Rain on the last day

Calum Rowe after helping with the covers

Unicorns Championship - Western Division

Washout as just 49 overs possible in 3 days
By Jim Law

Sunday - Tuesday 5-7 July 2015, Grappenhall CC
Cheshire CCC 170-6. Match abandoned as a draw at lunchtime on day 3.
Cheshire 8 points, Dorset 8 points.


After their exciting win in Newport last time out, Cheshire went into their home game with Dorset in buoyant mood only to be defied by poor weather.

Only 49 overs were possible over three days - 44 of them bowled on the first day.

Cheshire won the toss and batted first on a decent looking wicket but struggled early on against the controlled swing of Mark Wolstenholme as they slipped to 20-3.

Rick Moore (28) typically steadied the ship and whilst James Drummond accrued runs at one end, Lee Dixon attacked at the other, falling for 47 to a fine catch in the deep.

Nantwich debutant wicketkeeper Ryan Brown offered firm support to Drummond as day one was cut short in mid-afternoon by a huge storm.

Day two saw just two overs before rain claimed the day and as the captain's looked to hatch a plan to contrive a one innings game on the third morning, a torrential downpour after just three overs left the umpires with little option but to call the game off with Cheshire at 170-6.

"It was hugely disappointing," commented skipper Danny Woods. "We came into this game with great momentum after our win in Wales. A lot of effort is put into preparing these games too but of course there's nothing we can do".

Woods also recognised the impact of debutant 'keeper Brown who despite not being required to keep wicket at least had a bat and finished with an accomplished, unbeaten 19. Toft's Drummond also shone following his 62 in Newport with a fine 45.

Drummond is delighted to be part of the Cheshire set up. The young batsman is having an excellent season with league leaders Toft and is clearly enjoying himself. "It's great to be involved," he said. "We've a very strong top order and I feel comfortable batting at number five with so many good players around me. Playing for Cheshire feels like a real step up - it's a different game adapting to the Dukes ball but hopefully I'm making good progress and can continue to do so."

Woods looked forward to the next game - away against Cornwall at St Austell in a fortnight.

"We'll move on as ever," he said. "And prepare appropriately. We've a reasonable record against Cornwall in recent times and having played little cricket this time round, its fingers crossed for better weather."

One positive take Woods can take from the game was that the 'oldies' beat the 'youngies' 2-1 in the pre-match football warm-up across the three days with the emergence of veteran quickie Jimmy Warrington as a potential Stoke City striking target!

Footnote 1:    49 overs in 3 days represents some sort of success for a visit from Dorset. Their last two visits (both to Alderley Edge in 2012 and 2009) saw the games cancelled with not a ball bowled.

Footnote 2:    Cheshire travel to Banbury this Sunday (12 July) to play in the Unicorns T20 Finals Day. Cheshire play Devon followed by Oxfordshire v Bedfordshire with the two winners playing in the final. More details to follow.

Remaining games:
Unicorns Minor Counties Western Division.

19-21 July (A) v Cornwall (St Austell CC)
2-4 August (H) v Berkshire (Alderley Edge CC)
16-18 August (H) v Herefordshire (Chester Boughton Hall CC)