CHESTER BOUGHTON HALL head into Saturday’s home showdown with champions Nantwich on the back of a confidence-boosting cup win.

After rain washed out the whole of the Cheshire County League fixture list on Saturday, groundsman Alex Kegg worked wonders to get the Filkins Lane ground ready for Sunday’s Club Championship win over Longton.

George McCormick (2-25) Charlie Fleet (2-17) restricted the Staffordshire visitors to 145 for nine from 40 overs before Alex Money led Hall’s response with a fine 53, opening with Jamie Crawley, who hit 21.

New signing Lloyd Aspin also made 21 with Ollie Law’s unbeaten 20 seeing Chester over the line at 149 for four with 11 overs to spare.

The reward for Rick Moore’s side is a trip to Nantwich next month.

That makes tomorrow’s Premier League encounter a dress rehearsal and the chance for Chester to gain revenge on the team who pipped them to the title last September.

Nantwich captain Ray Doyle is looking forward to his side’s title defence and said: “It was an incredible year, definitely one of my best seasons in cricket. We did really well as a unit - it wasn’t just one person.”

Key players last season Niall O’Brien and Ollie Freckingham have both moved on although Lancashire skipper Liam Livingstone will be free to play for Nantwich again when he’s available.

“Niall and Freck leaving was a decision made by both sides. They were brilliant for us, but we’ve elected not to have a professional this year,” Doyle told The Sentinel.

“Liam is also registered with us. He speaks to the lads and drops in now and again. He messaged to say that when he’s back from the IPL he might be available.

“When he’s around that’s ace, but we’re not building our side around him and thinking ‘we need him for this game’. When he’s available that’s a bonus.

“But you want teams coming at you because you’re champions, it’s much better that way than being also-rans.