DAY 3 REPORT

CHESHIRE LOSE IMPRESSIVE UNBEATEN RECORD By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE have lost their first three-day match for the first time in over two years. Andy Hall's team lost by five wickets against Dorset at Nantwich Cricket Club yesterday, their last defeat coming at the hands of Devon in the Minor Counties Championship Western Division on 15 June, 2004, when they were also beaten five wickets at Oxton. Resuming 136 ahead and with just two wickets ahead, the hosts only managed to add two more runs to their overnight tally and left Dorset needing 139 for victory. Heaton Mersey pace ace John Farrow returned figures of 3-63 in his first county game of the season, but 57 from Darren Cowley saw Dorset over the winning line.

"I'm very disappointed we've lost, but we didn't score enough runs in our first innings," admitted Cheshire skipper Hall.

"There was some very pleasing individual performances, but 139 is not a very big total and Dorset were always favourites to get it."

Cheshire's best performers were Nathan Dumelow, the former Derbyshire all-rounder who scored a brilliant 156 in Cheshire's 2nd innings, while Neston's Chris Finegan claimed three wickets and an unbeaten 72. Hyde's James Duffy finished the match with 74 runs.

"I think a target of 200 would have made things very interesting," added Hall, who guided Cheshire to the Minor Counties title last season after a four-year absence of silverware.

"I'd love for us to be to defend the Western Division title and our overall crown, but it's unlikely that will happen now."

The J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side host Herefordshire at Alderley Edge in their fourth three-day game of the season, July 23-25.

Final Scorecard (Minor Counties Championship, Western Division - Nantwich CC)

Cheshire 1st innings: 186 all out, 50.4 overs (Finegan 72 not out, Hall 46, Duffy 44)

Dorset 1st innings: 341-9, 90 overs (Cowley 70, Webley 47, Arshad 44, Forward 50 not out, Metcalfe 40, Finegan 3-69)

Cheshire 2nd innings: 293 all out, 80.4 overs (Dumelow 156, Spendlove 48, Duffy 30)

Dorset 2nd innings: 141-5, 38.4 overs (Cowley 57, Farrow 3-63)

Result: Dorset (24pts) beat Cheshire (5pts) by five wickets.

JW-Lees sponsored Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Ben Spendlove, Danny Leech (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Chris Finegan (Neston); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); John Farrow (Heaton Mersey). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Jim Law.

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

 

DAY 2 REPORT

CENTURION DUMELOW GIVES CHESHIRE GLIMMER OF HOPE By Neil Goulding

OULTON Park all-rounder Nathan Dumelow has given Cheshire a glimmer of hope in their bid to beat Dorset on the last day of their Minor Counties Championship clash at Nantwich Cricket Club. The former Derbyshire ace smashed a brilliant 156 from just 157 to balls to give Cheshire a lead of 136 going into the final day. But with just two wickets left and no recognised batsman at the crease, last year's Minor Counties champions have it all to do in their quest to retain the title. Resuming on 221-6, Dorset were able to post 341-9 from their allotted 90 overs. Neston's Chris Finegan, who scored an unbeaten 72 in Cheshire's first innings, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-69. However Dorset had a lead of 155 runs and had control of the match, before Dumelow swung the match back towards Cheshire. His innings of 156, which included 19x4s and 7x6s laid the platform for Cheshire to rebuild having slipped to 32-3. Skipper Andy Hall was dismissed on his second ball as the hosts were in trouble at 0-1, until a fifth wicket partnership of 100 between Dumelow and former Derbyshire team mate Ben Spendlove (48) saw Cheshire reach 291-8 at the close of play. The loss of two late wickets didn't help Cheshire's cause, but if Hall's men can set at least 200, with two spinners in their side, the skipper believes they have a chance of victory. "It's going to be very hard, but Nathan's innings has given us a real chance," said Hall. "We've not started either innings well, but Nathan and Ben both batted us back into the game. But there's still a lot of work to do."We've got to take our chances tomorrow and hope we can get some quick wickets."

The J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side host Herefordshire at Alderley Edge in their fourth three-day game of the season, July 23-25.

