CHESHIRE captain Andy Hall is toasting sweet success having
been selected for the Minor Counties team due to play the MCC
at Colwyn Bay on Wednesday (August 13th).
Hall crashed a career-best 175 for his county as they defeated Wales MC at Abergavenny two weeks ago.
And now the former England Under-19 captain is looking to take his form with the willow into this season's eagerly-anticipated 50-over clash between the two teams in North Wales.
"I'm looking forward to the match," said Hall, whose has already score three centuries this season. "I'm pleased with my form, so hopefully I can score some runs because the MCC should have a strong team."
And for Minor Counties coach Phil Oliver and his players, history is certainly on their side with victories in four of their previous encounters in recent years.
The Minor Counties outfit defeated their London-based opponents last term in a nail-biting 50-over showdown and with a full-strength squad at their disposal, Oliver is again confident that his boys will come out on top.
"The MCC are going to give us a tough game, but with the players we've got I'm happy about our chances of winning," said Oliver.
Julian Wood, of Berkshire, will captain the side, while the Minor Counties team is stocked with batting firepower, especially with Hall in the top half of the order. been brought in to bolster the batting line-up.
It will also be a big day for Lincolnshire duo Elliott Wilson and John Trower as they make their debuts for the full representative side. Trower, as well as Hall, have been key figures for the Minor Counties Under-25 side this season.
"It's a jump in standard," admitted 24-year-old Trower, "but I'm looking forward to the challenge fo playing at that level."
Minor Counties team: A Hall (Cheshire), R Howitt (Berkshire), J Wood (Berkshire, captain), J Trower (Lincs), R Dawson (Devon), M Dobson (Lincs), C Brown (Norfolk), A Aktar (Cambridgeshire), E Wilson (Lincs), P Bradshaw (Norfolk), C Boroughs (Herefordshire).
Match starts at 10.30, 50 overs per side. Admission on gate.
Any queries contact Neil Goulding on 07931 376811.
By Neil Goulding
A GUTSY cameo from Cheshire captain Andy Hall wasn't enough
for the Minor Counties as they narrowly missed out on a historic
victory over the M.C.C. at Colwyn Bay.
Hall, who captained the side in the absence of Julian Wood, was unbeaten on 24 at the close off only 17 balls, including a giant straight six, as the home team chased 26 for victory off just two overs.
But the Minor Counties fell agonisingly short, six runs away from their target, despite having two wickets to spare. It was a valiant effort from Hall's men though who had struggled to contain their opponents after winning the toss and putting them into bat.
"It could have gone either way at the end," admitted Hall. "It was a great match, but to score six off the last ball to tie the game is always going to take some doing."
Former Yorkshire batsman Simon Kellett did the bulk of the damage for the M.C.C. with a brilliant unbeaten innings of 140 from just 169 balls, which included 25x4s. David Clarke also weighed with a useful 31 not out as the visitors set Hall's team 233 for victory off 50 overs.
And the hunt was definitely on after openers James Knott (Bedfordshire) and Richard Howitt (Berkshire) got the home side off to a flying start.
Wicketkeeper Knott, son of former England international, Alan, made a quickfire 58 from only 48 balls, including 11x4s and 1x6. Howitt also showed his strength with 60 from 119 balls, and was the mainstay of the Minor Counties' innings.
However, tight bowling from Owen Dawkins (4-49), the Wales MC captain, along with James Marshall, who finished with 3-48, made sure that the hosts narrowly missed out on a historic win.
"It was a great game for the spectators," said Howitt, who topped the Minor Counties batting averages in the Western Division last season. "We were probably favourites needing only 99 to win from 20 overs, and with nine wickets left, but all credit to the M.C.C., they bowled well and in the end a draw was a fair result."
M.C.C.A. v M.C.C. (Colwyn Bay): M.C.C. 232-4 declared (S Kellett 140 not out, D Clarke 31 not out); M.C.C.A. 227-8 (J Knott 58, R Howitt 60, O Dawkins 4-49, J Marshall 3-48). Result: Match Drawn.
For more information contact Neil Goulding on 07931 376811