MCCOY AND DUMELOW SHINE, BUT CHESHIRE LOSE 20/20 SEMI-FINAL
By Neil Goulding
JAMES McCoy and Nathan Dumelow both sparkled with the willow, but it was not enough to stop Cheshire slipping to defeat against Shropshire in this season's Minor Counties 20/20 Challenge Tournament at Wrekin College in Wellington.
Having been asked to bat, Widnes batsman McCoy top-scored with a quickfire 40 from 37 balls, an innings which included four fours and one six, while Oulton Park captain Dumelow smashed 33 from just 17 balls. His knock included five fours and one six.
Hyde left-hander James Duffy chipped in with 18 from 19 balls and Oxton's Chris Davies hit an unbeaten 20 from 16 balls, but having been 81-2 Cheshire lost wickets quickly at the end of the innings.
McCoy and Dumelow shared in a 62 second wicket stand after the loss of Oulton Park's Jonny Kettle with the score on 19.
But Cheshire lost their next five wickets for 53 runs as they struggled to get close to the 150 mark. They eventually closed on 135-7 from their allotted 20 overs.
The Minor Counties champions had been flying at 59-1 from 7.4 overs and then 82-2 from 9 overs, but some tight bowling from Australian recruit Reece O'Connell (3-21) and Adam Shimmons (2-12) made sure the hosts restricted their run chase.
In reply Shropshire were struggling at 11-1, 11-2, then 44-3 and 48-4 at nine overs.
But the introduction of O'Connell, brought in especially for the match, changed proceedings.
The hard-hitting all-rounder smashed an unbeaten 57 from just 27 balls. His innings included four sixes and three fours.
Ed Foster contributed an unbeaten 34 from 28 balls as the pair shared in an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 88 to win with three overs to spare.
Jonathan Whitney contributed a useful 24 from 24 balls, with Oulton Park's left-arm seamer Guy Emmett the pick of Cheshire's bowlers with a 2-23 from four overs.
Hyde off-spinner Daniel Berry and Neston seamer Chris Finegan claimed Cheshire's other wickets.
In the second semi-final of the competition the Lashings World XI beat Staffordshire by three runs having been set a revised target for victory because of rain.
Lashings then went on to win the competition for the second successive year with a seven-wicket victory over Shropshire in this year's showcase final.
Scorecard - 1st semi-final:
Cheshire innings: 135-7, 20 overs (McCoy 40, Dumelow 33, Davies
20 not out, Duffy 18, O'Connell 3-21, Shimmons 2-14).
Shropshire innings: 136-4, 17 overs (O'Connell 57, Foster 34 not out, Whitney 24, Emmett 2-23, Berry 1-39, Finnegan 1-20).
Shropshire won the toss and elected to bat.
Shropshire won by six wickets
Cheshire team: Jonny Kettle (Oulton Park), James McCoy (Widnes), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall), Chris Davies (Oxton), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Alan Day (Alderley Edge), Chris Finnegan (Neston), Guy Emmett (Oulton Park). 12th man: Ollie Hall (Chester Boughton Hall). Scorer: Jim Law
Other results - 2nd semi-final: Lashings World XI beat Staffordshire by three runs.
Final: Lashings World XI beat Shropshire by seven wickets.
For full scorecards of all three matches visit www.lashings.co.uk