HALL TOASTS SWEET VICTORY IN LAST GAME IN CHARGE By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986) (Pictured: Andy Hall steps down with a smile on his face after ten successful years as the county's skipper - photo courtesy of Derrick Hastings) ANDY Hall hailed his Cheshire side as they claimed a famous victory for him in his last match in charge. Hall had plenty to smile about as Cheshire coasted to an impressive eight-wicket win over Oxfordshire at Alderley Edge. And after ten years in charge of the county side Hall is confident he has helped put the foundations in place for the current crop of players to grow from strength-to-strength. "It was a really special feeling to win my last match as captain, it's a great way to end the season for me," admitted Hall. "It is quite emotional to be honest because I've been skipper for a long time - and I'm going to miss captaining the lads. "But I know they're in safe hands with Duffers [James Duffy], he'll do a great job. "I know that I can't carrying on playing for ever, but it's an absolute privilege to play for Cheshire and to then captain the county, especially for such a long time. "There's going to be lots of things I'm going to miss, but I'm moving on now and I'll always be there for Duffers if he needs any advice. He's a great lad and I'm sure the rest of the team will want to do well for him." Having lost the toss, Hall was happy to see his side inserted on a decent-looking pitch at Alderley Edge. And Oxfordshire's decision to field quickly came back to haunt them despite the early scalp of wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Kettle. Opener Warren Goodwin (66) and Richard Wilkinson (96) - playing at his former club - shared an important second-wicket partnership of 121 to get Cheshire's 1st innings back on track.Runs from Lee Dixon (61) and then a fine century from soon-to-be skipper Duffy (103) - from just 89 balls, with ten 4s and three 6s - put the hosts firmly in the driving seat. With the loss of Wilkinson four short of his century, Hall came to the crease and eased to an elegant 61 from 61 balls, with two 4s and four 6s. The pair shared in a fifth wicket stand of 130 to take Cheshire past the 400-mark. Richard Logan (34) from 23 balls then helped Cheshire post an imposing 460-9 from their allotted 90 overs. Opening bowler Chad Keegan was the pick of the Oxfordshire attack with a 4-103 return from 24 overs, but in reply the visitors slumped to 36-3 and finished 57-3 at the close from 17 overs at the end of day one. It didn't get any better on the second day as Oxfordshire were bowled out for 203 in 69 overs, with left-arm spinner Danny Woods on-song with the ball. Woods finished with excellent figures of 5-52 from 26 overs, while Logan (3-68) and Syddall (2-46) were also amongst the wickets. Richard West top-scored with 54 for Oxfordshire, but he was the only player to make a half-century as Cheshire forced their opponents to follow-on still 257 runs behind. Oxfordshire faired much better in their second innings and despite losing wickets at 17 and 72, Knightley (70) and Cater shared in a battling third-wicket partnership of 106. But from 204-4 in the final session of the day, the visitors slipped to 244-8 at the close, losing four wickets for just 40 runs. Jamie Perkin, who was forced off with a badly swollen elbow, returned in the morning to make a spirited 65, but his efforts were to prove in vain as Oxfordshire were eventually bowled out for 307 in 71 overs - having added 63 runs for their last two wickets - and therefore left Cheshire needing just 51 for victory and with plenty of overs to get them in. Wilkinson was the destroyer with a superb 5-65 return in 17 overs, while Woods and James Warrington both picked up two wickets. Woods' two second innings wickets saw him return commendable match figures of 7-152 in 54 overs. Goodwin and Kettle both perished early for Cheshire as they were left with work to do at 35-2, but Wilkinson then came in and starred with the willow as well, finishing on an unbeaten 31 to help guide his county over the winning line. A fourth victory of the season saw Cheshire finish third overall in the Western Division, a good achievement after two losses during their six-game campaign. "It's a shame we couldn't win anything this season, but there's a lot of quality in the team and more good young players coming through, it's exciting times for Cheshire," said Hall. Scorecard: Cheshire 1st innings: 460-9, 90 overs (Duffy 103, Wilkinson 96, Goodwin 66, Hall 61, Dixon 61, Keegan 4-103) Oxfordshire 1st innings: 203 all out, 69 overs (West 54, Woods 5-52, Logan 3-68) Oxfordshire 2nd innings (following on): 307 all out, 71 overs (Knightley 70, Perkin 65, Jewell 56, Cater 48, Wilkinson 5-65) Cheshire 2nd innings: 51-2, 12.1 overs (Wilkinson 31 not out) Result: Cheshire (24pts) beat Oxfordshire (5pts) by eight wickets Cheshire's team v Oxfordshire: Andy Hall (captain, Marple) Jonny Kettle (wicketkeeper, Nantwich) Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall) Lee Dixon (Oxton) James Duffy (Hyde) Richard Logan (Chichester) Danny Berry (Hyde) Adam Syddall (Urmston) Jimmy Warrington (Nantwich) Richard Wilkinson (Barnt Green) Danny Woods (York) 12th man: Ross Dixon (Oxton) Scorer: Jim Law HALL READY FOR LAST GAME AS CHESHIRE SKIPPER By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, 07813 859986) Andy Hall (pictured) is relishing his last game as Cheshire captain after ten years at the helm (Photo courtesy Barry Mitchell) CHESHIRE skipper Andy Hall admits his last game in charge of the county is likely to be an emotional experience. And no wonder for Hall has been the lynchpin of the Cheshire side for the last ten years, having guided the county to plenty of success along the way. Unfortunately Cheshire can't win any honours this season despite having battled their way up to third position in the MCCA Western Division. But that doesn't for one moment mean Hall will be taking things easy in his last three-day game in charge. The skipper wants to win and go out on a high at Alderley Edge Cricket Club (21-23 August). "I'm trying not to treat the match any different, although of course it will probably dawn on me afterwards that I won't be the captain," admitted Hall. "But more than anything I'm just looking forward to the match and trying to help us end the season on a high, with another win. "It's a shame we can't win anything this season, but it's always important you try and win every match and it will be good for the younger players the more success they taste." Cheshire host Oxfordshire 18 points adrift of second-placed Devon and Hall knows a good win, with 24 points up for grabs, could see Cheshire finish as high as second this term. And there's one change to the Cheshire side with opening batsman Warren Goodwin back in the ranks having recovered from a hand-injury, with Chris Tipper not involved this time around. "We're pretty much unchanged apart from Warren coming back into the side," added Hall. "We've been pretty lucky this season to have kept a settled team - and a young one as well giving exception to a few oldies like myself. "It's going to be sad stepping down this year because I've had so many great times with the team, especially when we've trophies. "They're a great bunch of lads and we've always managed to have great banter on and off the field, which is important. "But when it's mattered all of the players have stood up and done the business. That helps any skipper. "It's the end of chapter, but next season I'll probably be able to concentrate on my batting a bit more and offer any advice to the lads and our vice captain James Duffy. "Let's just hope we can end the season on a high and celebrate with a few beers, then we can move on next season and see if we can make a good charge for the title."