Scorecard (Day 2 of 3, Nantwich CC)

Cheshire 1st innings: 186 all out, 50.4 overs (Finegan 72 not out, Hall 46, Duffy 44)

Dorset 1st innings: 341-9, 90 overs (Cowley 70, Webley 47, Arshad 44, Forward 50 not out, Metcalfe 40, Finegan 3-69, Farrow 2-104, Woods 1-32)

Cheshire 2nd innings: 291-8, 76 overs (Dumelow 156, Spendlove 48, Duffy 30)

JW-Lees sponsored Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Ben Spendlove, Danny Leech (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Chris Finegan (Neston); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); John Farrow (Heaton Mersey). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Jim Law.

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

DAY 1 REPORT

FINEGAN STARS BUT CHESHIRE WITH WORK TO DO By Neil Goulding

NESTON all-rounder Simon Finnegan starred for Cheshire on the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship clash with Dorset at Nantwich Cricket club. But even a superb unbeaten 72 from Finegan could not prevent the home side from struggling as Dorset dominated the opening day's play. Finegan shared a seventh wicket stand of 96 with Hyde's James Duffy (44) as Cheshire recovered from 64-6. And even though skipper Andy Hall chipped in with a useful 46, Cheshire were still route for a disappointing 186 from 50.4 overs having won the toss and elected to bat. In reply Dorset lost some early wickets, but reached 221-6 from 59 overs at the close of play. With 31 overs of their allotted first innings' allocation of 90, the vistors have the slight advantage after the opening exchanges. "We didn't bat very well at all," admitted Cheshire skipper Andy Hall. "It's furstrating because three batsman have got runs, but we lost cheap wickets which didn't help. "I was looking at a much bigger total, but we will have to did in early tomorrow and try and dismiss Dorset cheaply."

Cheshire's cause wasn't helped by the loss of bowlers Dave Pennett and Tom Young, both of whom withdrew from the side at the last minute. Bowdon seamer Guy Emmett and Heaton Mersey's John Farrow were their replacements as the defending champions continue their search for their first three-day win. "We lost Dave and Tom at the last minute, but John and Guy have come in and done well," added Hall.

The J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side host Herefordshire at Alderley Edge on 23/24/25 July in fourth three-day game of the season.

JW-Lees sponsored Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Ben Spendlove, Danny Leech (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Chris Finegan (Neston); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); John Farrow (Heaton Mersey). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Jim Law.

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

 

WOODS TO MAKE CHESHIRE DEBUT By Neil Goulding

PROMISING young gun Danny Woods is set to make his Cheshire debut when the county face Dorset at Nantwich Cricket Club, 9-11 July.Left-arm spinner Woods, who plays for Hyde in the CD Bramall Trucks Cheshire County League ECB Premier Division, has quickly been rising through the ranks having starred at domestic and representative level. Formerly of Cheadle Hulme and Bowdon, Woods' father Malcolm was a successful all-rounder for Cumberland. His success seems to have rubbed off on his son. "Danny's one of a couple of young spinners who are coming through the ranks," said Cheshire skipper Andy Hall, who led his county to the Minor Counties Championship title last season."He deserves his chance, just like Danny Berry (also of Hyde) did when he played against Cornwall in our last match."It's important we have two spinners in the side for three-day games, especially for the third day when the wicket has the most wear on it."Danny deserves his chance and I really hope he has a successful debut for us. It's a big chance for him push for a regular place in the team."

Indeed, and Cheshire have made three more changes to the side which drew with Cornwall at Truro at the end of last month.Former Nottingham pace ace Dave Pennett returns to the side to play his first three-day game of the campaign having been troubled with a knee injury, while former Derbyshire batsman Ben Spendlove is back in having been unavailable for both of Cheshire's opening fixtures of the seasons. Also in is Neston seam bowler Chris Finegan who played in the drawn game against Berkshire.

Out go off-spinner Berry, Oxton's Simon Stokes and Bramhall's Barney Cutbill, all of whom were late replacements for the Cornwall clash. "No disrespect to those players not in this time, but we've strengthened our team, especially with Dave and Ben coming back in. They both have valuable first-class experience and are proven performers at this level," added Hall. "We've drawn both of our opening games, so we have to win this game if we are going to stand any chance of winning the Western Division this year."

JW-Lees sponsored Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt), Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Ben Spendlove, Danny Leech (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Tom Young, Danny Woods (Hyde); Chris Finegan (Neston); Dave Pennett (Harrogate) 12th D.Berry (Hyde) Scorer: Jim Law

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).