OULTON Park sent a message to rivals hoping to wrestle away a Cheshire Cup title they won last season when they dispatched Marple on Sunday.

The holders restricted their Cheshire County League rivals to 157-8 with an efficient bowling display that featured contributions from captain Martyn East (2-32), Andy Hards (2-25) and Danny Leech (2-55).

Richard Smith (1-23) claimed a key fourth wicket to end a partnership worth 64 runs between Mike Schofield (54) and Andrew Paulett (26) after they had come together at 13-3.

SCORECARD > Oulton Park 161-0 Marple 157-8

The men from Little Budworth raced to their victory target inside 20 overs, led there by a maiden half-century in English cricket for Kiwi Nick Ward (70no) in tandem fellow opener Leech (73no off 55 balls).

Between them the duo struck 21 fours and four maximums to steer their side to the competition’s last 16.


Cheshire Cup

Sunday, May 19

First Round: Brooklands 165-4 Oxton 162-8; Grappenhall 192 Port Sunlight 219-7; Oulton Park 161-0 Marple 157-8; Stockport Georgians 229-7 Didsbury 378-7; Toft 188-5 Macclesfield 186-9.