Cheshire v Oxfordshire CCC MCCA Championship

At BAnbury  on Sun/Mon/Tues 8/9/10 August 2004

Cheshire won toss Match Drawn - Cheshire 9 pts Oxford 6 pts

Cheshire 1st Cheshire 2nd
S.A.Twigg c Knightley b P.J. Evans 54    
D.N.Leech b I.J.Evans 72    
G.F.Archer not out  121    
N.D.Cross lbw Arnold 17    
A.J.Hall (c) c Knightley b P.J.Evans 53    
M.R.Dawson (w) c Newhook b I.J.Evans 28    
R.W.Fisher no 4    




Total (5 wkts)




Oxfordshire Bowling 1st  Bowling 2nd
  O M R W O M R W
R.M.Newhook 14   73          
L.H.Merry 15 4 59          
K.A.Arnold 23 8 45 1        
P.J.Evans 19 3 88 2        
I.J.Evans 19 2 87 2        





































Oxfordshire 1st Innings 2nd Innings
I.A.Hawtin (wk) c Twigg b Pennett 10
C.A.Smith no 51
R.I.Kaufman c Dawson b Whittaker 2
P.J.Evans lbw Pennett 25
R.J.Williams no 3
K.A.Arnol (c)




Total (3 wkts)



Cheshire  Bowling 1st   2nd
  O M R W


D.B.Pennett 12.1 3 41 2        
J.P.Whittaker 11   51 1        
R.W.Fisher 3 1 5          
N.D.Cross 2 2            


Day 3 Report

By Neil Goulding


GERRY Hardstaff, the Cheshire chairman, admitted he was "very frustrated" that his county's Minor Counties Championship Western Division clash with Oxfordshire had been abandoned due to heavy rain.


Cheshire needed to win at Banbury to boost their chances of qualification's for next season's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy, but had to settle for 10 points instead of a possible 20.


But because of a waterlogged pitch, which had only seen eight overs of action on the previous day, Hardstaff and his team were denied the chance to take full points.


"We were in a promising position on Sunday and the weather spoilt the match," said Hardstaff.


"It would have been a contrived finish on the last day if both sides wanted to get a result, but there was nothing we could do. We really needed a win."


Having won the toss and elected to bat Cheshire posted a healthy 365-5, on Sunday, with Graeme Archer, the former Nottinghamshire player, top-scoring with an unbeaten 121 - his first century for Cheshire.


But having restricted the hosts to 100-3, rain halted any chance of Cheshire relieving any of the pressure on themselves ahead of their last match of the season, against Shropshire, at Chester Boughton Hall (22-24 August).


"We can beat Shropshire, but we know they are a good side," added Hardstaff.


"Shropshire will want to beat us and we need a result as well, so it makes for an interesting game.


"They have strengthened for this season, but they are by no means invincible. Hopefully we can bat first and get some runs on the board to put pressure on them. It's a big match for both counties."


Indeed, and Hardstaff admits Cheshire could make a series of changes to their team for the Shropshire clash next weekend.


Professional Simon Renshaw is likely to return to the ranks, while there are three people all in contention for the coveted wicketkeeping place.


Widnes captain Ian Spencer is still nursing an ankle-injury, but is still very much in the frame to play, while debutante Matt Dawson - who kept at Oxfordshire - and Stephen Ogilby, the Ireland international gloveman, could also be selected.


"There will be some changes, but we don't know what those will be yet," said Hardstaff.


"Alexis Twigg has chipped a bone on his left knuckle, so we are waiting on his fitness. Ian (Spencer) is injured as well, which means we will have to review that situation, especially with Matt Dawson doing so well and (Stephen) Ogilby coming back into the frame."


Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Banbury, Day 3 of 3).


Cheshire 1st innings: 365-5 (Archer 121 not out, Leech 74, Twigg 53, Hall 53)

Oxfordshire 1st innings: 100-3.


Cheshire won the toss and elected to bat.


RESULT: Match abandoned due to rain. Cheshire 10pts, Oxforshire 7pts.


