CHESHIRE'S KNOCKOUT TROPHY TITLE ASPIRATIONS ENDED BY SHROPSHIRE

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

scorecard from Wem

CHESHIRE cannot now qualify for this season's MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-finals after defeat to Shropshire at the weekend.

The 2007 finalists were beaten by eight wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method on Sunday in their penultimate qualifying group clash at Wem Cricket Club.

And even if Cheshire win their last group match at home to Bedfordshire on Sunday 31 May at Marple Cricket Club, it will be Shropshire or Oxfordshire who are guaranteed qualification because one of them will finish on more points than Cheshire in the final standings.

Bedfordshire have already guaranteed their qualification with three wins from three matches, with just one spot left for another county to progress to the quarter-final stage.

"It's disappointing we've not qualified, but hopefully we can have a good performance against Bedfordshire in our last match. It's important we start the Championship season with confidence behind us," stressed Cheshire manager Sandy Scrimgeour.

"We've played well in patches so far, but unfortunately you can't legislate for the weather [against Shropshire]. It was a frustrating day for everyone."

The 100-over match was initially reduced to 80 overs because of heavy rain, with each side allowed 40 overs each.

Cheshire lost the toss and were asked to bat and, at 30-1 from 7.5 overs, rain interrupted play once again.

It was decided that both sides would then have a total of 14 overs, so Cheshire had a further 6.1 overs to bat.

And thanks to 29 from top-scorer Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall) finished on 78-4, the batting side scoring 48 runs off the next 37 balls.

It was then calculated on the Duckworth/Lewis method that Shropshire needed 96 in their allotted 14 overs to win - and the host county succeeded in their chase with 2.1 overs to spare.

Bowdon seamer Adam Syddall impressed with 2-17 in his three overs as Shropshire were in trouble 5-1 and 31-2, but a third-wicket partnership of 69 saw the hosts safely home at 100-2 from 11.5 overs.

Scorecard:
Cheshire 78-4, 14 overs (Warren Goodwin 29)
FOW: 11, 35, 57, 73
Shropshire: 100-2, 11.5 overs (Adam Syddall 2-17)
FOW: 5, 31

Result: Shropshire (2pts), who won the toss, beat Cheshire (0pts) by eight wickets (D/L method). Match reduced to 14 overs per side.

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). Scorer: Janet Herbert

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

CHESHIRE LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST SHROPSHIRE

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have named an unchanged team ahead of Sunday's Minor Counties Cricket Association (MCCA) Knockout Trophy clash with Shropshire at Wem Cricket Club.

Andy Hall's side are third in the Group One qualifying group after an opening season victory over Cumberland and a defeat to Oxfordshire last weekend.

And the skipper knows victory against Shropshire would really help improve the county's hopes of progressing to this year's quarter-finals.

Cheshire have also got to play group leaders Bedfordshire in little over a fortnight's time, so getting points on the board before that match is a priority for Hall's charges.

"We've ideally got to win both of our matches, we don't really want to be relying on other results to go our way so we can qualify," admitted Hall.

"We had a much better batting performance against Oxfordshire, but they did well to chase down a big score and beat us.

"But we know that if we win our last two matches then we'll be in a strong position to qualify."

Shropshire have also won one and lost one of their opening two matches, but last season it was Cheshire who triumphed when the two counties met in the Trophy competition.

Cheshire won by a faster scoring rate having posted 219-7 and had Shropshire in trouble at 49-3.

"It was good to beat Shropshire last season, but we now they're a good side and they'll want to get a bit of revenge for last season," added Hall.

"We won't be taking anything for granted. We'll be trying to play attacking cricket and get another win. If we do that it will set everything up nicely for our last group match against Bedfordshire."

With Hyde seam bowler Tom Young still injured, Oulton Park bowler Rick Moore has been given another chance to impress for Cheshire having taken two wickets on his debut last weekend.

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). Scorer: Janet Herbert