LEECH AND DUMELOW TOP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE batsman Danny Leech and off-spinner Nathan Dumelow have topped the Minor Counties Championship batting and bowling standings after a season to savour.

The Oulton Park duo were star performers this season as the county claimed their first Championship title in 20 years with an innings and four runs victory over Northumberland.

Leech finished with 640 runs, the highest number at an impressive average of 71.11, his tally included two centuries and four half-centuries, edging Hertfordshire batsman Andrew Lewis (607 runs) into to second place.

The talented left-hander saved his best until the last match of the season with a record score of 202 in this year's Championship final, sharing in a record first-wicket stand of 317 with Chester Boughton Hall batsman Warren Goodwin (154).

His efforts with the willow beat the previous best individual Cheshire score of 192 by Bramhall's Bob Cook against Yorkshire 2nd XI in 1971.

Goodwin finished tenth in the overall standings with 397 runs from just eight innings, averaging 49.62 having scored one century and two half centuries.

Cheshire skipper Andy Hall was also high on the list, although a wrist injury meant he missed some of his county's matches.

Hall finished with an impressive 339 runs at an average of 48.42, with one hundred and two fifties to his name. The captain had a high score of 162 not out.

Meanwhile, former Derbyshire ace Dumelow took 39 wickets, the highest number, with an average of 19.76 ten more victims than second-placed Chris Brown.

Norfolk's spinner Brown, a former Lancashire and Cheshire player, finished the season with 29 wickets, while Cheshire seamer Adam Syddall took 25 wickets in an impressive debut season for the county.

Dumelow's best three-day match bowling analysis was 11-40, as well as a best figures of 9-37 in one innings.

Meanwhile, left-armer Syddall returned best three-day match figures of 7-108 and individual innings figures of 6-39.

"Danny, Nathan and the rest of the team have been brilliant for us this season," praised Hall. "I'm really pleased for everyone, they deserve all their success. It's been a memorable season."

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