MINOR COUNTIES Championship: Final day of three: Luton: Buckinghamshire 325-5; Bedfordshire 268 (J A Knott 107, Z A Shar 6 for 83). Match drawn. Finchampstead: Wales Minor Counties 391; Berkshire 80-2. Match drawn. Exmouth: Devon 231 and 203 (N Hancock 79, S Rollins 5 for 50); Cornwall 419-6 and 18-0. Cornwall won by 10 wickets. Manor Park: Norfolk 304 and 64-2; Northumberland 176-2 dec. Match drawn. Banbury: Cheshire 365-5; Oxfordshire 100-3. Match drawn. Mildenhall: Cambridgeshire 158; Suffolk 385-3. Match drawn. Corsham: Wiltshire 347-7 and 14-1; Shropshire 137 and 223 (J T Ralph 51, J D Whitney 51). Wiltshire won by 9 wickets.



By Neil Goulding


CHESHIRE's 3-day Minor Counties Championship clash with Oxfordshire is heading for a draw after only eight overs of play were possible on the second day of action at Banbury.


Heavy rain meant that both teams were frustrated in a match they must win to try and enhance their chances of qualification for next season's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy.


Cheshire skipper Andy Hall targeted a victory against Oxfordshire and he was understandably frustrated having seen his side run up their highest score of the season, 365-5, only a day earlier.


"You can't do anything about the weather, but hopefully we still might get a result out of the match. It's very doubtful, though," admitted Hall.


Cheshire managed to grab one more Oxfordshire wicket in the morning session as Oxfordshire progressed from 66-2 to 100-3 in the eight overs played.


But the heavens soon opened and the players did no get back on to the pitch again.


"We've just got to hope the weather stays fine today," added Hall. "The good thing is that we've managed to picked up full batting points and we've also got a bowling point, so at least we've got some points on the board."


However, Cheshire chairman Gerry Hardstaff believes it is very doubtful, if the bad weather continues, that his county will be able to force a result from the match on the last day.


"With all the rain I doubt whether we will play on the last day," said Hardstaff.

 "The match is finely poised, but if you lose a day's play, then it's always going to be hard to force a result."


Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Banbury, Day 2 of 3).


Cheshire 1st innings: 365-5 (Archer 121 not out, Leech 74, Twigg 53, Hall 53)


Oxfordshire 1st innings: 100-3. Rain stopped play.


Cheshire won the toss and elected to bat.


MINOR COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP: Second day of three: Finchampstead: Wales 391; Berkshire 80-2. Exmouth: Devon 231 (A J Pugh 87, G Rollins 5 for 68) and 42-4; Cornwall 419-6 dec (R C Driver 115, T G Sharp 113, G M Thomas 100). Manor Park: Norfolk 304 and 64-2; Northumberland 176-2 dec (A T Heather 103 not out). Banbury: Cheshire 365-5 (G Arhcer 121 not out, D N Leech 73); Oxfordshire 100-3. Milbourne Hall: Cambridgeshire 158; Suffolk 385-3 (B France 179 not out, M J Marvell 54 not out). Corsham: Wiltshire 347-7 dec; Shropshire 137 and 26-3.


DAY 1 REPORT - other MCCA Day 1 Scores below

By Neil Goulding

FORMER Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire batsman Graeme Archer smashed a brilliant unbeaten hundred as Cheshire took control against Oxfordshire on the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship Western Divison clash, which runs until Tuesday (August 10).


Archer top-scored for Cheshire with 121 not out as the visitors ran up an imposing 365-5 having won the toss and elected to bat.


And there were runs also for openers Danny Leech (74) and Alexis Twigg (53), who gave Cheshire the perfect start at Banbury, in a match they must win to enhance their chances of qualifying for next year's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy.


Captain Andy Hall weighed in with 53 in Cheshire's allotted 90 overs, before his bowlers helped restrict the hosts to 66-2 at the close of play.


Cheshire, who have already picked up full batting points for their efforts, need one more wicket this morning for their first bowling point of the game.


Hall hopes his team can get that point quickly and then go on to dismiss Oxfordshire quickly so they can force a win inside three days.


"We've made an excellent start," said Hall. "The top order batted very well, especially Graeme (Archer). He's been in really good touch since he joined us earlier this season.


"It's a good pitch and I fancied a bat. I'm glad I made the right decision, it was important to get as many batting points as we could.


"But we've got to push on from here and make sure we bowl Oxfordshire out cheaply and keep some type of first innings lead, whatever it may be."


And Hall also paid special praise to both of his opening batsman, whose opening century stand really set Cheshire up for a big score on the opening day.


"Danny (Leech) and Alexis (Twigg) seem to enjoy batting together," added Hall. "It's important we have a solid opening partnership. They both batted very well and then everyone behind them chipped in as well with important runs."


