HALE Barns' first XI tasted defeat for the first time in seven matches in all competitions after a disappointing display against Tattenhall in Cheshire County Cricket League Division Two.

Barns suffered a disastrous start as they collapsed to 17-4, with opening bowlers Charlie Dearling and Ben Pearce in devastating form with the new ball.

Khurram Hussain and Nick Lathbury provided brief respite, but the pair could only add 30 together before Lathbury succumbed to Pearce (2-45) for 15.

Hussain continued to battle on and was joined by captain Ben Hicks, with the duo playing with unfamiliar caution in a bid to occupy the crease for an extended period.

However, Hussain’s 52-ball resistance was ended when he was caught and bowled by Aamir Afzal for 28, while Hicks reached the same total before departing with the score on 91-7.

First-team debutant Ben Motamed (21) and Joe Fretwell-Walsh (19) fought valiantly in an attempt to play out the overs, but Dearling (4-29) returned to the attack and removed both, while Afzal (2-35) doubled his tally as the visitors slumped to a below-par total of 130 all out from 43 overs.

Barns did threaten to put pressure on when they made an early breakthrough through Hicks with just seven runs on the board, but Muhammad Umer and Afzal steadied the ship with a partnership of 58.

With Tattenhall seemingly cruising to victory, the hosts suffered a wobble as Umer was dismissed by Joe Cooper for a quickfire 38 off 32 balls, while Motamed (2-25) took two wickets in quick succession, including Afzal (30) to pull Barns back into contention at 71-4.

However, Cooper (2-42) was only able to claim one further victim and Waqar Hussain’s breezy 40 not out guided Tattenhall to the required target inside 23 overs with five wickets in hand.

Elsewhere, the second XI moved a step closer to the Cheshire Cricket League Division A title with a winning draw against Lymm Oughtrington Park.

Clive Collins continued his exceptional consistency with the bat with an unbeaten century, while Tom Entwistle (55) and Sam Smith (34) both made contributions to steer Barns to 220-5.

However, 75 from Arvind Pillai and Jack Hughes’ 39no meant the runaway leaders were denied an eighth successive home win.