peter Room are making encouraging progress.

Jonny Wales remains an integral figure, a fact borne out by his return of 463 runs and 41 wickets in 2018.

Last season

League 7th

T20 Cup Second round


Division Four

Captain Ben Crellin

Winsford are another side under new leadership after Ben Crellin stepped up to replace Mike Dean.

His initial target will be to improve on a tally of five league wins last time out, while a decision not to run a second team may increase competition for places at Knights Grange.

Crellin was also a reliable figure with both bat and ball, scoring more than 300 runs and claiming 20 wickets, something he will hope to be again this time around.

Last season

League 11th

T20 Cup First round

T20 Plate First round