Herefordshire v Cheshire - Day 3 Report


By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer)

CHESHIRE were too good for Herefordshire as they grabbed the last six wickets they needed for victory at Kingsland yesterday (Tuesday),

Andy Hall's team had left their hosts needing a huge 414 to win, but the loss of quick wickets on Monday evening left Herefordshire reeling at 87-4.

It didn't take long for the JW Lees Cheshire team to wrap up a 211 runs victory, the perfect start for their Minor Counties Championship Western Division campaign.

Nathan Dumelow and Robin Fisher did the damage with early scalps as Herefordshire were bowled out for 202, giving Cheshire 24 points.

"That's a great victory for us," said a delighted Hall. "We played well on all three days and showed real character when we had too.

"There were some important batting partnerships and then our bowlers backed that up in the field. Herefordshire are a strong side, so we couldn't have asked for a better start to the season."

Hall was particularly pleased with the contributions of debutantes Dumelow, the former Derbyshire all-rounder, and ex-England and Lancashire all-rounder Chris Schofield.

Schofield scored 150 runs in the match and claimed four wickets, while Dumelow played a key role with his nine wickets.

The Oulton Park player's return of 9-96 broke a ten-year-old record set by fast bowler Nigel Peel when, in 1995 against Herefordshire at Dale, he finished with match figures of 9-98.

Former Red Rose man Mark Currie and promising Hyde batsman James Duffy also received special praise. Currie back playing his first game since being released at Old Trafford, and Duffy in only his second game for the county.

Currie caressed his way to an important 71 in Cheshire's second innings after the early loss of Alexis Twigg, while Duffy came good with a Cheshire best score of 32 when Hall's team looked for quick runs at the end of the second day.

"I'm pleased for Schoey and Nathan, they've both contributed in a big way to our win. Chris got runs as well as wickets, and having two more spinners in the side has been a real advantage as the wicket has got older.

"It was nice to see Mark get some runs. He's a gifted player and I hope he has a good season. James has done well also. He deserves his chance because he's been getting stacks of runs in the Cheshire County League."

Indeed, and Hall's two half centuries (50 and 56 respectively) in the match should not be discounted. The skipper played his part in two century partnerships, the platform which allowed Cheshire to score highly in both innings.

"It's nice to score runs, but we've played as a team and everyone has contributed. Hopefully we can take this form into our game against Wales on Sunday," added Hall.

Cheshire host Wales at Nantwich on Sunday in the first round of the MCCA Knockout Cup, a competition where two finalists will get the chance to play at Lords.

Last year Cheshire were beaten by Berkshire on a bowl-out at the quarter-final stage, and the year previous were beaten by Hertfordshire, also in the Last 8, in Luton.

"We've not had the best of luck in the Knockout in the last couple of years, so it would be nice to go further this year and hopefully get to play at Lords.

"The bowl-out last year was a lottery and the year before David Ward scored a brilliant hundred which helped Hertfordshire win

"With the team we've got I'm sure we can improve and get further that the quarter-final stages. I think all our players enjoying playing one-day games."

Cheshire will make two changes to their three-day winning Championship side, with left-arm pace ace Danny Jones and Duffy both absent because of university commitments.

Their absence has left the door open for promising seam bowler Tom Young, Duffy's teammate at Hyde, to make his Cheshire debut, while experienced all-rounder Neil Cross also comes into the team looking to make an impression before he emigrates to New Zealand later this year.

"Tom deserves his chance just like James," said Gerry Hardstaff, the Cheshire chairman of cricket. "He's another promising Cheshire County League player who we hope is successful at Minor Counties level.

"We gave young players a chance last year and we'll do the same again this season. If players perform well in the Cheshire County League then they will be considered for the side."

Hardstaff, like Hall, is hopeful Cheshire can be successful in the MCCA Knockout this term.

"It would be lovely to get to Lords, but to do that we have to try and field our best team every match," added Hardstaff. "Keeping a consistent side will be a big help.

