By and large in was a good weekend for Cheshire League sides as they impressed in their respective cup competitions. Whaley Bridge started their defence of their Derbyshire Cup crown with a 4-2 over Rowsley 86 in a repeat of last year’s final. The win was Whaley’s fourth on the bounce but was far from straightforward as they battled with a dogged Rowsley side. Mark German put Whaley one up but the visitors equalised shortly after before Joe Armstrong scored to ensure that the hosts went into the break 2-1 ahead. They extended their lead in the second half courtesy of captain Bill Sutton before Rowsley responded to make it 3-2. The win was made safe by Jason Broome who, having missed the last two matches, scored Whaley’s fourth of the afternoon. In the CCFA Cup second round Altrincham Reserves smashed six past Old Stoconians to advance to the third round while in the same competition Knutsford travelled to West Kirby and won 6-3. In the LFA Sheild FC St Helens shared eight goals with Lytham Town before winning 5-3 on penalties to book their place in the third round. In the league Congleton spurned their chance to go back to the top of the league as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Greenalls Padgate. Greenalls took a 2-1 lead into the break thanks to a brace from Ben McWilliams but a second half equaliser from Jon Proudlove, adding to Oliver Griffiths first-half strike, ensured the spoils were shared. Saturday’s other Premier Division fixture pitted Billinge agaisnt a vastly improved Middlewich side and it was they who ran out 5-0 winners to make it four wins on the spin. The visitors led 1-0 at half time thanks to a Dean Burgess goal and scored four in the second half to wrap up the points; James Smith, Rory Gorton and Steven Hughes (2) with the goals after the break. League One sides also fared well in the cup as both Cheadle Town Reserves and Denton Town beat opposition from different leagues. Cheadle edged out Poulton Royal 1-0 in the CCFA Cup thanks to a Keith Blake goal while Denton thrashed Dom Doyle FC 5-1 in the snappily named FOOTY.COM Manchester FA Saturday Challenge Trophy. Malpas had no such luck when they travelled to Heswall in the CCFA Cup and lost 2-0. Vulcan made the trip to Orford and won 4-1 in the afternoons only league fixture; Scott Walker, Mike Winer and a brace from substitute Ben Crowe with the goals in a comfortable win. In cup matters for the CFL’s League Two sides Holmes Chapel Hurricanes bounced back after defeats in their last two games to advance to the third round of the CCFA Cup with a penalty shootout win over Newton of the Wirral. A double from Joe Clarke and another from Sam Hatcher meant that the game ended 3-3 after normal time before the hosts snatched it 5-4 on spotkicks. In another CCFA Cup second round tie Newton Athletic travelled to Wilmslow Albion and won 3-1. In the LCFA Junior Cup Parklands made light work of Widnes Dragons with a 6-0 win away from home whilst in the same competition Knowsley dispatched Marine Reserves 3-0. This weekend’s two league matches saw a change at the top of the table. First Mersey Valley went second with a 3-1 success at home to Rylands Reserves (Ben Wild, Remmi Williams and James Kennedy with the goals). With leaders Knowsley in cup action Winnington knew that a win over strugglers Hartford would be enough to take a two-point lead at the summit of League Two and they did just that; goals from Craig Humphries, Ben Lambert and Alex Lowe took them top with a 3-0.