BERRY AND DAWSON FIRE CHESHIRE TO SPECIAL VICTORY - Day 3 Report (Days 1 & 2 below)
By Neil Goulding


DANIEL Berry and Matt Dawson shared an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 135 to guide Cheshire to a thrilling victory over Wales Minor Counties at Chester Boughton Hall.
Hyde all-rounder Berry finished unbeaten on 85, his highest score for the 1st XI, while wicketkeeper Dawson, from Bramhall, was 58 not out as the defending Minor Counties champions successfully chased 346 for victory on the final day.
The hosts won with four wickets to spare, but a match of high drama could have swung either way as both sides looked to force a result.
Resuming on 226-5, Wales were dismissed for 337 in 75.1 overs, a lead of 345 runs. Bowdon seamer Adam Syddall was Cheshire's star bowler with a fine a 6-67 return from 11.1 overs.
Hyde seamer Tom Young finished with 2-44 from 15 overs, with the rest of the wickets spread.
That left Cheshire needing 346 for victory in roughly 80 overs - and last season's Western Division winners were up to the challenge.
Despite losing opener Warren Goodwin, from Chester, for his second duck of the match, and struggling at 33-2 and 90-3 when first innings centurion Ben Spendlove was out for 21, the home county dug deep.
Skipper Andy Hall led the way with a spirited 90 from 120 balls, an innings which included 12 fours and two sixes.
Hall was well-supported by James Duffy (56), whose important 67-ball knock featured 10 fours, but more importantly contributed to the pair putting on 93 for the fourth wicket.
Both batsmen were then dismissed on the same score which left Cheshire in trouble at 183-5.
But despite the loss of another wicket at 211 when Nathan Dumelow (20) was out, Berry and Dawson batted superbly to guide Cheshire to a second successive Championship win.
"That's a great win for us, to chase 346 on the last day to win is a fantastic achievement from the boys," reflected Hall.
"We knew it was a good batting wicket, but ever since Wales got 400 on the first day we've had to work really hard to get back into the match.
"It really was a superb team performance. Adam Syddall bowled really well to give us a sniff of victory and, luckily, we were able to put together some good partnerships to win the match.
"Mine and (Duffy) Duffers' partnership was important, but Dan Berry's and Dawson's partnership at the end was superb. We're all delighted with this win."

Scorecard:
Wales 1st innings: 406-8, 90 overs (Merilaht 97 not out, Rees 92, O'Shea 68, Harris 46, Maynard 34, Harrison 31, Dumelow 4-151, Syddall 2-76)
FOW: 39, 142, 200, 227, 305, 310, 390, 304.

Cheshire 1st innings: 398-9 declared, 81.5 overs (Spendlove 145, Hall 56, Duffy 53, Dumelow 35 not out, Harris 3-50, Owen 3-65)
FOW: 1, 112, 135, 347, 354, 369, 396, 397, 398.

Wales 2nd innings: (226-5 overnight, 55 overs) 337 all out, 75.1 overs (Harris 56, O'Shea 53, Syddall 6-67, Young 2-44)
FOW: 0, 99, 131, 131, 143, 302, 323, 323, 326, 337.

Cheshire 2nd innings: 346-6, 75.4 overs (Hall 90, Berry 85 not out, Dawson 58 not out, Duffy 56)
FOW: 0, 33, 90, 183, 183, 211

Result: Cheshire (23pts), who lost the toss, beat Wales (8pts) by four wickets

CENTURION SPENDLOVE GIVES CHESHIRE HOPES OF VICTORY - Day 2 Report
By Neil Goulding


BEN Spendlove crashed a brilliant century as defending Minor Counties champions Cheshire bravely battled back on the second day of their three-day Championship clash with Wales Minor Counties at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club yesterday.
The Oulton Park batsman top-scored for the hosts with a spirited 145 from just 166 balls, a superb innings which included 18 fours and four sixes as the hosts replied with 398-9 declared chasing Wales imposing first innings total of 406-8.
Cheshire resumed on 112-2 from 25 overs, which left them a possible 65 more overs to bat in their first innings - and Andy Hall's side wasted little time in getting the runs on the board.
Despite the loss of the skipper for 56, Spendlove and James Duffy (53) quickly got into the groove. The on-song pair staged an impressive fourth wicket partnership of 212 before Cheshire lost their next wicket at 347.
Duffy, known for his aggressive strokes, played a mature anchor role to Spendlove, his 102 ball innings included one six and four fours.
Cheshire lost their last six wickets for just 51 runs as they tried to put quick runs on the board, three of those for three runs at the death.
But thankfully Nathan Dumelow chipped in with a quickfire 35 not out from 30 balls as Cheshire declared just over eight overs short of their 90-overs allocation.
Batting second Wales finished the day on 226-5 thanks to half centuries from James Harris (56), captain Michael O'Shea (53) and an unbeaten 52 from Tom Merilaht.
Hyde seamer Tom Young was the pick of Cheshire's bowlers with a fine 2-15 return from nine overs, while Syddall - who took a wicket with the fourth ball of the day - Dumelow and fellow off-spinner Daniel Berry were also in the wickets.
With five second innings wickets left, Wales lead Cheshire by 234 runs going into the third and final day. The hosts will be hoping they can make early in-roads and chase for victory.
"It's going to be an interesting final day," reflected Hall. "We batted really well to get close to Wales' total, but more so because we did it with overs to spare. It gives us the chance of a victory.
"Ben Spendlove batted brilliantly, it was a great partnership between him and James Duffy. It was important we didn't struggle in our first innings, otherwise we would have been under a lot of pressure in our second innings if we had been behind by a few runs.
"We've just got to go out there on the last day and try and get quick wickets. If we do then we'll give ourselves every chance of winning the game."

