By Neil Goulding
NANTWICH pace bowler James Warrington had a debut to remember and Hyde's Danny Berry hit a fine century, but their combined efforts couldn't prevent Cheshire slipping to an agonising defeat against Berkshire.
The hosts went down by just 54 runs at Nantwich Cricket Club as they looked to register their first back-to-back victories in the three-day game.
Warrington finished with commendable match figures of 8-164 from 45 overs, while Berry top-scored with 111 in Cheshire's first innings.
But it was the batting of David Lye and skipper Nick Hancock which gave Devon an commanding start as they batted first and posted 420-6 declared from 88.3 overs.
Cheshire did win the toss and skipper Andy Hall was probably left ruing his decision to put Devon in as Lye (165) and Hancock (161) shared a stunning fourth-wicket stand of 250 as the visitors recovered from 18-2.
Berry led the way as Cheshire, themselves in early trouble at 30-2 and then 115-5, replied with 320 all out - albeit still 100 runs behind after their first innings.
Hyde's Berry finished with 111, while Oulton Park duo Nathan Dumelow (45) and Ben Spendlove (39) were also in the runs.
Warrington weighed in with his second four-wicket haul as Devon made 221 in their second innings, which left Cheshire needing 322 for victory.
Former Warwickshire Under-19 wicketkeeper Sandy Allen top-scored with 51, before Cheshire began a tough run-chase.
Jonny Kettle battled well for 77 and Lee Dixon continued to show his promised with 64, but Cheshire slumped from 210-5 to 267 all out. 
"It was a shame we couldn't get those last few runs, but we lost too many wickets," reflected Cheshire skipper Hall.
"It was a good batting track. Fair play to Devon because David Lye and Nick Hancock both batted really well, but we still got ourselves in a position to win the game."

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

CHESHIRE have made one change to their squad as they continue their charge for this season's MCCA Championship Western Division title.

Nantwich bowler James Warrington has been picked for the county first team for the first time, while Toft's Pat Roberts, who was 12th man for Cheshire's recent win over Berkshire, 
had made way.

Warrington has impressed this season and has been named in Cheshire's 12-man squad for their next three-day match, at home to Devon 
at Nantwich Cricket Club (1-3 August). Cheshire needed to win their last match against Berkshire to keep their hopes alive of defending the 
Western Division title for a second successive season - and they did so with an impressive 76 runs victory.

And now, third in the table and just eight points behind leaders Dorset, Cheshire know another victory would take the title-race to the final 
match of the season.

Devon are fourth in the latest standings after four games, but Cheshire skipper Andy Hall is confident his side can get the result they are 
look for, especially on home turf.

"It's a big game for both of us," said Hall. "We've still got a very good chance of winning the division - and so have Devon.

"They're a very strong side, but we're feeling confident because we had a really good win against Berkshire in our last match.

"We knew we had to win that game to keep us in with a shout of winning the title, it was a very pleasing performance from all the lads.

"It's not going to be easy against Devon, but they'll want a result so it should make for an entertaining game"

Devon are eight points adrift Cheshire, but the division is so tight that the title-race is still wide open.

"We saw from the results from the last matches that there can be surprises, it's up to us to make sure we win our last two games and give 
ourselves the best chance of defending our title," added Hall.

"James Warrington is another promising young player and he's been given the chance to shine to come into the squad, but other than 
that change we're sticking with the same squad which did so well against Berkshire."

Cheshire 12-man squad:
Jonny Kettle (Oulton Park)
Matt Dawson (Bramhall) - wicketkeeper
Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park)
Andy Hall (Bramhall) - captain
Dan Berry (Hyde)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Jonny Fawcett (Didsbury)
James Hawley (Hyde)
James Warrington (Nantwich)

Scorer: Jim Law