CHESHIRE FORCED TO SETTLE FOR DRAW Day 3 By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE drew with Cornwall yesterday (Tuesday) in their second Minor Counties Championship match of the season.

Last year's Minor Counties champions are still unbeaten this term in the three-day format, but having dominated proceedings, skipper Andy Hall and his team were frustrated with the result which they shaded 11-10 points. No play because of rain on the second day halted Cheshire's hopes of victory and Hall admitted as much as the final day's play was a matter of going through the motions. "It's disappointing we've not had the chance to win the match, but the rain meant we had to get 17 wickets on the last day, which is incredibly hard at this level," reflected Hall. "We needed to get early wickets, but Cornwall batted well and we knew by lunchtime that we couldn't win the game."

Indeed. Having seen Cheshire set an imposing 374-8 in their first innings, Cornwall were struggling at 56-3 overnight from the opening day. But no play gave the hosts breathing space, a break they used to stem the flow of wickets and to post 297-7. Karl Turner (77) and captain Tom Sharp (63) led the resistance, while former Derbyshire off-spinner Nathan Dumelow (3-92 from 40 overs) was the pick of Cheshire's bowlers. Cheshire batted again and declared at 134-6 from 34 overs, giving them a lead of 211, but by then any chance of a win had vanished. Hall (20), Danny Leech (21) and a personal best unbeaten 43 from wicketkeeper Matthew Dawson were the highlights of Cheshire innings, until the declaration game with just ten overs left in the day and both captain's agreed on a draw.

"We just had a bat in our second innings and went out there to play some shots. There was no way we were going to lose, so we just played some shots. Matt Dawson had a good knock, but it would have been even better if we had been in a position to win the game," added Hall.

Cheshire's next three-day game is against Dorset, between 9-11 July at Nantwich Cricket Club. 11am start opening day.

Scorecard (Final day of 3, Minor Counties Championship - Western Division, Truro CC)
Cheshire 1st innings: 374-8, 90 overs (A Hall 138, D Leech 85, K Waterhouse 45)
Cornwall 1st innings: 297-7, 90 overs (K Turner 77, T Sharp 63, N Dumelow 3-92)
Cheshire 2nd innings: 134-6 declared, 34 overs (M Dawson not out 43)

Cheshire team v Cornwall (@ Truro CC, June 25-27): Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matthew Dawson (wkt kpr), Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow, (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Tom Young, Daniel Berry (Hyde); Kevin Waterhouse (Bollington); Simon Stokes (Oxton). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

Remaining 2006/7 fixture schedule - Minor Counties three-day Championship: v Dorset (9-11 July @ Nantwich), v Herefordshire (23-25 July @ Alderley Edge), v Wales (6-8 August @ tbc) and v Shropshire (20-22 August @ Whitchurch).

CHESHIRE FRUSTRATED BY RAIN - Day 2
By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE's chances of victory against Cornwall in the Minor Counties Championship are fading fast....but not by their own doing.

Heavy rain at Truro Cricket Club meant there was no play on the second day of their three-day Western Division clash.

And having dominated the opening day's action, Cheshire skipper Andy Hall was understandably frustrated.

"There's nothing you can do when it rains, but it's more frustrating because we're in the driving seat," reflected Hall.

"We fancied our chances of bowling Cornwall out cheaply, but now it's going to be very hard to do in one day - and that's if it doesn't rain again."

Cheshire will need to take 17 Cornwall wickets today (Tuesday) if they are to stand any chance of victory.

But Hall knows that's easier said than done. He added: "We are the only side who can win the game, but 17 wickets is a big ask.

"At least we can be attacking and force the pace. There's not much chance that Cornwall can do other than hold on for a draw.

"We've played well, but sometimes the weather affects the result. It would be a shame if it stopped us getting a victory, although we know there's lots of hard work left."

Hall top-scored for last year's Minor Counties champions with a superb knock of 138 from just 151 balls in their first innings, a knock which was spearheaded by some excellent shot-play and 19 fours.

Opener Danny Leech chipped in with a solid 85 as he and Hall put on a stand of 193 for the second wicket, batting for over two and a half hours to give Cheshire the ascendancy.

Debutant Kevin Waterhouse (45 from 34 balls, 2 sixes and 3 fours), James Duffy (26) and Nick Cantello (24) also made useful contributions as Cheshire posted an imposing 374-8 from their allotted 90 overs.

In reply Cornwall slipped to 56-3 from 26 overs, with Tom Young and Waterhouse both having grabbed a wicket each, with a run-out accounting for the other wicket.

Cheshire's impressive start was all the more impressive for the county struggled to find players before the match because of a series of late withdrawals.

Former Derbyshire batsman Ben Spendlove was the last cry-off and was replaced by Oxton's Simon Stokes, a batsman who has been playing well for the Cheshire A team this season.

Stokes opened up with Leech and they put on 39 for the first wicket, before Hall and Leech took the J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side past the 200-mark, giving the lower order the opportunity to push on.

Also making his debut, Bollington's Kevin Waterhouse starred with a quickfire 45, which included two powerful sixes.

Hyde's Daniel Berry, the third and final debutant, will get his chance to bowl today and hopefully make a name for himself.

