NORTHOP HALL were just a handful of runs short of securing an opening day Liverpool Competition triumph on their travels.

Hall started their Division Two campaign at Southport Trinity and it was a day for the bowlers as the hosts took the plaudits by two wickets.

Batting first after losing the toss, Ben Slater’s Hall were all out for 95 in the 45th over. It could have been even worse for the visitors, who had been reduced to 53 for five and 71 for nine, however Matthew Jones (36) and Andrew Watkin (30 not out) helped to boost the tally. Dylan Rowley and Michael Roberti claimed five wickets apiece for Stockport Trinity, who then responded with a nervy 98 for eight.

Nathan Roett picked up five for 23 from his 12 overs.

Chester Boughton Hall enjoyed the perfect start to the Cheshire County League Premier Division season.

They triumphed by 94 runs at Toft despite being bowled out for 186 in Saturday’s opener. Andy Metcalf, who has returned from the club following a spell at Oulton Park, put his foot down with a top score of 61.

Captain Jack Williams then took centre stage, snaffling up 4-17 in six overs as Toft were skittled out for just 92 in 28.4 overs.

Rick Moore and Alex Townend also took two wickets apiece for Hall.

Wales National County North have announced the appointment of Chris Stead as their first head coach since forming in 2022.

Stead assumes coaching duties for the senior and U19s sides and he will work closely with team founder and manager Russell Penrhyn Jones and Cricket Wales head of talent pathway Matt Dando-Thompson.

Stead, who is head coach of the Denbigh senior men’s team, has a wealth of playing and coaching experience having represented Middlesex at junior representative level before establishing himself as a prolific batter for Hertfordshire Premier League side Cockfosters, scoring over 7,000 runs either side of a stint for Home Counties side North Mymms. He also had four seasons at Minor Counties level.