HALL STARS BUT CHESHIRE BEATEN BY OXFORDSHIRE

Scorecard from Christleton

Pictured: Cheshire skipper Andy Hall was in the runs, but his side lost by two wickets to Oxfordshire
Photo credit David Bailey

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE suffered an early setback on Sunday in their quest to win this season's MCCA Knockout Trophy.

Skipper Andy Hall top-scored with a fine innings of 72, but it was not enough to stop his side slipping to a surprise two-wicket defeat against Oxfordshire at Christleton Cricket Club.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat the hosts posted a challenging 284-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

But despite having the visitors in trouble at 176-6 and 193-7, Cheshire failed to close out the match and Oxfordshire made sure of two maximum points to leave Group One wide open.

"It's disappointing to lose when you've posted a good score like we did, but fair play to Oxfordshire because they played well to chase down the runs," reflected Bramhall's Hall.

"We could have probably got a few more runs, which would have made it interesting, but we had our chances in the match and didn't take them."

Buoyed by an opening group match victory over Cumberland which saw them go top of the table, Cheshire started brightly as openers Danny Leech and Warren Goodwin shared in a opening stand worth 69.

Oulton Park left-hander Leech was out for 42 and Chester Boughton Hall batsman Goodwin contributed a welcome 46 runs.

Then skipper Hall top-scored with his first half-century of the county season, well-aided by Hyde's James Duffy who chipped in with 37.

But from a solid position at 227-4 Cheshire then lost five wickets for 57 runs as Oxfordshire stopped the hosts pushing past the 300-mark.

"We were probably 20-30 runs short of what we should have scored," admitted Cheshire team manager Sandy Scrimgeour.

"284 is a good score, but with ten overs to go we still had six wickets left and fancied getting 300. If we'd have done that it could have been a different story."

Hyde all-rounder Dan Berry impressed with a 3-33 return as Cheshire fought hard in the field, while Oulton Park seamer Rick Moore - in for the injured Macclesfield bowler James Hawley - impressed with two wickets on his debut for the first team.

Oxfordshire still had plenty of work to do after Cheshire ended an eighth wicket partnership of 60. But from 253-8 the visitors held their nerve to score the remaining 32 runs they needed for victory.

Scorecard:
Cheshire 284-9, 50 overs (A Hall 72, W Goodwin 46, D Leech 42, J Duffy 37)
FOW: 69, 124, 124, 203, 227, 227, 242, 254, 261

Oxfordshire 285-8, 48.3 overs (D Berry 3-33, R Moore 2-67)
FOW: 54, 83, 97, 97, 133, 176, 193, 253

Result: Oxfordshire (2pts), who won the tos, beat Cheshire (0pts) by two wickets

Cheshire team: Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Rick Moore (Oulton Park). 12th man: Hamish Dunlop (Chester Boughton Hall). Scorer: Jim Law.

Cheshire are kindly sponsored by therightmovearoad.com and AB Nutrition Ltd.

CHESHIRE UNCHANGED FOR OXFORDSHIRE CHALLENGE By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have named an unchanged side ahead of this Sunday's MCCA Knockout Trophy clash with Oxfordshire at Christleton Cricket Club.

Last season's quarter-finalists started their season with a welcome 50-over away win against Cumberland towards the end of last month.

And Andy Hall's team will be looking to build on that victory to cement their position at the top of the Group One qualifying table.

Hyde bowler Tom Young missed out on selection with a groin injury, so Macclesfield seam bowler James Hawley - who made his first team debut against Cumberland - makes his second start for the county.

"We started the season with a win, but we're looking for a much better batting performance," revealed Cheshire team manager Sandy Scrimgeour.

"We were in trouble against Cumberland and did well to get past 200 runs. The players know we have got to bat better than that.

"But all credit to them because we bowled and fielded very well to win the match."

Last season Cheshire were surprisingly beaten by Oxfordshire when they clashed in the MCCA Knockout Trophy at Great Kew.

Batting first Cheshire struggled to 178 all out, skipper Andy Hall the county's top-scorer with a spirited 52.

But Oxfordshire cruised to a six-wicket victory with nearly 12 overs to spare.

And so it's little surprise Hall and his team are looking for an improved performance this time around.

"We didn't do ourselves justice with the bat when we played them last season," reflected Hall.

"But that was last season, we've started with a win this year and we'll be looking to build on that performance.

"We got to the final of this competition a couple of years ago and then slipped up against Devon in the quarter-finals last season.

"It's a competition we've always wanted to win, I'm confident we can have a good run this year."


Cheshire team: Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), James Hawley (Macclesfield). 12th man: Ollie Hall (Chester Boughton Hall). Scorer: Jim Law.