Cheshire look again to Lords

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE's postponed MCCA Knockout Trophy semi-final showdown with Minor Counties champions Devon will now be played on Sunday 29th July at Chester Boughton Hall (11am start).

The two counties should have played on Sunday 1st July, but heavy rain meant a ball wasn't bowled on that day or on the following Monday, set aside as a reserve day.

But both captains agreed that with a dream final at Lords at stake for the winner, every effort would be made to make sure the match was played rather than the result being decided by a toss of a coin or a bowl-out.

"Neither counties want to lose that way, we just want to play the match," said Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"It's really difficult at the moment because it's rained so much and there's not cricket being played, but hopefully we'll get some good weather at the end of the month to get the game on."

Indeed, and with many of Cheshire's players having never played at the 'Home of Cricket', no wonder Hall and his county colleagues are keen to play.

"We've not lost in the Knockout Trophy this season and beat Devon in the Championship, so we are going into the match with a lot of confidence," added Hall.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start to the season, but there's still a lot of hard work left to do. We need another big performance to make sure we get to Lords."

Hall starred for Bramhall, his club in The Right Move Abroad Cheshire County League, in 2001 when they won the National Cup at Lords.

And he admits playing in London was a special feeling, one which he is sure will be experienced by his teammates if they can beat Devon for a second time this season.

"Devon will want some revenge for us beating them, we know that, but if we play well we're very capable of beating them."

As yet team manager Sandy Scrimgeour has yet to reveal his 13-man squad for the match, although it is believed to be the same players who were picked for the original fixture earlier this month.

"We'll be naming the team nearer to the match," he said. "Obviously we hope all the players that we select are fit, so we're just waiting a little longer before announcing our squad."

Cheshire 13-man squad (possible): Andy Hall, Matthew Dawson (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Chris Bassano, Ben Spendlove, Nathan Dumelow, Guy Emmett (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Adam Syddall (Bowdon); Chris Finegan (Neston); Ismail Dawood (Urmston); Jason Whittaker (Walshaw). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert.