By Neil Goulding

DEFENDING Minor Counties champions Cheshire snatched a dramatic win in their opening three-day Championship fixture away to Wiltshire today (Tuesday) as wickets tumbled in the afternoon sun.
The match looked to be heading for a draw after both counties faired well on a good batting wicket at Trowbridge Cricket Club.
But some fine bowling from Cheshire's bowlers made sure they clinched an impressive 131 runs victory with just 5.3 overs to spare, claiming Wiltshire's last six wickets for just 25 runs.
Batting for a second time the visitors resumed on 138-2 on the third and final day of play, a healthy lead of 185.
And some fine batting from opener Danny Leech, who top-scored with 126, and 60 from Ben Spendlove made sure Cheshire were able to declare on 291-8 from 71 overs, leaving them half an hour to bowl at their hosts before lunch.
Wiltshire were left with an achievable 339 for victory from 74 overs, although if Leech had not been dropped at square leg off the first ball of the day, that target could have been much lower. He went on to share an important 127 third-wicket partnership with Spendlove which allowed Cheshire to declare at the right time.
The talented left-hander, who scored more runs than anyone in the Minor Counties last season, continued his fine form with the willow, hitting 15 fours and one six in an vital 191 ball innings. Leech also scored a spirited 53 in Cheshire innings, giving him 179 runs for the match.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Dawson (22) and Nathan Dumelow (18) also chipped in with vital runs, while Spendlove finished the match with 144 runs to his name having scored an unbeaten 84 in the first innings. His 60 in the second innings included 10 fours.
And then it was the turn of Cheshire's bowlers to shine in the sun. Off-spinner Dumelow led the way with a 4-55 return from 25.3 overs, claiming the last wicket for an excellent victory.
Seamer Chris Finegan, back in the side for the missing Jason Whittaker, impressed with 3-44 from 17 accurate overs, with one of his prize scalps that of the in-form Luke Spoughton. He threatened to spoil Cheshire's day until Finegan dismissed him one short of his century, a superb diving catch from Dawson did the trick.
Adam Syddall finished the match with nine wickets, his 3-45 return from 15 overs also played a major part in Cheshire's victory. His final match figures were 9-138.
"That was a great team performance," praised team manager Sandy Scrimgeour. "Everyone pulled together, it was a very commendable effort from everyone.
"It's great to have started with a win, especially because the match did look as though it was heading for a draw.
"It's a good start, but we can't get carried away with this win, we've got to keep improving with every game."
A view shared by Cheshire skipper Andy Hall who was understandably delighted that his side scooped 23 welcome points from their winning start to the three-day competition.
"There was some really good batting from a few guys, especially Danny Leech, Ben Spendlove, and not forgetting Warren Goodwin in the first innings," said Hall.
"But a lot of credit has to go to the bowlers. They did a fantastic job on a very good batting wicket. To get ten wickets in a day was a fine effort. We're all chuffed with this win."
Cheshire now head to Chester Boughton Hall on Sunday full of confidence ahead of their crunch MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-final clash with Devon.

Final scorecard
Cheshire 1st innings: 349-5, 90 overs (Goodwin 103, Spendlove 84 not out, Hall 59, Leech 53)
FOW: 122, 200, 247, 292, 296
Wiltshire 1st innings: 302-8, 90 overs (Haywood 124, Syddall 6-93, Dumelow 2-86)
FOW: 2, 74, 81, 251, 268, 271, 280, 293
Cheshire 2nd innings: 291-8 declared, 71 overs (Leech 126, Spendlove 60)
FOW: 53, 80, 207, 234, 247, 259, 291, 291
Wiltshire 2nd innings: 208 all out, 69.3 overs (Dumelow 4-55, Syddall 3-45, Finegan 3-44)
FOW: 9, 95, 148, 154, 183, 195, 196, 196, 206, 208.
Result: Cheshire (23pts) beat Wiltshire (6pts) by 131 runs.

Cheshire team: Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Andy Hall (Bramhall), Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Daniel Berry (Hyde), Matthew Dawson (Bramhall), Chris Finegan (Neston), Daniel Woods (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon). 12th man: Tom Young (Hyde).

Next match: Sunday 15th June v Devon in the quarter-finals of the MCCA Knockout Trophy @ Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club. Free entry.

