Woods in as Cheshire look to land Knockout blow

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have made one change to their 12-man squad ahead of Sunday's MCCA Knockout Cup clash with Shropshire at Christleton Cricket Club (11.00am start). Hyde's promising left-arm spinner Danny Woods has replaced fellow spinner Daniel Berry, his team mate from Werneth Low, in an otherwise unchanged side which was selected for last weekend's washed out match against Herefordshire at Colwall Cricket Club.The wet weather thwarted Cheshire's chances of attempting to claim their second win of the new season against Herefordshire without a ball being bowled. However, Andy Hall's team claimed a point for the abandonment and now top Group One by virtue of a better net run-rate than second-placed Shropshire.

That has thrust extra emphasis on victory this weekend in their penultimate 50-over round-robin match, for two more points would guarantee Cheshire a place in this year's semi-finals.

"If we can beat Shropshire we know we can win the group this weekend," said Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"We had a good win against Northumberland in our first match and we fancied our chances against Herefordshire, but there's nothing you can do about the weather!

"But if we beat Shropshire and get two points, then it won't matter how we perform in our last match against Cumberland."

Shropshire and Northumberland are the only other counties who have won a game in Cheshire's group, but Northumberland have lost one and if either of their rivals win stand no chance of progressing.

The group will only be decided on the last sequence of round-robin matches if Cheshire and Shropshire's match is abandoned.

"There's lots of different permutations, but we've just got to concentrate on winning," added Hall. "I said a few times that we've underachieved in the Knockout Cup, I'd like it to be our year this time."

New Urmston signing Ismail Dawood, formerly of Yorkshire and Glamorgan, deservedly keeps his place having sparkled on debut, while fellow former first-class stars Nathan Dumelow and Ben Spendlove add further experience to Cheshire's ambitious side.

Cheshire 12: capt - Andy Hall, wkt kpr - Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Ben Spendlove, Nathan Dumelow, Guy Emmett (Oulton Park); Ismail Dawood (Urmston); Dave Fitzsimmons, James Duffy, Danny Woods, Tom Young (Hyde); Jason Whittaker (Walshaw); Adam Syddall (Bowdon). Scorer: Jim Law (Chester Boughton Hall).

Cheshire's 2007 fixtures:
MCCA Knockout Cup (Round-robin matches) - May 20 v Shropshire @ Christleton; June 3 v Cumberland @ Barrow.

MCCA Three-day Championship - June 10-12 v Devon @ Chester Boughton Hall; June 24-26 v Berkshire @ Finchampstead; July 8-10 v Dorset @ Dean Park; July 22-24 v Wiltshire @ Alderley Edge; August 5-7 v Oxfordshire @ Banbury; August 19-21 v Shropshire @ Nantwich.

Resource Bank Inter-County 20/20 Knockout - July 12 v Lashings, Shropshire and Staffordshire @ Wellington, Shropshire.