Champions JG Meakins and new boys Hem Heath and Elworth have found out their North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Premier Cricket League Premier Division fixtures for 2022.
Meakins ended their four-year wait for a title last year when they edged Longton to the crown by five points.
They begin their defence at home to Bagnall Norton on April 23 while Division 1 champions Hem Heath travel to Moddershall & Oulton.
Fellow promotion achievers Elworth face Leek away from home on the opening weekend as they compete in the top-flight for the first time since 2018.
Former champions Porthill Park will play Stone on the road while Longton take on Burslem.
Talbot Cup winners Cheadle host Checkley to complete the opening weekend clashes.
Clashes to look out for
Meakins and Longton first face off on June 11 at the Dave Kettle Memorial Ground before the reverse fixture on August 27.
Leek, who secured final day survival last year, take on Hem Heath on the second weekend prior to facing off against Elworth on July 9. These games may give an early indication on how Leek will fair this time around.
Elworth and Hem Heath first meet on June 18 before their second encounter takes place on September 3 – two weeks prior to the end of the campaign.
It’s another potentially crucial match with both vying for survival in their maiden season back.
Longton conclude their 2022 season against big-hitters Porthill while Meakins host Burslem – two matches that could ultimately shape the destiny of the title race.
Elsewhere on September 17, Cheadle host Stone, Checkley take on Hem Heath, Leek play Bagnall Norton and Elworth travel to Moddershall & Oulton.
Meakins, Porthill and Longton are the favourites for the title, the latter coming runners up for the past two seasons.
Checkley have an outside chance while Cheadle will be hoping to improve on their disappointing seventh-place finish in 2021.
Leek’s main aim will be to not get dragged into a relegation fight again while Stone, Moddershall, Burslem and Bagnall Norton will see a top-half finish as relative success.
That said, who knows what the season may throw up in its many unexpected twists and turns.
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