After reaching the semi finals of the T20 competition, it was more white ball cricket with the NCCA KO Trophy across 50 overs. Cheshire last won the trophy at Wormsley in 2018 and were runners-up at Lords in 2007.
There were four groups of five with Cheshire placed alongside Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Shropshire and Suffolk.
A change at the helm too with Rob Sehmi taking over from 2021 captain, Will Evans.
First off it was an awkward and long journey to an in-form Cambridgeshire at Exning Park just outside Newmarket. Cheshire had been humbled at the same venue 12 months earlier and once again came home empty handed.
The home batsmen made hay in what little sun there was to pile on 391-7 against a weakended bowling attack. Oulton Park's Andrew Dufty took 2-52 on debut.
Facing such a daunting task, the Cheshire batsmen put up a decent fist of things, eventually all out for 294 to lose by 97 runs. Alex Money completed his highest Cheshire score with 96 and Sam Perry made 73.
It was back to winning ways in the second game as Cheshire beat Norfolk by six wickets at Chester Boughton Hall. Norfolk's 248-8 saw Rick Moore take 3-56 on his home ground and another two wickets for Dufty (2-29). Mike Finan was in the wickets too - 2-49.
Will Evans hit an outstanding unbeaten 103 in the Cheshire reply, this on the ground he scored a record 183 against Lincolnshire in their 2018 winning year. 59 from Rob Sehmi too.
Another win at Wem against Shropshire set up a grandstand finish to the group. Having already overcome their hosts twice in T20 games this year, it was three from three with a four wicket win.
Shropshire made 228 with a fiery Chris Sanders grabbing 3-36, Jack Williams 2-37 and Mike Finan 2-32. Sehmi (52) and Perry (43) led the way again with some Sanders fireworks at the end in a quickfire 23 seeing the visitors home.
All to play for in the final game as Didsbury hosted Cheshire and Suffolk. A Cheshire win would see them through to the quarter finals. Not to be though as they fell 67 runs short of Suffolk's 304.
Sehmi used seven bowlers in all with Bowdon's Rob Lord debuting. Luke Young took 4-18 while local hero Nick Anderson landed 3-64.
The run chase stuttered though once Sehmi (73) was third to go, unluckily run out on 131.
So not to be for Cheshire who, as is often the case, could point to unavailibility as a key factor in the run. Sehmi's side could hold their heads high though with two wins and two losses, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk both deservedly progressing.
To be continued...