CHESHIRE LOSE CHAMP FINAL BY 117 RUNS
Scorecard from Slough

Day 4 Report

Cheshire manager Sandy Scrimgeour says his team must be proud that they won the Western Division despite losing out in the MCCA
Championship title at Buckinghamshire yesterday (Thursday). Cheshire were well beaten by 117 runs by Bucks at Slough CC as they
were all out for 283 in their pursuit of an unlikely 401. This was the county’s first defeat for three years in Championship cricket.

Ben Spendlove top scored with 91, while Dan Berry hit an unbeaten 50.Scrimgeour’s men were undone by 5-85 from Bucks’ all-rounder SamCherry and 3-85 from vice captain Paul Sawyer. Cheshire were reduced to 172-7 before Spendlove and Berry shared 97for the eighth wicket to give their side brief hope.

“It would have been nice to have finished our Centenary year bywinning the title,” said Scrimgeour. “But we have to pride ourselveswith the fact that we were the Western Division champions.

“We were always under pressure in this match. We were out-batted,out-bowled and out-fielded. There was a brilliant recovery on the final day from the two lads at the bottom of the order, but 400 wastoo far. “We looked like we could have got 300, but that just wasn’t possible either.”

Cheshire will be kicking themselves that they allowed Bucks to get from 220-7 to 336 in their second innings. They were a massive 116 runs in the context of the match. “There were plenty of positives right the way through the season. To win our Division after losing six days of cricket was a marvellouseffort,” continued Scrimgeour, who says he will “have to get thewheels in motion” for next season now as the county aim to bounceback.

He will have to cope with the retirements of Jason Whittaker and Chris Finegan, while the Scotsman hopes Andy Hall will continue as skipper. “Rick Moore has really come on at the top of the order, while Dan Berry has been excellent again with bat andball,” he said. “There is plenty for us to work with now.”

Scoreboard Day 4 – Cheshire resumed on 96-2 from 33 overs.
Cheshire 2nd innings: 283 all out, 97.2 overs (Spendlove 91, Berry 50*, Cherry 5-85, Sawyer 3-85)
FOW: 88, 91, 113, 119, 140, 141, 172, 269, 283, 283.

CHESHIRE NEED 305 RUNS ON LAST DAY TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

Pictured : Cheshire batsman Ben Spendlove will be looking to score plenty of runs on the last day of this year's Championship final. Photo credit Barry Mitchell.

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE require 305 runs to beat Buckinghamshire tomorrow (Wednesday) and claim the MCCA Championship title on the last day of this year's four-day final.

Bidding to win their fourth Championship title in nine years, Cheshire have eight wickets remaining for what promises to be a tense run-chase at Slough Cricket Club.

Resuming on 97-2 from 32 overs, Bucks lost steady wickets and Cheshire had them in trouble at 220-7.

But the hosts battled back to post a second innings total of 336 all out and left Cheshire needing 401 runs for victory, with a minimum 102 overs remaining on the final day.

Former Middlesex and Durham 2nd XI batsman Ricky Hopwood top-scored for Bucks with 73, while all-rounder Sam Cherry chipped in with an important 52 not out.

Bucks vice captain Paul Sawyer contributed 50 to the total, while off-spinner Daniel Berry (4-56) from 14 overs and fellow spinner Nathan Dumelow (2-60) from 29.5 overs were the pick of Cheshire's bowlers.

Berry had the chance of a hat-trick after successive wickets with the score on 186, but it wasn't to be for the talented Hyde youngster making his first appearance in a Championship final.

There was also wickets for Jason Whittaker, Adam Syddall, Rick Moore and Chris Finegan in Bucks' second innings, but Finegan was unable to play on the penultimate day because of a calf injury.

A third-wicket partnership of 86 between Hopwood and Sawyer gave Bucks a good start to the day, before Cherry and Matthew Watson shared an important eighth wicket partnership of exactly 50 to get the hosts out of trouble having lost three wickets for just 17 runs.

In reply Cheshire, who trailed by 64 runs after the first innings, started in fine fashion as openers Warren Goodwin and Moore put on 88 for the first wicket.

But Goodwin was lbw for 40 and Moore bowled for 33 as Cheshire lost two wickets for three runs in a gripping finish to the day's play.

Cherry on song with the ball this time with a commendable 2-7 return from eight overs.

That left Ben Spendlove and David Hurst to bat out seven overs until the close of play and consolidate their position, before the real challenge of chasing down just over 300 runs for victory began on the fourth and final day.

"I thought we worked really hard all day, but Bucks had a couple of decent partnerships and have put themselves in a good position," reflected Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"But it's going to be an exciting last night, the match is still wide open and, if we bat well, we know we can chase down these runs."

