CHESHIRE FAIL IN FINAL BID - Day 3 By Neil Goulding Cheshire suffered Minor Counties Championship heartbreak as Berkshire pipped them to a place in the final by claiming the Western Division title on the last day of the regular season. Cheshire were just two wickets away from a final spot - but could only draw their game against fellow title rivals Cornwall at Nantwich, which they needed to win. The visitors were set 334 to win from 72 overs, they had been 30-3 at lunch, and finished on 261-8. Neston bowler Chris Finegan claimed second innings figures of 5-83 from 19 overs to add to his first innings five-wicket haul. But it was not quite enough, as former Somerset stalwart Keith Parsons top scored for the Cornishmen with 64. Matt Robins also chipped in with 52. Finegan took two early wickets, while Adam Syddall also got one, to help rattle the visitors at 30-3 at lunch. But 35 year-old Parsons marshalled a middle order recovery, which eventually foiled Andrew Hall's men. Cheshire's batsmen went into the final day at 183-7 in their second innings, leading by a healthy 287 runs. Nathan Dumelow made his way to 81 before he was dismissed and Daniel Berry was ousted one short of a useful half-century. The pair shared a partnership of 76 for the eighth wicket, as Cheshire were bowled out for 229. Berkshire made it through to next month's four-day final courtesy of a win against Wiltshire. Meanwhile, three Cheshire players were awarded their county caps during yesterday's lunch break. Batsman Ben Spendlove, bowler Adam Syddall and wicketkeeper Matt Dawson were all recognised. SCORES: Cheshire 365-8 dec and 229 (Dumelow 81) drew with Cornwall 261 and 261-8 (Finegan 5-83 from 19) DUMELOW BACKS UP TON TO GO AGAIN - Day 2 BY NEIL GOULDING The race for the Minor Counties Championship Western Division title will go into the final day of the season, as Cheshire and Cornwall face up to the prospect of an enthralling day of cricket at Nantwich. Cheshire will be crowned champions with a win, although they could reach next month's four-day final with a draw if others help elsewhere. And they had talismanic former Derbyshire all-rounder Nathan Dumelow to thank for yet more batting heroics on the second day yesterday. Neston pace bowler Chris Finegan starred, claiming 5-70 from 21.3 overs to bowl the visitors out for 261 in reply to Cheshire's first innings 365-8 dec. Adam Syddall also chipped in with 3-73 from 22 overs to help his side gain a lead of 104, despite Tom Sharp's stylish 75. And then it was left to Dumelow to really drag the hosts out of the mire at 36-5 in their second innings with an unbeaten 76. Cheshire were left in tatters at 5-3, they had been 0-2, as Danny Leech, Warren Goodwin and Ben Spendlove all departed. But Dumelow, who hit a century in the first innings, shared a sixth wicket partnership of 72 with Jason Whittaker (23) and then an unbroken eight wicket stand of 54 with Daniel Berry (27 not out). The 27 year-old will resume today with Cheshire on 183-7. They lead by 287 with a minimum of 102 overs left in the game. Swing was the major factor yesterday, but the wicket is still a good one to bat on. Cheshire are still favourites, although team manager Sandy Scrimgeour warned: "There is still a long way to go. "I wasn't overly happy at 5-3, I was worried. But it was a very good recovery. Numbers one, two, three and four all failed with the bat, but we bat quite a way down. Nathan has been superb again for us, and he held the whole thing together. It will make for a very interesting final day." SCORES: Cheshire 365-8 dec (Dumelow 107 off 130, Hall 66 off 134 balls, Spendlove 52 off 61 balls, Duffy 50 off 87 balls) and 183-7 (Dumelow 76 not out) lead Cornwall 261 (Finegan 5-70 from 21.3 overs, Syddall 3-73 from 22 overs) by 287 runs with three second innings wickets remaining DUMELOW KEEPS CHESHIRE ON TRACK FOR SHOWPIECE - Day 1 By Neil Goulding Cheshire have made a fine start to their final Western Division Minor Counties Championship of the season