Pro keeper Ollie Byrne is back playing cricket 13 years after quitting the sport to pursue a career in football.

And what an instant impact larger-than-life Ollie, aged 26, had making his comeback for Timperley seconds at Grappenhall.

He got a wicket in his first spell, made a spectacular catch - and top scored with an impressive 23 runs off 13 deliveries.

He marched off declaring defiantly: “I was just beginning to enjoy that!”

Byrne was with Manchester United’s academy at the age of 13 when, despite starring for the Cheshire county team and being offered a scholarship, he decided to stop playing cricket.

He left Old Trafford for Cardiff before moving to seven clubs - sometimes on loan in England and Wales - before joining Altrincham two years ago.

Latterly he’s been at Cork on loan and ended the season at Macclesfield.

He explained how he was inspired to have another go at cricket after watching Timperley beat Bowdon earlier this month in front of a 300-plus crowd at the ambitious club’s Stockport Road ground.

He said: “I only bought my whites 24 hours before my return and went in the nets two or three times. I really enjoyed it ... and should have batted further up the order than five!”

He enjoyed a significant partnership with another ex-pro footballer, Rob Matthews, who hit 18 - but apart from Arjun Amudalapalli, who hit 20, the rest of the team failed miserably with the bat and they were all out for 89, chasing the home side’s 127 all out.

Skipper Shahnawaz Khan said: “The batting, myself included, was generally bad compared with some great bowling. The problem was poor shot selection which we’ll be working on.”

Timperley firsts made a great start with the bat, also against Grappenhall, and skipper Ed Galley highlighted “gritty” batting from teenager Fred Vaughan-Hawkins and Jamie Matthews.

Galley said:” After losing the first wicket for 47, we consistently struggled on a pitch that was often exploding and popping from anywhere. We ended up bowled out for 118, which was a score we were confident in defending considering the state of the wicket.

“In reply, stalwarts Chris Page and Nathan Brown did the damage with some first-class bowling - Nathan took his 300th wicket for the firsts - an amazing achievement.

“Mixed with some great catching and bowling, we managed to bowl Grappenhall out for 68 in what was an important taking us up to sixth.”