Hyde high hopes dashed as record breaking performance in vain.
By Jim Law

Sunday 17 May 2015, Hyde CC
Cheshire CCC 364-9 (50 overs), Northumberland 125 (34.4 overs).
Cheshire won by 239 runs.


In the end, although records fell all around, Cheshire narrowly missed out on progressing to the knock out stages of the Unicorns Trophy.

With Lincolnshire winning a rain affected game at Cumberland late on Sunday evening, Cheshire were resigned to third place in Group 3.

All this on a day when records fell like nine pins.

Lee Dixon (above left) blasted his way to 161 to record a highest ever Cheshire individual score in the tournament, surpassing Warren Goodwin's 140 in 2010.

Dixon and Danny Berry (above right) added 103 for the sixth wicket - another record.

And Cheshire's 50 over total of 364-9 was a record total too.

The day started with such high hopes but in the end defeat in Cheshire's first game at Grantham cost them dear.

Winning the toss and looking for a big total, and quickly in case net run rate came into the equation, Cheshire batted first and certainly delivered.

Although with Goodwin, Mark Rowland and Rick Moore early casualties at 31-3, things weren't shaping well until Dixon's explosive innings.

Supported initially by Khalid Sawas (35) and Rob Jones (35), Dixon thundered his way to 161 which included 8 6s (one of which was last seen heading towards Manchester) and 15 4s.

By the time Berry joined the party, the Northumberland attack was reeling with the onslaught. Berry smashed an unbeaten 76 and Cheshire finished on 364-9.

Faced with a daunting total, the Northumberland top order never really got going and wickets fell regularly with only James Weighell upping the ante with 38 in a total of 125. Nick Anderson took 3-49, Harry Killoran 2-29, Adam Syddall 2-41 and there was a fine performance from skipper Danny Woods as he bagged 3-5 from 7.4 overs.

Woods was understandably disappointed after the game. "We knew what we had to do today and we did it in style", he said. "It's just so frustrating to go out after two fine performances against Shropshire and Northumberland. I know we weren't at our best in the first game (Lincolnshire) but we've fought back well despite also losing a game to the weather.

"I'm really chuffed for Lee and Danny today who took the attack on in style. And our bowlers did us proud too. A great performance all round. We move on now with an exciting T20 and 3 day season to look forward to".

Cheshire finish with two wins, a no-result and that defeat at Lincolnshire which cost them dearly.

Final group standings:
(6 points)
(6 points)
(5 points)
(3 points)
(0 points)

Cheshire are next in action in the inaugural Dukes Unicorns T20 Tournament at Chester Boughton Hall on Sunday 31 May. Cheshire play Northumberland at 10.00am followed by Cumberland v Staffordshire at 1.00pm. The final is played at 4.00pm. Admission is free and a great day is lined up at Filkins Lane.

Footnote: Former Cheshire captain James Duffy (above) was presented with a framed sweater during the game at Hyde in appreciation of his services to the county.