Minor Counties Championship - Western Division (Banbury, Day 1 of 3).


Cheshire 1st innings: 365-5 (Archer 121 not out, Leech 74, Twigg 53, Hall 53)


Oxfordshire 1st innings: 66-2


Cheshire won the toss and elected to bat.



Finchampstead: Wales 391 (D Cherry 170, R E Watkins 80); Berkshire 10-0. 

Exmouth: Devon 220-9 (A J Pugh 87; v Cornwall). 

Banbury: Cheshire 365-5 (G Archer 121 not out, D Leech 72, A Twigg 54, A Hall 53); Oxfordshire 66-2. 

Milburn Hall: Cambridgeshire 158; Suffolk 204-2 (A Mawson 101, B France 100 not out). 

Corsham: Wiltshire 347-7 (J Hibberd 118, K Blackburn 60, S B Rizbi 52); Shropshire 10-1.




By Neil Goulding


CHESHIRE meet Oxfordshire in their penultimate match in the Minor Counties Championship Western Division - a game which starts today and runs until Tuesday (August 8-10).

And skipper Andrew Hall knows anything less than a victory will leave his side in trouble for Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy qualification for next season.

Cheshire need to finish in the top five in the Western Division to guarantee themselves a lucrative money-spinning clash with a first class county next term.

But Cheshire are currently lying in sixth position and in need of points to shoot them up the table.

And against Oxfordshire, who are eighth, there will be no better opportunity for Hall's charges to prove themselves.

Oxfordshire have only won once in four outings this season and a languishing precariously close to the foot of the table.

"It's a big game for both counties and we know we need to win," admitted Hall. "We've been playing some good cricket this season, but you also need a bit of luck along the way.

"We know to get full points we're going to have to play an attacking game, but I'm not afraid of doing that.

"With Shropshire being our last game we know we need to get the points in the bag now, otherwise we could leave ourselves with a mountain to climb. Shropshire are very strong and playing well."

His view was echoed by Gerry Hardstaff, the Cheshire chairman, who is desperate for his team to get full points on the board. Hardstaff is pleased with Cheshire 's progress this year, especially with the signing of former Notts batsman Graeme Archer.

But the Cheshire chairman admits more work has to be done in order for Cheshire to win honours.

"It's been a good season and we have played a lot of good cricket, but you have to win matches to win anything," said Hardstaff. "It's been frustrating at times because we've played well for two sessions in a day and then played badly in another session, which has really cost us.

"That's an area we are hoping to improve on and I hope we can do that against Oxfordshire.

"It's a big match for all the players and if we don't win then it's going to be very tough to qualify for the C &G.

"All the players look forward to that competition because they usually get to test themselves against a first class county."

Cheshire have recalled Oxton all-rounder Neil Cross to the team ahead of the Oxfordshire match.

Cross, a schoolteacher, has so far been absent for all four of Cheshire's three-day matches because of work commitments, but having scored more than 500 runs and taken over 30 wickets in the Cheshire County League, he is relishing a return to the Minor Counties arena.

"I miss it when I'm not playing, so it's nice to be back in the team," said Cross.

Promising Hyde batsman James Duffy has dropped out to make way for Cross, while 20-year-old wicketkeeper Ian Spencer keeps his place in the absence of Irish international Stephen Ogilby, but he will not be behind the stumps. Spencer suffered a hand-injury when he fell down the stairs at his home and is unfit to keep wicket.


Instead, Cheshire will give a debut to Dawson, a 23-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman, who replaces Simon Renshaw, one of Cheshire's former professionals, who is absent because of club commitments.


Renshaw will play for Kibworth, his club side, instead of county, leaving space for Dawson to come in and shine.


Dawson currently plays for Walsden, near his home in Todmorden.


Cheshire will also make one more change to the original side they picked for the crucial contest at Banbury.


Seam bowler Barney Cutbill returns to the side in place of Danny Jones, the Oulton Park teenager, who has been selected to represent Lancashire Under-19s.


Macclesfield bowler Cutbill last played for Cheshire when they defeated Berkshire - taking a hat-trick - earlier this season.


Team to face Oxfordshire, Banbury: Andy Hall (captain), Ian Spencer, Danny Leech, Jason Whittaker, Matt Dawson (wicketkeeper), Alexis Twigg, Dave Pennett, Barney Cutbill, Graeme Archer, Robin Fisher, Neil Cross. 12th man: Mike Bolger.