AFTER an almost faultless campaign in 2017 in the Southport & District League, Sutton returned to the Liverpool Competition with a tricky trip to last seasons third place finishers Maghull.

On winning the toss, captain Mike Rimmer quite surprisingly opted to bowl first as he felt there was some moisture in the wicket that could be exploited early doors.

This proved to be the case as openers Noctor (returning to the club from Rainford) and Campbell restricted the hosts to 31 for 3. The introduction of spin seemed to only aid Sutton's dominance as Maghull found themselves in a precarious position at 71 for 7.

However, some clean striking from number 9 Molloy Jnr (47*) enabled Maghull to post a respectable 136 all out. Jamie Greener the pick of the bowlers for Sutton with figures of 4/36.

In reply Sutton faced a tricky 50 minute batting period before the tea interval and by the time that interval arrived Sutton had been blown out the water by the Maghull opening duo, reeling at 25/5.

After the tea interval things didn't get any better as Sutton were hanging on at 52/9.

Number 11 Campbell joined Gary Greener at the crease aiming to frustrate the home side while the later played positively.

Overs went by, Greener past his half century and the total was ticking over nicely, by the time the pair had put on a 50 partnership the home side start to look nervy, handing the pair a number of unforced over throws.

The pair safely pushed towards the target of 137 and when Greener flicked a full toss to the backward square boundary to level the scores an unlikely victory looked imminent, however the very next ball shattered the hearts of the away crowd as Greener was bowled for a well manufactured 90 and the scores were tied.

The second XI hosted Caldy at the New Street Oval in their first game of the season. Stand in captain Stevie Jordan won the toss and had no hesitation in inserting the visitors.

The captain took the new ball and very quickly obliterated the Caldy top order, leaving the visitors languishing at 16 for 5 in the blink of an eye.

A middle order rally pushed the score up to 60 for 6 however the returning duo of Dodd (2/12) and Moss (3/22) quickly wrapped up the innings for 65. Stevie Jordan the pick of the bowlers though finishing with figures of 3/14.

In reply the Caldy bowlers managed to sneak the occasional wicket, however the target was never going to be competitive and mature innings from Tom Nolan (32*) ensured the hosts came away with a comfortable seven wicket win.

The Sunday XI welcomed Lostock for the first time and captain Barnes also won the toss and chose to field first.

The Sutton bowling attack was far too strong for the visitors with no batsman managing to get to grips with the attack.

Debutant Alex Oldfield bagged himself three wickets and Bolton and Geaney also picked up a brace as the visitors staggered to 52 all out.

Pattenden (16*) and Anders (15*) got the hosts over the line inside 10 overs for an emphatic 8 wicket win.