By Neil Goulding

CENTURION James Duffy led the way for Cheshire as they made a winning start to this year's MCCA Knockout Trophy.
The hard-hitting Hyde left-hander smashed a superb unbeaten 131 to guide last year's finalists to an impressive six-wicket win away to Bedfordshire at Ampthill Town CC.
Duffy crashed ten sixes and nine fours in a cool 96-ball innings as the visitors successfully chased down 263 for victory.
His perfectly-timed 134 minute innings proved the bedrock his county needed to start the season with full points.
"James was brilliant, it was a great knock for us," praised Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.
"We probably let them get too many runs, but it was a good team performance from us."
Having lost the toss and been obliged to field, last season's Minor Counties Championship champions and Western Division winners had the hosts wobbling at 48-3 and 83-4.
Seamers Guy Emmett (2-38) and Adam Syddall (2-65) the pick of Cheshire bowlers, although an unbeaten 79 from Marcus Stead and runs from Richard Howitt (55) and Mark Jackson (54 not out) saw Bedfordshire post an imposing 262-5 in a rain-reduced 49 overs.
But Cheshire, beaten by Suffolk in last season's showcase Lords' final, were up to the challenge despite missing last season's leading run-scorer Danny Leech, absent due to work commitments. Cheshire youngster David Hurst, who plays for Neston, made his Minor Counties debut.
Duffy spearheaded the run-chase for Hall's charges, while Warren Goodwin (64) and Nathan Dumelow (44) provided important support.
Goodwin, who hit 11 fours in a 85-ball innings, shared a third-wicket partnership of 102 with Duffy, before Dumelow's quickfire 50-ball knock - which included one six and five fours - helped with a crucial 110 fourth wicket partnership with Cheshire's top-scorer.
Cheshire also survived the loss of Hall for a duck and, at 38-2, had plenty of work to do.
But Duffy was the deserved hero as the visitors won with 17 balls to spare.
Hall added: "It's a great start the season. We probably let them [Bedfordshire] get too many runs, but we batted well to chase down a tough total."
A view shared by Cheshire team manager Sandy Scrimngeour who added: "It was important we started the season with a win, you can't ask for much more than that."

Scorecard - MCCA Knockout Trophy (Group
Bedfordshire 262-5, 49 overs (Stead 79no, Howitt 55, Jackson 54no)
Fow: 33, 42, 48, 83, 162.
Cheshire 268-4, 46.1 overs (Duffy 131no, Goodwin 64, Dumelow 44)
Fow: 1, 38, 140, 250.

Result: Cheshire (2pts), who lost the toss, beat Bedfordshire (0pts) by six wickets

Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt), Warren Goodwin, Ben Spendlove, James Duffy, Nathan Dumelow, David Hurst, Jason Whittaker, Matt Dawson (wkt), Danny Woods, Adam Syddall, Guy Emmett. 12th man: Daniel Berry. Scorer: Janet Herbert

Cheshire are kindly sponsored by and AB Nutrition Ltd.

For more information on the Cheshire Minor Counties Cricket team please contact Press Officer Neil Goulding on 07813 859986 or email