against Cornwall at Nantwich. Nathan Dumelow scored a brilliant 107 to help the table-toppers to a daunting 365-8 from their 90 overs. Cornwall replied with 84-2 when play was halted ten minutes early due to bad light, with Bowdon's Adam Syddall taking two wickets. Cornwall, who have to win to have any chance of winning the Western Division Championship, won the toss and invited the hosts to bat. And the Cornishmen made the perfect start by getting rid of Danny Leech in the first over to leave the score at 2-1. But Dumelow was one of four men to make it past 50. Captain Andrew Hall, Ben Spendlove and James Duffy also raised their bats. Hall hit 66, Spendlove 52 and Duffy exactly 50. Former Derbyshire man Dumelow starred with both bat and ball in the last fixture against Herefordshire and he faced 130 balls to hit seven fours and seven sixes here. The 27 year-old shared a seventh wicket partnership of 103 with wicketkeeper Matt Dawson, who finished 30 not out. Syddall then got rid of Gary Thomas and Antony Angrove to leave the visitors struggling at 34-2, but Matt Rowe and ex-Somerset stalwart Keith Parsons are in the midst of an unbroken third wicket stand of 50. Cheshire have claimed four bonus points, while Cornwall, who need to score 215 to avoid the follow-on today, have secured three. A win will guarantee Cheshire a spot in the final, with team manager Sandy Scrimgeour saying: "It was a good day for us, especially after we lost that first wicket so quickly. Nathan batted superbly, but I keep on saying that if one person fails another will pick up the pieces. There is a fabulous team spirit amongst the lads." Cheshire team: Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matt Dawson (Bramhall), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Chris Finegan (Neston), Adam Syddall (Bowdon) SCORES: Cheshire 365-8 dec (Dumelow 107 off 130, Hall 66 off 134 balls, Spendlove 52 off 61 balls, Duffy 50 off 87 balls) Cornwall 84-2 (Syddall two wickets) Cheshire are kindly sponsored by AB Nutrition Ltd and therightmoveabroad.com CHESHIRE v CORNWALL. Minor Counties Championships, Western Division Aug 17-19 PREVIEW By Neil Goulding Cheshire's team manager Sandy Scrimgeour has urged his troops to stay calm as they edge closer to the Minor Counties Championship Final. Cheshire are just one win away from booking their place in next month's four-day final at Alderley Edge. They lead the Western Division by seven points ahead of Sunday's final league game against fellow challengers Cornwall. Four teams are separated by just eleven points at the top, with Berkshire currently sat in second place. And Scrimgeour said: "They have all big games for us this year, and we have just got to keep doing what we have been doing. It has been a tight league, and there a four teams still in it. Cornwall can still win the league if they beat us and nobody else wins. It is exciting for the fans." Scrimgeour has named a 13-man squad for the clash, and has included regular captain Andrew Hall following his absence from the last game at Herefordshire due to work commitments. Nathan Dumelow is expected to relinquish the captaincy. Dumelow and former Derbyshire team-mate Ben Spendlove were star performers in the last game against Hereford at Eastnor. Spendlove hit 124 and 46, while Dumelow claimed 4-65 with his off-spin and cracked 53 off just 26 balls in the second innings. "Ben's batting has been solid all season," continued Scrimgeour. "But it would be wrong to single anybody out. It has been a real team effort throughout the summer. If one person fails, somebody else steps up." WESTERN DIVISION FIXTURES AFFECTING CHESHIRE Berkshire v Wiltshire at Newbury - Aug 17-19, 2008 Dorset v Oxfordshire at Bournemouth - Aug 17-19, 2008 CHESHIRE'S 13-man SQUAD: Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matt Dawson (Bramhall), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Tom Young (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Danny Woods (Hyde), Chris Finegan (Neston).