Cheshire need roughly three runs an over, but keeping wickets in hand will be the key if the county are successful in their bid to win a second Championship title in the last three seasons.

"We've just got be confident and back ourselves to get the runs," added Hall. "It's still a very good pitch and there's already a lot of runs been scored, it's a good test for us."

Scorecard - Day 3 of 4 - Buckinghamshire resumed on 97-2 from 32 overs

Buckinghamshire 2nd innings: 336 all out, 109.5 overs (Hopwood 73, S Cherry 52 not out, Sawyer 50, Quershi 32, Harrison 20, Berry 4-56, Dumelow 2-60)
FOW: 45, 83, 169, 186, 186, 207, 220, 270, 316, 336

Cheshire 2nd innings: 96-2, 33 overs (Goodwin 40, Moore 33, S Cherry 2-7)
FOW: 88, 91

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Day 2 review - Cheshire resumed on 77-0 from 17 overs

Cheshire 1st innings: 305 all out, 87.4 overs (Moore 62, Hall 54 not out, Goodwin 44, Spendlove 41, Stanway 4-74, S Cherry 3-90)
FOW: 89, 120, 186, 188, 209, 226, 255, 280, 282, 305

Buckinghamshire 2nd innings: 97-2, 32 overs - bad light stopped play at 5.45pm (Quershi 32, Harrison 20, Hopwood 32 not out)
FOW: 45, 83

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Day 1 review
Buckinghamshire 1st innings: 369-5, 90 overs, 25 extras (Quershi 162, Harrison 101, Sawyer 39, Hopwood 35, Finegan 2-70, Dumelow 2-126)
FOW: 77, 308, 310, 341, 369

Cheshire 1st innings: 77-0, 17 overs, 15 extras (Goodwin 37*, Moore 25*)

Bucks won the toss and batted first

Cheshire team: David Hurst (Neston), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Rick Moore (Oulton Park), Chris Finegan (Neston). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

MOORE AND HALL IN THE RUNS, BUT CHESHIRE ADRIFT AFTER FIRST INNINGS

Pictured: Cheshire opening batsman Rick Moore topped scored for Cheshire with 62 on the second day of this year's MCCA Championship final. Photo credit Barry Mitchell

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE trail Buckinghamshire by 161 runs after the second day of this year's MCCA Championship final ended prematurely because of bad light at Slough Cricket Club today (Monday).

Having resumed on 77-0 from 17 overs, Cheshire were eventually bowled out for 305 in 87.4 overs, 64 runs behind their hosts' first innings score.

And in their second innings Bucks reached a respectable 97-2 at the close of play to put themselves in a strong position with two days of cricket still to play.

Cheshire opening batsman Warren Goodwin was the first wicket to fall on the second day, run out for 44 with 12 runs having been added to the overnight score.

Fellow opener Rick Moore dug deep to top-score with 62 from 142 balls, while skipper Andy Hall (54 not out) and Ben Spendlove (41) were also in the runs.

But despite their best efforts no one else was able to make a telling contribution with the willow as Cheshire lost their last six wickets for 96 runs having been well-placed at lunch having reached 198-4 from 57 overs.

Some tight bowling from Bucks had restricted Cheshire to three runs an over, the 2007 champions scoring 121 runs in 40 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Off-spinner Sam Cherry impressed for Bucks with a 3-90 return from 29 overs, while right-arm medium-pacer Simon Stanway was the pick of the bowlers with 4-74 from 32.4 overs.

Bucks also picked up two runs outs, the first and last wickets of Cheshire's innings.

However, despite their deficit, Cheshire skipper Andy Hall knows some quick wickets could quickly swing the match back into Cheshire's favour as they continue to gun for their fourth Championship title in the last nine seasons.

Cheshire have removed first innings' centurions Fahim Quershi (30) and Bucks skipper Jason Harrison (20), although Ricky Hopwood - who scored 35 in the first innings - remained unbeaten at the close on 32.

Vice captain Richard Sawyer, who chipped in with 39 useful runs in his first knock in the final, was unbeaten on six.

"There's still a long way to go, but it would have been nice to have got a little bit closer to their [Bucks] first innings score," reflected Hall.

"It's a good batting track, but I'm sure the spinners will come into the game more in the last two days.

"We need to get some early wickets tomorrow and not leave ourselves too many runs to chase."

Scorecard - Day 2 of 4
Day 2 - Cheshire resumed on 77-0 from 17 overs

Cheshire 1st innings: 305 all out, 87.4 overs, 26 extras (Moore 62, Hall 54 not out, Goodwin 44, Spendlove 41, Stanway 4-74, S Cherry 3-90)
FOW: 89, 120, 186, 188, 209, 226, 255, 280, 282, 305.