Scorecard:
Wales 1st innings: 406-8, 90 overs (Merilaht 97 not out, Rees 92, O'Shea 68, Harris 46, Maynard 34, Harrison 31, Dumelow 4-151, Syddall 2-76)
FOW: 39, 142, 200, 227, 305, 310, 390, 304.
Cheshire 1st innings: (112-2 overnight, 25 overs) 398-9 declared, 81.5 overs (Spendlove 145, Hall 56, Duffy 53, Dumelow 35 not out, Harris 3-50, Owen 3-65)
FOW: 1, 112, 135, 347, 354, 369, 396, 397, 398.
Wales 2nd innings: 226-5, 55 overs (Harris 56, O'Shea 53, Merilaht 52 not out, Young 2-15)
FOW: 0, 99, 131, 131, 143.

CHESHIRE FIND IT TOUGH GOING AT CHESTER - Day 1 Report
By Neil Goulding


DEFENDING Minor Counties champions Cheshire had a hard day in the field on the opening day of their three day Championship clash with Wales Minor Counties at Chester Boughton Hall.
Wales won the toss and made full use of a good batting track to rack up an imposing 406-8 from their allotted 90 overs.
Glamorgan 2nd XI player Tom Merilaht led the way with an unbeaten 97, while Gareth Rees, who has represented the Glamorgan 1st XI, hit 92 as the visitors scored freely on a flat pitch.
Captain Michael O'Shea, who has played for England Under-19s, chipped in with 68, while James Harris (46), Tom Maynard (34) - son of former England player Matthew - and Adam Harrison, also of England U19s and Glamorgan first team (31), were also in the runs.

In reply Cheshire batted well and reached 112-2 at the close of play. Opener Warren Goodwin was dismissed in the second over of the day, while replacement opener David Hurst was given out LBW off the last ball of the day for a gutsy 49.
Skipper Andy Hall finished unbeaten on 44 at the close from 78 balls - and later admitted his team have a lot to do if they are going to win the match.

"It's going to be hard because they've put on a lot of runs. It's a good batting wicket, but if we can get close to them, then you never know what might happen in the second innings," reflected Hall.
Off-spinner Nathan Dumelow was the pick of Cheshire's bowlers with 4-151 from 30 overs, while seamer Adam Syddall returned impressive figures of 2-76 from 16 overs.
Hyde seamer Tom Young, playing his first Championship match of the season, bowled well to finish with 1-44 from 15 overs, with a run out accounting for another Welsh wicket.

"We've just got to bat well on the second day and see how many runs we can get in our 90 overs," added Hall. "We've got enough good bowlers to bowl Wales, but there's a lot of time left in this match for a result."

Cheshire made two late changes to their team. Opener Danny Leech dropped out because of work commitments and was replaced by Neston's Hurst, while Young was given the chance to shine with clubmate Danny Woods playing for his university side. Chester Boughton Hall's Ollie Law is Cheshire's 12th man.

Scorecard:
Wales 1st innings: 406-8, 90 overs (Merilaht 97 not out, Rees 92, O'Shea 68, Harris 46, Maynard 34, Harrison 31, Dumelow 4-151, Syddall 2-76)
FOW: 39, 142, 200, 227, 305, 310, 390, 304.
Cheshire 1st innings: 112-2, 25 overs (Hurst 49, Hall 44 not out)
FOW: 1, 112
Cheshire team: Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Chris Finegan (Neston), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Tom Young (Hyde), Daniel Berry (Hyde), David Hurst (Neston). 12th man: Ollie Law (Chester Boughton Hall). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

CHESHIRE LOOKING TO EXTEND CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING START
By Neil Goulding

DEFENING Minor Counties champions Cheshire have named a strong squad for their forthcoming three-day Championship match against Wales Minor Counties at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club, which starts on Sunday (22nd June).
All-rounder Jason Whittaker and Guy Emmett are the only two players unavailable from the one-day side which slipped to a surprise loss to Devon in the MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-finals at the weekend.
Hyde duo Tom Young and Daniel Berry are once again included in the Championship squad, while Neston all-rounder Chris Finegan has also been handed the chance to shine as Cheshire look to build on their opening victory away to Wiltshire.
"I'd like to see us bounce back from the way we played against Devon," revealed Cheshire skipper Andy Hall. "That was a one day game, but we know we can bat a lot better than that.
"We showed against Wiltshire that we can get runs and bowl out a side twice in three days, it would be great if we could have a similar performance against Wales.
"They (Wales) will be a tough side, I'm sure they'll have a lot of Glamorgan Academy players in their team, so it's going to be a tough test for us."
Cheshire didn't lose a game last season in domestic competition - and Hall has stressed how important it is not to slip up at this early stage of the campaign.
His county have six three-day games to play this year in the Western Division, but the captain warned: "You can't really afford to lose any games. Even losing one might jeopardise your chances of winning the title, it's that close because the standard is so high.
"We need a good start, you do in any match really, but if we can get another win under our belts that would be a really solid start to the season."
Wales drew their opening Championship match with Dorset after heavy rain virtually washed out the whole match, with just 20 balls bowled in three days.
But with former Championship winners Berkshire and Shropshire having both won their opening matches to make things level-pegging at the top, Hall and Cheshire could give them a welcome lead at the summit.

"We've now got to pick ourselves up and try and continue in the rich vein of form we started the Championship," said Cheshire team manager Sandy Scrimgeour.
Cheshire squad: Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall, wicketkeeper), Chris Finegan (Neston), Daniel Woods (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Tom Young (Hyde), Daniel Berry (Hyde). Scorer: Janet Herbert.

*Entry is free at Chester CC, 11.00am start. Cheshire's next Championship match is against Oxfordshire at Alderley Edge CC (6-8 July).

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