DUMELOW AND DUFFY DESTROY WALES AS CHESHIRE CHASE WESTERN DIVISION TITLE
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

Scorecard from Abergavenny

CHESHIRE skipper Andy Hall paid a glowing tribute to his on-song side as they set up a mouth-watering finish to this season's MCCA Western Division title race.

Nathan Dumelow (left) and James Duffy starred for Cheshire as they hammered Wales Minor Counties by 356 runs in their penultimate group match at Abergavenny Cricket Club.

And with victory Hall's team are second in the table and just five points behind leaders Cornwall with just one game left.

"We played some great cricket, we knew we needed to win the match to keep our title hopes alive - and that's exactly what we did," said Hall. "I'm really proud of all the lads, it was a good term performance.

"Nathan and Duffers were both excellent for us and then everyone else seemed to chip in along the way.

"That's a good win for us because it keeps the pressure on Cornwall going into the last game."

Third-placed Oxfordshire - who are five points behind Cheshire - and Shropshire (67pts) are still in the title-race, but Hall knows the advantage his firmly with the top three.

"It looks like the title's going to go to either ourselves, Cornwall or Oxfordshire. It makes for an exciting finish to the season," added Hall.

"We know we've got a tough game against Shropshire in our last match, but the pressure is on Corwnall and Oxfordshire as well because they'll want to win just like us and get as many points as possible on the board.

"They've both got tough games, but it's up to us to win and hopefully the other two results go our way."

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Cheshire posted 356-8 in their 90 allotted overs.

Opener Warren Goodwin (56) led from the front, while Duffy (99), Rick Moore (44) and Dan Berry (44 not out) were all in the runs.

Ben Spendlove and Matt Dawson both chipped in with 26 each, the latter unbeaten, as the visitors gave the hosts plenty to think about.

In reply Wales were bowled out for 246, 110 runs shorts after the first innings.

Daniel Roberts hit an excellent 100 for the home county, but a fine 5-102 return from off-spinner Dumelow did the damage.

Jason Whittaker claimed three wickets, while Berry and Moore took a wicket each.

Batting for a second time Cheshire wanted quick runs and powered their way to 308-6, a commanding lead of 418.

Dumelow on-fire with the willow this time, scoring 103 runs from just 53 balls. His innings included seven sixes and nine fours.

Spenlove (66), Hall (53), Goodwin (47) and Chris Tipper (46) were also in the runs as Cheshire left Wales with a mountain to climb on the final day if they were going to win the game.

And the pressure proved too much as the hosts were routed for just 105 on the final day. Dumelow weighed in with a 4-20 return to finish with impressive match figures of 9-122.

Whittaker finished with six wickets after a 3-33 return, Moore took two wickets and Adam Syddall also had a wicket to complete a memorable victory.

Result: Cheshire beat Wales MC by 356 runs

Cheshire team: Chris Tipper (Hyde), 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). 12th man: Chris Davis (Oxton)

CHESHIRE UNCHANGED FOR WALES CLASH
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire Press Officer, 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have named an unchanged side ahead of their eagerly-anticipated clash MCCA Championship clash with Wales Minor Counties (9-11 August).

Skipper Andy Hall has the luxury of a full-strength side at his disposal as the former Championship champions look to maintain the pressure on leaders Cornwall at the top of the Western Division.

Cheshire are just eight points behind the leaders with just two fixtures remaining in the season.

Second-placed Dorset are five points clear of Cheshire, but Hall knows a victory for his side at Abergavenny Cricket Club would set up a mouth-watering finish to the season.

And Hall has fond memories of Abergavenny having hit a fine 175 for his county when they played Wales in 2003.

"I think I batted for about five hours, it's probably the longest I've ever had to bat. I was shattered at the end of that match," reflected Hall.

"I've got plenty of fond memories of that innings, I remember we played well in that game."

But as nice as memories might be, Hall and his teammates are firmly focused on the job in hand.

"We've got two tough games, but if we win them both I think we'll win the Western Division," he added.

"Cornwall and Dorset have both got tough games as well, so there's a real chance for us to win the title again.

"We were disappointed not to win the Western Division last season, missing out by one points was pretty hard to swallow.

"But despite some of our matches being rain-affected this season, we've still got a great opportunity to get to another Championship final."

Cheshire team: Chris Tipper (Hyde), 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). 12th man: Chris Davis (Oxton)