Skipper pays tribute to double-winners
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)
CHESHIRE captain Andy Hall has paid a glowing tribute to his victorious
team after winning this season's Minor Counties Championship crown.
Hall guided Cheshire to an impressive innings and four runs win
over a day to spare against Northumberland in this month's showcase
final at Jesmond Cricket Club.
And having won their first outright Championship honours for nearly
20 years, no wonder the county skipper was full of admiration
for his players.
Cheshire last won the Championship in 1988 after a one-day victory
over Cambridgeshire, although they shared the title in 2001 with
Lincolnshire and 2005 with Suffolk.
"It's been an amazing season, we nearly won a (title) treble
this year. I'm really proud of the whole team, it's been a collective
effort from everyone," praised Hall.
"There have been no easy games and at times we've really
had to dig deep and shown what are made of.
"But that's exactly what we did, everyone stuck together
and performed when it mattered. Winning the Championship is a
proud moment for all of us."
Cheshire won the Western Division this season without losing a
match and also reached the MCCA Knockout Trophy final at Lords.
They lost their only match against Suffolk in the final, but crowned
a remarkable season with victory over Eastern Division winners
Northumberland in the four-day Championship final.
"The confidence we got from not losing a match in the Western
Division, and then getting to Lords, really fired us up for the
final," added Hall.
"Everyone was disappointed we didn't perform at Lords, but
it was a big occasion and a learning experience for a lot of the
"But we got to the final, which was a great achievement in
itself, and then we were determined not to finish the season with
a defeat. I don't think anyone could have imagined us winning
the Championship final in the manner we did. It was a stunning
performance, it made up in many ways for our defeat against Suffolk."
A view shared by Sandy Scrimgeour, the team's hard-working manager
and champion of a regular 14-man squad throughout a memorable
"Winning the Championship was a very proud moment for me
and the players," said Scrimgeour. "After Lords it could
have gone one or two ways. We could have lacked confidence and
been beaten again, or we could have showed grit and determination
- which is what we did do - and finish the season on a high note.
"The marathon (season) started with a superb win over Devon,
and along the way we've experienced lots of up and downs, but
we've come through. It's been a real team effort.
"We batted fantastically in the final and bowled really well
to make sure we didn't have to bat again. For me, doing that kept
the gloss on our win!"