Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors, insisted the county could not have hoped for a better start to their Unicorns Championship season after skittling Cheshire for just 89 to seal victory by 166 runs.

Oswestry all-rounder Warrick Fynn and former Middlesex seamer Gurjit Sandhu shared seven wickets between them before lunch on the final day at a sweltering Shifnal.

Then Bridgnorth leg spinner Sam Whitney got in in the act with three quick wickets afterwards to wrap up an excellent win.

It was quite a turnaround given Shropshire had trailed by 70 runs at the halfway stage, but a century from captain Steve Leach helped them recover on day two ahead of an inspired bowling display which sparked a Cheshire collapse.

“That’s as good a performance, I guess, from a 70 run deficit that you could hope for,” said Jones. “We got on top but I don’t think anybody would have called it that we would bowl them out for 89.

“Having said that, we showed a lot of character and application to get back in the game on the second afternoon with Steve’s hundred and two or three partnerships under pressure that gradually broke them down.

“Then the little partnership on the final morning left them chasing 256 and made it harder work for them. They kept looking up at the scoreboard, so you’re under pressure, and our two opening bowlers both did so well.

“The captain made a good call in opening with Warrick, the left-armer, with a bit of help from the wicket, bowling into some rough, and Gurjit bowled fantastically, probably the best I’ve seen him bowl for Shropshire.

“He bowled with good pace, intimidating. He bowled in the right areas, took three early wickets, and we never looked back."

“It was a complete performance as we caught some good catches and everybody’s contributed again. We couldn’t have asked for a better start in the Championship."

Set a victory target of 256, Cheshire were quickly reduced to 55-7. There was to be no way back, with Shropshire completing victory so soon after lunch.

Shropshire lead by 226 runs overnight before being dismissed with Sandhu made early inroads into Cheshire's top order by grabbing three quick wickets.

Left-arm spinner Fynn (4-42) then took the next four wickets to fall before lunch as Shropshire sparkled in the sunshine.

Skipper Leach, having been presented with his county cap by former Shropshire captain John Foster ahead of the game, anchored the home side’s second innings.

The opener eventually fell just before the close of play on day two for 104, which came off 207 balls and included nine fours.

But the last day was to be dominated by in-form Shropshire.

“There’s a long way to go and the two competitions we’re in are very difficult to win,” added Jones. “We know that, but from preparation and planning and where we wanted to be at this stage, I suppose we’re right there, so it’s very pleasing.

“Big credit to the players as they’re trying really hard and it’s going to plan.”