Killoran sparkles as Cheshire spin to win
By Jim Law
7 wickets for Cheshire's teenage ace (Left and Centre) and another hundred for Rick Moore who receives his county cap from Skipper Dan Woods (Right).
Unicorns Championship Western Division: Cheshire 280 & 135, Cornwall 158 & 217. Cheshire won by 40 runs. Cheshire 23 points, Cornwall 4 points.
Defending champions Cheshire chalked up a fine victory with a much changed side against Cornwall.
Without several regulars, Danny Woods' side triumphed in an intriguing game dominated by the spinners.
A turning Alderley Edge pitch saw Chester Boughton Hall's Harry Killoran finish with figures of 7-103 from 43 overs in his first championship match. The Derbyshire Academy youngster was composed and impressive throughout as his side overcame a strong fight back on the last morning to secure the win.
With injuries and work commitments ruling out the likes of Khalid Sawas, James Duffy, Warren Goodwin, Chris Tipper and Jack Williams, Woods - so successful at the helm last year - introduced Bramhall's Vishal Tripathi as an opening bat and Toft's England under 19 starlet from Lancashire Academy, Rob Jones as an all-rounder.
Runs looked a premium from the off as Cheshire won the toss and batted first and whilst Tripathi (16) and Jones (25) settled well, the inform Rick Moore followed up his century in the KO Trophy the previous week with an outstanding 122, well supported by local, Calum Rowe (47).
Veteran Pakistan test player Shakil Ahmed showed a sign of things to come as the slow left armer took 5-88.
Killoran's 5-64 helped restrict the Cornwall reply to 158 but Cheshire's surge to set a match winning total was checked as they again struggled against Ahmed (4-60) and Neil Ivamy (4-37). A feisty 54 from Lee Dixon steadied the ship in a total of 135 and proved vital as the pitch became lower and slower.
With Cornwall at 72-4 overnight, there was anticipation of Cheshire spinning to victory convincingly but the visitors had other ideas.
Solid contributions from Matt Rowe (59) and Paul Smith (22) gave great support to what threatened to be a match winning innings from Christian Purchase who decided attack was the best form of defence. Purchase suddenly forced sight of an unlikely victory until Jones crucially had hit caught on the boundary for 91 with 42 required and three wickets remaining. Woods then upped the ante before fittingly, Killoran grabbed the final wicket.
Woods was understandably delighted that his side had pulled off the win and that Cheshire continue to blood youth at the top level. "Harry (Killoran) was outstanding," he said. "He bowled with real maturity and is learning all the time. Three day cricket can be tough but Harry took it in his stride and we're delighted he made such an impact.
"It was great too to have Vishal and Rob in the side. Both contributed with bat and ball and we've got some real talent around this team."
Next up for Cheshire is a long haul to Sidmouth, Devon, two weekends running. First up a three day championship match (6-8 July) followed by a KO Trophy semi-final (13 July).
Cheshire v Cornwall full scorecard