"Beating Herefordshire will be good for confidence, so I hope that reflects in our performance against Wales."


Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Luctonians Cricket Club, Kingsland, Scores after Final day of 3)


Cheshire 1st innings: 334 all out, 82.3 overs, 27 extras (Schofield 100, Whittaker 73, Hall 50, Pennett 37, Glover 3-57, Mali 3-36).
FOW: 7, 21, 154, 161, 200, 204, 217, 228, 332, 334.

Herefordshire 1st innings: 205 all out, 52.4 overs, extras 26 (Patel 60, Trego 35, Dumelow 4-42, Schofield 3-50, Fisher 2-19).
FOW: 56, 66, 136, 142, 144, 145, 181, 189, 201, 205.

Cheshire 2nd innings: 284-9 declared, 60 overs, 31 extras (Currie 71, Hall 56, Schofield 50, Duffy 32, Exall 4-40, Parker 3-63).
FOW: 8, 121, 169, 227, 237, 254, 258, 262, 264, 284.

Herefordshire 2nd innings: 202 all out, 50.3 overs, extras 27 (Dumelow 5-54, Fisher 3-47, Boroughs 46).
FOW: 8, 11, 87, 101, 146, 158, 177, 201, 202, 205.

RESULT: Cheshire won by 211 runs (Cheshire 24pts, Herefordshire 5pts).

Herefordshire v Cheshire - Day 2 Report


By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE have put themselves in the driving seat for victory over Herefordshire at Kingsland after some starring performances from former Lancashire batsman Mark Currie and ex-Derbyshire spinner Nathan Dumelow.

Dumelow did the damage with the ball on debut with a 4-42 return that contributed to Herefordshire losing seven wickets for just 65 runs, three of which came in the first three overs of the second's day play having resumed on 140-3.

Then it was the turn of Currie. The ex-Red Rose youngster caressed his way to a splendid 71 and helped Cheshire set the hosts a daunting 414 winning target.

Cheshire skipper Andy Hall also weighed in with his second half-century of the match as the visitors took control of an intriguing Minor Counties Championship Western Division tussle at Luctonians Cricket Club.

It got even better for Cheshire as Herefordshire stuttered in their second innings and lost four wickets to close on 87 in the 24 remaining overs of the day's play.

Play resumes again today (11.00am) with Cheshire requiring just six wickets to snatch victory - and Herefordshire 331 runs if they are to spring a surprise triumph.

"I can't see any other winner than us now," said Hall, delighted with his team's commanding performance thus far. Maximum batting and bowling points have already been achieved.

"I'd be very disappointed if we didn't win. There's been some really good contributions in the first two days and I think having three spinners has made a big impact.

"Chris Schofield has made a big impact and so have the rest of our new players. Mark Currie and Nathan Dumelow have all done well, but I think our strong batting has given our bowlers the license to be attacking - and Herefordshire have struggled."

Earlier Cheshire came out the of traps flying and with former England and Lancashire all-rounder Schofield (3-50) and left-arm spinner Robin Fisher (2-19) also amongst the wickets, it wasn't long before Herefordshire found themselves on the back foot for the second time in the match.

Harshad Patel offered the only resistance with a spirited 60 and Peter Trego chipped in with a quickfire 35 from 24 balls.

But by then the damage had been done and Cheshire started well in the second innings, largely due to Currie's measured knock which laid the platform for yet another big score.

Cheshire came close to setting a new record with their first innings total of 334, just 19 runs shy of their previous high total against Herefordshire, achieved against the county in 1999.

No surprise then that more runs flowed in the second innings, a key factor Hall and Cheshire chairman Gerry Hardstaff hope will guide the county to success this term.

Hall declared on 284 and in the remaining overs Robin Fisher claimed the important wickets of Patel and the dangerous Trego, while Dumelow and Pennett also claimed scalps.