Buckinghamshire 2nd innings: 97-2, 32 overs, 7 extras - bad light stopped play at 5.45pm (Quershi 32, Harrison 20, Hopwood 32 not out)
FOW: 45, 83

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Day 1 review
Buckinghamshire 1st innings: 369-5, 90 overs, 25 extras (Quershi 162, Harrison 101, Sawyer 39, Hopwood 35, Finegan 2-70, Dumelow 2-126)
FOW: 77, 308, 310, 341, 369

Cheshire 1st innings: 77-0, 17 overs, 15 extras (Goodwin 37*, Moore 25*)

Bucks won the toss and batted first

Cheshire team: David Hurst (Neston), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Rick Moore (Oulton Park), Chris Finegan (Neston). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

CHESHIRE FIGHT BACK AFTER BUCKS MAKE SOLID START

Pictured: Cheshire opening batsman Warren Goodwin was on form on the opening day of this year's MCCA Championship final at Slough Cricket Club.
Photo credit David Bailey

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE bravely battled back today (Sunday) after a tough start to this year's MCCA Championship final against Buckinghamshire at Slough Cricket Club.

Gunning to win their fourth Championship title in nine seasons, Cheshire lost the toss and the hosts benefited from a flat pitch to post a respectable 369-5 from their allotted 90 overs.

But some excellent batting from opening pair Warren Goodwin and Rick Moore saw Cheshire finish the day in style as they ended on 77-0 from 17 overs.

Chester Boughton Hall opener Goodwin finished unbeaten on 37, while opening partner Rick Moore, who plays for Oulton Park in the Cheshire County League, was not out on 25 at the close of play.

Earlier in the day Cheshire's bowlers toiled hard to take wickets on a placid pitch, but perseverance paid off for Oulton Park off-spinner Nathan Dumelow as he returned figures of 2-126 from 30 overs, while Neston seamer Chris Finegan also impressed with a 2-70 return from 20 overs.

Bowdon's left-arm opening bowler Adam Syddall also claimed a wicket as he finished with a 1-83 return from 18 overs.

Off-spinners Dan Berry, from Hyde, and Alderley Edge seamer Jason Whittaker worked hard for the Cheshire cause, while part-time off-spinner David Hurst, who plays with Finegan at Neston, also got a chance to bowl an over, but it was always going to be difficult to take wickets on a batsman friendly pitch.

That said Cheshire were left counting the cost of a dropped catch. Opening batsman Fahim Quershi, playing on his home club ground, had made 30 when Syddall unfortunately dropped him off Dumelow's bowling.

The left-handed Qureshi, who has represented Middlesex 2nd XI, went on to make an impressive 162 from 267 balls. His innings included 23 fours.

Having dismissed other opener Richard Hopwood for 35, with the score on 77, Quershi and Bucks skipper Jason Harrison then shared in a second-wicket partnership of 154 as the hosts built themselves a strong position by tea on the opening day.

With 15 overs left when the two teams returned, Cheshire did well to restrict Bucks to under 400 having been well-placed for a much bigger score.

Harrison, who played for Lincolnshire when Cheshire shared the title with them in 2001, was out for 101, his 170-ball innings included 10 fours and two sixes.

Bucks vice-captain Paul Sawyer also chipped in with a useful 39 in the closing overs, while 25 runs came as extras.

That left Cheshire to bat 17 overs and avoid the loss of any wickets - and Goodwin and Moore dug deep to make sure this year's Western Division winners start with all ten of their wickets in tact ahead of the second day's play.

"We had to work really hard in the field, it was a hard pitch for the bowlers, but I thought we stuck at it really well," reflected Cheshire skipper Andy Hall, appearing in his fourth Championship final.

"It's a very flat pitch, if we'd have won the toss we'd have batted, but we need well to restrict them [Bucks] to under 400, that could have easily happened.

"And it was really important we didn't lost any wickets, Warren and Rick batted really well to see us to the close.

"They scored quickly as well, so hopefully tomorrow we can have another good start and get a decent total on the board."

Scorecard - Day 1 of 4
Buckinghamshire 1st innings: 369-5, 90 overs, 25 extras (Quershi 162, Harrison 101, Sawyer 39, Hopwood 35, Finegan 2-70, Dumelow 2-126)
FOW: 77, 231, 233, 264, 292

Cheshire 1st innings: 77-0, 17 overs, 15 extras (Goodwin 37*, Moore 25*)

Bucks won the toss and batted first

Cheshire team: David Hurst (Neston), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Rick Moore (Oulton Park), Chris Finegan (Neston). Scorer: Janet Herbert