By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, mobile 07931 376811)

CHESHIRE 2nd XI suffered an agonising three-wicket defeat at home to the Durham Academy at Upton Cricket Club, ending a ten-year winning streak over their opponents.

A disappointing first innings total eventually proved Andy Newton's team's downfall.

Having been 42 for no wicket, Cheshire slipped to 87-8 and ultimately did well to post a modest 137.

James McCoy (26), Heaton Mersey's Nick Cantello (27) and Newton (24no) giving Cheshire's total some respectability.

Durham gained a 53 runs first innings lead, before Cheshire finally found some composure to set the visitors needing 206 for victory on the last afternoon of a see-saw two-day clash.

Wicketkeeper Matthew Dawson led the way with a cultured 79 while Marc Debrabender weighed in with an excellent 70.

McCoy, the emerging young Widnes opener, was in the runs again with 47 as Cheshire declared on 258-9.

Durham were given 42 overs in which to reach their 206 target - and they did so with four balls to spare despite some impressive bowling from the J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side.

Seamer Tait, of Macclesfield, was the pick of the bowlers with 3-75, while Jamie Maltman grabbed 2-68, adding to his wicket in the first innings, to give the home side some hope.

But Durham ended their ten-year drought and avenged any chances of Cheshire extending their impressive winning run, crossing the finishing line with three wickets to spare.

"It was a great match," said Cheshire 2nd XI manager Sandy Scrimgeour.

"There was some very pleasing performances, particularly with the bat. Matthew Dawson and Marc Debradender were both excellent.

"Ian Tait impressed me with the ball. He bowled well, but unfortunately our low first innings score had a big bearing on the result."

Minor Counties Friendly (Upton Cricket Club, June 30 - July 1)

Cheshire 2nd XI 1st innings: 137 all out, 46 overs (Nick Cantello 27, James McCoy 26, Andy Newton 23no).

Durham Academy 1st innings: 190-4 dec, 62 overs (Jamie Maltman 1-40)

Cheshire 2nd XI 2nd innings: 258-9 dec, 72.5 overs (Matthew Dawson 79, Marc De

Durham Academy 2nd innings: 206-7, 41.2 overs (Ian Tait 3-75, Jamie Maltman 2-68)

Result: Durham Academy won by three wickets and with four balls to spare.