"We've played the best cricket for the first two days," said Hardstaff. "Hopefully we make early in-roads and get the six wickets we need for victory. It would be a great start to the season to win our first match."

Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Luctonians Cricket Club, Kingsland, Scores after Day 2 of 3)

Cheshire 1st innings: 334 all out, 82.3 overs, 27 extras (Schofield 100, Whittaker 73, Hall 50, Pennett 37, Glover 3-57, Mali 3-36).
FOW: 7, 21, 154, 161, 200, 204, 217, 228, 332, 334.

Herefordshire 1st innings: 205 all out, 52.4 overs, extras 26 (Patel 60, Trego 35, Dumelow 4-42, Schofield 3-50, Fisher 2-19).
FOW: 56, 66, 136, 142, 144, 145, 181, 189, 201, 205.

Cheshire 2nd innings: 284-9 declared, 60 overs, 31 extras (Currie 71, Hall 56, Schofield 50, Duffy 32, Exall 4-40, Parker 3-63).
FOW: 8, 121, 169, 227, 237, 254, 258, 262, 264.

Herefordshire 2nd innings: 87-4, 24 overs.


Herefordshire v Cheshire Day 1 Report

By Neil Goulding

FORMER England and Lancashire all-rounder Chris Schofield scored a brilliant century on debut as Cheshire took control over Herefordshire yesterday (Sunday) in a gripping opening day tussle in their Minor Counties Championship Western Division clash.

The ex-Red Rose man caressed his way to exactly a hundred for his new county as Cheshire posted an impressive 334 having won the toss and elected to bat.

Having lost the early wickets of Alexis Twigg and Mark Currie, another former Lancashire player, on a tricky pitch, Schofield held the innings together to put Cheshire into the driving seat.

Captain Andy Hall shared an important third wicket partnership with Schofield, before he was dismissed having just reached his half-century.

But last year's leading all-rounder Jason Whittaker weighed in with his highest score for Cheshire, a cultured knock of 73, while fellow all-rounder Dave Pennett, the former Nottinghamshire player, remained unbeaten on 45.

In reply Herefordshire got off to a flyer and rattled up 44 from seven overs, before a wicket each for Schofield, Whittaker and left-arm spinner Robin Fisher saw the hosts end on 140-3 from 27 overs.

"We're in strong position and there plenty good aspects of the day, particularly Chris Schofield's hundred on debut," said Gerry Hardstaff, the Cheshire chairman.

"He batted really well, especially because the pitch was very difficult to play on in the early part of the game. Chris is an unorthodox player, but he's made a big impact on his debut."

Hardstaff also paid special praise to Whittaker, captain Hall and the experienced Pennett for their contributions to Cheshire's imposing total.

"Andy and Chris batted well together, and so did Jason and Dave," added Hardstaff.

"Both of those partnerships were crucial to us setting a good total. We've had a very good start."

Herefordshire might have be a strong position at the close of play on day one, but Schofield's introduction with the ball yielded an immediate wicket, while the tired Whittaker and Pennett stuck at their task to claim deserved victims.

"Herefordshire started brilliantly, but we did well to peg them back," Hardstaff revealed.

"I think Jason and Dave were a little bit tired after their batting efforts, but they did well with the ball - and it was nice for Chris to get his first wicket for the county."

Cheshire skipper Hall echoed that view and believes his side must make early in-roads on the second day if they are to gain an all-important first innings advantage.

"I'm delighted for Chris, it was great to see him do so well on his debut," said Hall.

"The rest of the lads and myself all dug in, especially Jason and Dave.

It's important we get a few more wickets early tomorrow and put Herefordshire on the back foot. We really want to win this game."

Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Luctonians Cricket Club, Day 1) -
Cheshire 1st innings: 334 all out, 82 overs (Schofield 100, Whittaker 73, Hall 50, Pennett 45 not out); Herefordshire 1st innings: 140-3, 27 overs.