LEECH AND FISHER FULL OF CONFIDENCE

By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE opening batsman Danny Leech is hoping to star for his team on the biggest stage of his young career so far.

Oulton Park left-hander Leech has risen through the Cheshire ranks and now commands an opening berth ahead of many experience players starring in the leagues around the county.

But deservedly so after some excellent performances with the willow himself.

This year Leech has had the chance to open with former Lancashire batsman Mark Currie - and he's enjoyed the challenge, especially having missed the start of the season when he had to have his appendix removed.

"It was tough sitting out the first few games, but there was nothing I could do," said Leech.

"I had to wait my turn and then when I got back in the side I scored runs in my first game back."

Leech batted superbly against Wales in the J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire side's last Minor Counties game of the season in the Western Division when they needed quick runs for victory.

"I felt good that knock and as a team we played really well," added Leech. "I think I'm no different than all the other players, everyone is really looking forward to the final.

"It should be a great match. Suffolk are obviously a strong side because they won the Eastern Division, but we're playing with a lot of confidence and I'm sure we can win if we perform."

Indeed, a view shared by another local player, Chester Boughton Hall spinner Robin Fisher.

Fisher is one of Cheshire's longest serving performers and is also relishing this year's three-day final at the Ramsomes Sports ground in Ipswich.

"Playing in the Championship final is always very special," said Fisher, who played for Cheshire when they shared the 2001 title with Lincolnshire after a drawn game at Grantham CC.

"It's be a good season for the county. We've been through a transitional period over the last few years with new players having come in, but I think it has been for the better.

"Suffolk will be desperate to win, but we've got nothing to fear. If we play well and do the things we do best then we can win the Championship."