By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE will be looking to force the issue today on the final day of their three-day clash with Wiltshire at Trowbridge Cricket Club.
The Minor Counties champions lead their hosts by 185 runs with eight second innings wickets in hand, but know it will be tough to get victory with just one day of play left on a good batting pitch.
Bowdon seamer Adam Syddall starred with the ball with an impressive 6-93 return from 28 accurate overs, while off-spinner Nathan Dumelow claimed two scalps as Cheshire restricted the hosts to 302-8 from their allotted 90 overs, 47 runs short of their own first innings total of 349.
In reply and batting for a second time opener Danny Leech (64 not out) registered his second half century of the match, while Ben Spendlove finished unbeaten on 33 at the end of the second day with Cheshire well set on 138-2. The only wickets to fall those of first innings centurion Warren Goodwin and skipper Andy Hall.
Cheshire will look to get quick runs before lunch on the final day and hope they can they dismiss Wiltshire cheaply.
"It's going to be tough to force the issue on the final day, but there's still a chance we can win the match," reflected Hall.
"We had Wiltshire in a bit of trouble with a couple of early wickets on the second day, but they had a good partnership which really helped them close to our first innings total."
Indeed. Syddall, who on the first day took a wicket with his last ball of his first over, did the same on the second day with a wicket from the last ball of the first over.
And from 74-2 Wiltshire slipped to 81-3, only for a fourth-wicket stand 170 enough to get the home county of trouble.
James Hayward scored the bulk of the runs with a gutsy 124, although Cheshire made sure of a welcome first innings lead thanks to Syddall's stirling effort with the ball.
"We need bat well in the morning and get as many runs as we can to give ourselves a chance of winning the match," added Hall.
"It's going to be important we don't lose any quick wickets to allow them the chance to win, but if we can get quick runs, then there's every chance we can force the issue.
"We've got three spinners in our side, which could be really important on the final day's play when the pitch is wearing."

Scorecard (Day 2of 3)
Cheshire 1st innings: 349-5, 90 overs (Goodwin 103, Spendlove 84 not out, Hall 59, Leech 53)
FOW: 122, 200, 247, 292, 296

Wiltshire 1st innings: 302-8, 90 overs (Haywood 124, Syddall 6-93, Dumelow 2-86)
FOW: 2, 74, 81, 251, 268, 271, 280, 293

Cheshire 2nd innings: 138-2, 46 overs (Leech 64 not out, Spendlove 33 not out, Goodwin 26)
FOW: 53, 80

By Neil Goulding

OPENER Warren Goodwin starred for Cheshire as the Minor Counties champions started in fine style away to Wiltshire.
Goodwin top-scored with a superb 103 after Cheshire won the toss and elected to bat at Trowbridge Cricket Club, posting an imposing 349-5 from their allotted 90 overs.
The Chester Boughton Hall right-hander hit 14 fours in his 175-ball innings, while fellow opener Danny Leech made 53 as the pair shared a stand of 122 for the first wicket.
Skipper Andy Hall (59) and Goodwin then took the score to 200, sharing in a second-wicket stand of 78, before Ben Spendlove (84 not out) guided the visitors one run short of 350.
James Duffy (20) and Daniel Berry (19 not out) also contributed with the willow as Cheshire scooped four maximum batting points.
In reply left-arm seamer Adam Syddall claimed a wicket with the last ball of the second over, but from 2-1 the home county were 74-1 at stumps from 26 overs.
"It was a very solid batting performance from us," praised Hall, who has seen his side suffered some unwanted batting collapses in recent one-day matches.
"We've lost a few wickets too cheaply recently, so it was nice to get back on track. The top order did well and I thought Warren batted excellently.
"It's always important to have a good start - and both Danny and Warren gave us that.
"Me and Ben were also able to get a few, so 350 is a good score. Hopefully we can chip away at them tomorrow and get a first innings lead."
Cheshire made two changes to the side which recently qualified for the quarter-finals of the MCCA Knockout Trophy.
School teachers Jason Whittaker and Guy Emmett were both unavailable, so Hyde all-rounder Daniel Berry and Neston all-rounder Chris Finegan were both given the chance to shine.
Hyde pace bowler Tom Young is Cheshire's 12th man in the match having narrowly missed out on a place in the starting line-up.
Scorecard (Day 1 of 3)
Cheshire 1st innings: 349-5, 90 overs (Goodwin 103, Spendlove 84 not out, Hall 59, Leech 53)
FOW: 122, 200, 247, 292, 296
Wiltshire 1st innings: 74-1, 26 overs
FOW: 2