By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)

Cheshire opener Jonny Kettle (Photo courtesy Derrick Hastings) impressed with a superb 139, but his century was in vain against Cornwall
CHESHIRE suffered an early setback in their MCCA Championship title challenge with defeat to Cornwall in their second match of the 
The 2005 joint champions slipped to a surprise six-wicket defeat at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club and have dropped from second 
to fifth in the current Western Division standings.
But with four games still remaining Cheshire skipper Andy Hall knows there's plenty of time to get their title quest back on track, 
especially with group leaders Berkshire just 21 points clear at the top following two successive victories.

"We can still win the title, but we've made life hard for ourselves," said Hall. "We've got to win three of four remaining games as a minimum 
if we're going to win the Championship, maybe even four out of four.
"But one thing's for sure, we're going to have to play a lot better than we did against Cornwall.
"There were a few decent performances, especially from Jonny Kettle and Danny Berry, but our middle order is just not functioning. 
Our betting let us down, we know we need to improve there."

Having lost the toss Cheshire were inserted on a wet pitch on the opening day - and Hall knew his charges would face a testing period. 
And so it proved as they slipped to 123-8.
Opener Warren Goodwin impressed with 53 and all-rounder Berry, batting at number eight, showed plenty of spirit with 63 from 69 balls.
But even a battling ninth wicket partnership of 68 between Berry and spinner Danny Woods couldn't prevent Cheshire from being 
bowled for a below-par score of 217 in just 63.2 of their allotted 90 overs.

In reply Cheshire bowled well and had Cornwall tottering at 188-8 with the chance of a small first innings lead on their cards, but two 
substantial ninth and last wicket partnerships helped Cornwall take control and establish what had looked like an unlikely lead of 140.

Cornwall's teenage opening bowlers James Rowe and Ben Kitt, both of whom had been drafted into the team at the last minute, 
chanced their arm and impressed with the willow.
Rowe, 17, top-scored with a fine 94 from 100 balls, an innings which included 15 fours and two sixes, while Kitt, 16, finished 
unbeaten on 44 from only 42 balls, with eight fours.

A ninth wicket partnership of 77 between Cornwall skipper Tom Sharp, who contributed 77, and Rowe, was followed by a final wicket stand of 92 between Kitt and Rowe.
"Fair play to their two lads because they chanced their arms and came off," added Hall. "We were looking at taking a slender lead into the second innings, but then those 
two partnerships really hurt us. 
"140 was a big lead, but we're all disappointed because we dropped a lot of catches and some key decisions didn't go our way. It was just one of those games where it 
didn't happen for us, it was very frustrating."

Batting for a second time on a harder pitch which had dried out after rain on the opening day, Cheshire slumped from 66-2 to 99-5 and then 135-6, before opener Kettle 
helped the hosts get past the 200-mark.
Kettle was eventually out for 139 from 139 balls, which 18 fours in his spirited innings. He and Berry shared in a seventh wicket partnership of 75, before Kettle and Syddall 
shared in an eight wicket stand of 54 to take Cheshire to 264-8.
But Hall's side lost their next two wickets for just 15 runs and were left needing to bowl out of their skins to prevent Cornwall chasing down 140 for victory.

Cornwall were 39-2 in reply and opening Matthew Robins was dropped, before going on to make an unbeaten 59 to guide the visitors to 24 points and their first win over 
Cheshire in 25 attempts. Amazingly Cornwall had not beaten Cheshire since 1983. The visitors finished on 140-4 from 22.2 overs to win with six wickets to spare.
Despite despite there were some more pluses for Cheshire with James Warrington finishing with six wickets in the match and all-rounder Richard Logan five.

However, Hall wants his side to improve and bounce back with former Championship winners Devon set to provide another "tough test" in their next Western Division outing 
from 10-12 July at Torquay Cricket Club.
"They're [Devon] a strong side and have probably been our toughest rivals over the last few years, but we've got to worry about ourselves and need to improve," stressed Hall.
"The middle order has got to start functioning and we've got to take our chances, otherwise we'll get beat again."
Cheshire 1st innings: 217 all out, 63.2 overs (Berry 63, Goodwin 53, Sharp 5-72)
Cornwall 1st innings: 357 all out, 88.1 overs (J Rowe 94, Sharp 77, Kitt 44 not out, Logan 4-101, Warrington 4-102)
Cheshire 2nd innings: 279 all out, 75.3 overs (Kettle 139, Berry 35, Kitt 5-80)
Cornwall 2nd innings: 140-4, 22.2 overs (Robins 59 not out, Warrington 2-54)

Result: Cornwall (24pts) beat Cheshire (5pts) by six wickets
Western Division - latest standings

Cheshire's team v Cornwall: 
Andy Hall (captain, Marple)
Jonny Kettle (wicketkeeper, Nantwich)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Danny Berry (Hyde)
Adam Syddall (Urmston)
Jimmy Warrington (Nantwich)
Richard Wilkinson (Barnt Green)
Danny Woods (York)
12th man: Ross Dixon (Oxton)
 Scorer: Janet Herbert

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)
Pictured: Cheshire's Adam Syddall on his way to a maiden county half-century against Herefordshire earlier this month.
Photo courtesy of Derrick Hastings

CHESHIRE host Cornwall this weekend (July 1-3) at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club hungry for a second successive 
victory in the MCCA three-day Championship.
The 2005 champions toasted the perfect start to their Western Division title challenge with a impressive 94 runs victory 
away to Herefordshire to put themselves second in the table after the first round of six matches.
And with only two other counties victorious on the opening round of action, Cheshire skipper Andy Hall knows another 
win could see his side sitting pretty at the top of the table come Tuesday evening.
But, more importantly, a win could see Cheshire open up even more ground on the counties below them in the table.
Cornwall lost their opening Championship match, thumped by an innings and 24 runs away to Berkshire.
However, Hall is still expecting a tough challenge for his ambitious side.
"It's going to be a tough match, it doesn't really matter that Cornwall lost," said Hall.
"They're a strong county and we'll give them the respect they deserve, but we're confident in our own ability and want 
another win.
"It was great to start the season by beating Herefordshire - and we've been helped by the weather because some of the 
other counties didn't get the chance to get full points, which is good for us.
"But it's still very early in the season and the players know we've got to keep performing to try and pull further clear at the top.
"You can't afford many defeats because it's such a short season, but we're going into this one with plenty of confidence having beaten Herefordshire."
Cheshire have the luxury of naming an unchanged side to that which triumphed at Colwall Cricket Club, a match which saw the visitors pick up 22 points compared to their 
hosts four.
But Berkshire, the 2008 champions, are top of the Western Division after picking up a maximum 24 points with their victory over Cornwall in their opening match.
"Cornwall will be disappointed they lost, so we might see a reaction from them," added Hall.
"But as always it's about how we perform and about doing the right things as normal.
"Another win would really set us up well for the season. Historically we've done well at Chester, so hopefully history repeats itself."
The match will see both teams trial new Tilfex balls on behalf of the MCCA which, if they prove to be successful, could be used in all MCCA matches 
next season.
Cheshire's team v Cornwall: 
Andy Hall (captain, Marple)
Jonny Kettle (wicketkeeper, Nantwich)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Danny Berry (Hyde)
Adam Syddall (Urmston)
Jimmy Warrington (Nantwich)
Richard Wilkinson (Barnt Green)
Danny Woods (York)
12th man: Ross Dixon (Oxton)
Scorer: Janet Herbert