Scorecard (Day 2 of 3, Minor Counties Championship - Western Division, Truro CC)
Cheshire 1st innings: 374-8, 90 overs (A Hall 138, D Leech 85, K Waterhouse 45)
Cornwall 1st innings: (56-3 overnight, 26 overs) No play due to rain.

Cheshire team v Cornwall (@ Truro CC, June 25-27): Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matthew Dawson (wkt kpr), Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow, (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Tom Young, Daniel Berry (Hyde); Kevin Waterhouse (Bollington); Simon Stokes (Oxton). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

 

CENTURION HALL LEADS THE WAY Day 1

By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE captain Andy Hall led from the front for his county as they dominated the opening day of their three-day Minor Counties clash with Cornwall at Truro Cricket Club.

Hall top-scored for last year's Minor Counties champions with a superb knock of 138 from just 151 balls, an innings which was spearheaded by some excellent shot-play and 19 fours.

Opener Danny Leech chipped in with a solid 85 as he and Hall put on a stand of 193 for the second wicket, batting for over two and a half hours to give Cheshire the ascendancy.

Debutant Kevin Waterhouse (45 from 34 balls, 2 sixes and 3 fours), James Duffy (26) and Nick Cantello (24) also made useful contributions as Cheshire posted an imposing 374-8 from their allotted 90 overs.

In reply Cornwall slipped to 56-3 from 26 overs, with Tom Young and Waterhouse both having grabbed a wicket each, with a run-out accounting for the other wicket.

"We're in a very strong position," said Hall. "We batted very, very well.

"It's pleasing to get some runs myself, but the plan was to get a big total and put Cornwall under pressure. We did that and they struggled at the end of the day.

"Ideally we'd like bowl Cornwall out very cheaply and make them follow on, so the morning session will be very important.

"If we can get some quick wickets then we'll have a great chance to force the game and get the win we're looking for."

Cheshire's impressive start is all the more impressive for the county struggled to find players before the match because of a series of late withdrawals.

Former Derbyshire batsman Ben Spendlove was the last cry-off and was replaced by Oxton's Simon Stokes, a batsman who has been playing well for the Cheshire A team this season.

Stokes opened up with Leech and they put on 39 for the first wicket, before Hall and Leech took the J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side past the 200-mark, giving the lower order the opportunity to push on.

Also making his debut, Bollington's Kevin Waterhouse starred with a quickfire 45, which included two powerful sixes.

Hyde's Daniel Berry, the third and final debutant, will get his chance to bowl today and hopefully make a name for himself.

"I was impressed with the whole team," added Hall. "We've made a great start and must try and build on that.

"There's still two days of cricket and we've got lots of hard work left if we are going to win this match."

Scorecard (Day 1 of 3, Minor Counties Championship - Western Division, Truro CC)
Cheshire 1st innings: 374-8, 90 overs (A Hall 138, D Leech 85, K Waterhouse 45)
Cornwall 1st innings: 56-3, 26 overs.

Cheshire team v Cornwall (@ Truro CC, June 25-27): Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matthew Dawson (wkt kpr), Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow, (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Tom Young, Daniel Berry (Hyde); Kevin Waterhouse (Bollington); Simon Stokes (Oxton). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert

 

BERRY AND WATERHOUSE TO MAKE DEBUTS v CORNWALL By Neil Goulding

PROMISING off-spinner Daniel Berry will make his debut for Cheshire on Sunday when the county clash with Cornwall in the Minor Counties Championship Western Division.

Hyde youngster Berry has impressed with bat and ball for his club in the CD Bramall Trucks Cheshire County League, as well as having made a breakthrough into the Cheshire A team this season.

Also a useful right-handed batsman, teenager Berry has also gained many admirers at Old Trafford having won a scholarship to the Lancashire Academy this term.

Berry is joined in the team by fellow club players Tom Young and James Duffy, while there are three players in the side from Oulton Park and four from Bramhall.

Kevin Waterhouse, from Bollington, completes the squad and will also make his three-day debut having been selected, but been unavailable for the opening game of the season.

"We've got a lot of players missing, but we're taking a strong team with us to Truro," said skipper Andy Hall.

The JW Lees-sponsored Cheshire side dominated their opening match of the season at home to Berkshire, but had to settle for a draw at Chester Boughton Hall despite some starring performances from the skipper and fellow centurions Duffy and Nick Cantello, as well as all-rounder Nathan Dumelow.

Understandably, Hall would like to get a win on the board as the county try and make a successful defence of the Western Division title.

Hall added: "You've just got to win as many games as possible to take the pressure off yourselves. This division is so tight you can't really afford to lose matches.

"We're missing experienced players like Dave Pennett and Jason Whittaker, but players such as Danny [Berry] and Kevin [Waterhouse] deserve their chance. They've proven that they can perform at club level, so I hope they can raise their games to Minor Counties level."

Indeed, and with two raw talents in their team, Hall is delighted former Derbyshire ace Ben Spendlove is available having missed out on the Berkshire showdown.

Spendlove joins forces with fellow Oulton Park players Dumelow and Danny Leech, while Bramhall players Nick Cantello, wicketkeeper Matthew Dawson and seam bowler Barney Cutbill join Hall, their club and county captain.

Cheshire team v Cornwall (@ Truro CC, June 25-27): Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matthew Dawson (wkt kpr), Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow, Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Tom Young, Daniel Berry (Hyde); Kevin Waterhouse (Bollington). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert