Future looks good as Cheshire prepare to defend three day crown
By Jim Law

Herefordshire v Cheshire at Colwall, June 8,9,10 2014

After early season success and qualifying for the knock out stages of the Unicorns KO Trophy - finishing top and unbeaten in their group - Cheshire switch their attention to the three day format as they take on Herefordshire at Colwall.

Western Division winners in 2013 and then memorably taking the Minor Counties Championship against Cambridgeshire at Wisbech last September was one of the highlights for the Club in recent years.

And skipper James Duffy is licking his lips at the opportunity to defend their title in 2014…

"2013 was a great season for the Club. We've been somewhat in transition over the last couple of years," he said, "and were ahead of schedule with last year's win. It's really got us buzzing though and to have a successful start in the one dayers has kept the momentum going."

The side has seen a few changes since last year or as Duffy prefers 'evolved'.

"We've a very strong league as a base and with youth coming through in all areas we're not afraid to blood young talent. I believe our positive selections have demonstrated that we're constantly looking to improve and not frightened to put youngsters in the firing line when appropriate."

One area Duffy particularly highlights is his young spin attack. "Of course Woodsy (Danny Woods) has been around for a while. He's a class act and had a stunning season last year. Jack Williams' leg spin became a real asset and with young Harry Killoran coming on, we've a spin attack as good as anyone.

"In the pace department, Adam Syddall remains on top of his game and although there is generally a dearth of out and out quickies across the county (and country!), we're closely monitoring some promising talent.

"Batting wise of course we've the likes of Khalid Sawas, Rick Moore and Warren Goodwin to name three and again, plenty of new opportunities. Moore and Goodwin, along with Lee Dixon have already scored centuries for us so far this season. Pat Roberts looks outstanding behind the stumps and is an admirable replacement for Johnny Kettle."

A demanding season will test the availability of some of Duffy's players - it's likely both he and Goodwin won't be available for all the games and that Danny Woods may lead again at some stage, "but with the quality at our disposal, we've a tremendous opportunity to do well again".

Can Cheshire retain their crown?

"It would be great," responds Duffy, "but harder than ever with everybody wanting to beat us. Rest assured though, we'll be giving it 110%"

Cheshire's three day programme starts at Colwall on 8 June, starting at 11.00am.

Here is the team

The full programme is:
June 8,9,10Herefordshire v Cheshire (Colwall)
June 22, 23, 24Cheshire v Cornwall (Alderley Edge)
July 6, 7, 8Devon v Cheshire (Sidmouth)
July 20, 21, 22Cheshire v Wales MC (Bowdon)
August 3, 4, 5Wiltshire v Cheshire (Salisbury)
August 17, 18, 19Cheshire v Oxfordshire (Nantwich)