Sale first XI moved top of Cheshire County League Division One after their fourth straight win against Bramhall on Saturday.

Hosts Sale won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first and got off to the perfect start as Mat Spells ran out Rhys Mallard with the score on three.

Greg Dixon (55) and Liam Molloy (41) added 81 for the second wicket, but the Sale bowlers kept the run rate in check.

Twin spin attack of Isaac Brooks and Will Valentine took two wickets each as Bramhall closed on a below-par 176-6 in 50 overs.

Pat Ashling got Sale off to a confident start with a breezy 23 before he was caught. James Dodds was next to go, run out for 27 after he had added 35 with Tyrone Lawrence for the second wicket.

Despite losing two partners cheaply, Lawrence anchored the Sale reply, adding 79 for the fifth wicket with Gareth Davies (32).

When Davies fell, Sale needed just 18 runs that Lawrence knocked off with Brooks to finish on a fine 68 not out with eight overs to spare in a match sponsored by the Players Coaching Academy.

Sale second XI suffered a six-wicket reverse at Didsbury after only mustering 118-9 in their innings. Didsbury coasted home for the loss of four wickets, two2 of which fell to Paolo Manfredi on debut.

On Sunday, Sale’s thirds kickstarted their season with a four-wicket win against Toft. Toft closed on 192-9, Lionel Thompson the leading bowler with 5-38, well supported by Gareth Watterson 3-19.

Watterson then showed his all-round abilities with 73 and Dattu Vadakutte was agonisingly run out for 49 as Sale got home for the loss of six wickets.

The club’s fourths had a comfortable win at Langley, who were bowled out for 48 after Sale had posted 113-8 in a reduced 29 overs. Jonny Saunders was the leading bowler with 3-6.

On Saturday, Sale’s first XI visit Romiley.