CHESHIRE THROUGH TO MCCA KNOCKOUT TROPHY QUARTER-FINALS
By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE are through to this year's MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-finals after an impressive victory against Cumberland on Sunday.
Last year's Lords' finalists needed to win their final qualifying group match to make sure of their qualification - and they did so by 14 runs in their re-arranged one-day contest at Marple Cricket Club.
With Shropshire top of the qualifying group, a defeat for Cheshire would have seen them bow out before the business end of this year's tournament.
A draw could have also seen Cheshire ousted on run-rate, but some spirited batting and some fine bowling made sure last season's runners-up deservedly progressed.
Heavy rain meant that the match was reduced to 25 overs per side instead of the scheduled 50 overs - and play only got underway shortly after 4pm after groundstaff did well to get the pitch ready for play.
However, Cheshire skipper Andy Hall and his ambitious side batted well and posted a challenging 152-7 from their allotted overs.
Openers Hall (21) and Danny Leech (26) shared in a opening stand of 58, before wickets fell at regular intervals.
The hosts were struggling at 99-5, but some useful runs from Jason Whittaker (25) and Warren Goodwin (24) - who shared in a seventh-wicket partnership of 48 - and Nathan Dumelow (22) saw Cheshire rack up a further 53 runs for their next wickets.
Graham Dawson (2-11) and Chris Miller (2-22) were the pick of Cumberland's bowlers.
In reply the visitors, who themselves could have qualified with victory, struggled to chase down Cheshire's winning target of 153.
Some tight bowling saw Cumberland limp to 104-8 having earlier faltered at 59-4 and 96-6. A ninth-wicket stand of 26 runs took them closer, but it was Cheshire who were always in command.
Bowdon seamer Adam Syddall was Cheshire's star with an impressive 4-23 return from his five overs, while fellow seamer Whittaker (3-11) and off-spinner Dumelow (2-39) were also in the wickets.
"There was a lot of pressure on us to win the match, so I'm delighted with the way we played," said Hall. "We had another mid-innings collapse, but we posted a decent total and then our bowlers did the damage for us.
"It was a solid team performance. We were disappointment to lose to Suffolk in last year's final, but we're determined to get to Lords again and give ourselves another shot at the title."

Scorecard:
Cheshire 152-7, 25 overs (Leech 26, Whittaker 25, Goodwin 24, Dumelow 22, Hall 21, Dawson 2-11, Miller 2-22)
FOW: 58, 68, 68, 84, 99, 147, 152
Cumberland 138-9, 25 overs (Syddall 4-23, Whittaker 3-11, Dumelow 2-39)
FOW: 9, 36, 57, 59, 63, 96, 104, 104, 130

Result: Cheshire (2pts), who lost the toss and were asked to bat, beat Cumberland (0pts) by 14 runs
Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt, Bramhall), Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matt Dawson (wkt, Bramhall), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Guy Emmett (Oulton Park). 12th man: Daniel Berry (Hyde). Scorer: Jim Law