By Neil Goulding

CHESHIRE have been forced to make another late change to their Minor Counties Championship final team which face Suffolk in Ipswich between September 11-13.

Experienced all-rounder Jason Whittaker has dropped out of the side following the birth of his first child.

The J W Lees-sponsored Cheshire team have therefore opted to take a 12-man squad with them down south, with Hyde pace bowler Tom Young drafted in, while original 12th man Warren Goodwin, the Chester Boughton Hall batsman, may also get the chance to play.

"We are going to miss Jason because he's an important player to the side, both with the bat and ball," admitted Gerry Hardstaff, Cheshire's chairman of cricket.

"But we've decided to keep our options open and take an extra batsman and bowler with us to Ipswich.

"Tom Young is a very promising cricketer and useful bowler, while Warren Goodwin has already proved he is a capable batsman at Minor Counties level with runs on debut."

Cheshire have already made one change to their original team with wicketkeeper Matthew Dawson replacing regular fixture Steve Ogilby, who cannot play, behind the stumps.

Cheshire shared the 2001 Championship final with Lincolnshire after a drawn game at Grantham's Gorse Lane ground, a match current captain Andy Hall played in.

Prior to that final Cheshire won the Championship final in 1967, 1985 and 1988. They also reached the 1993 final but lost by five wickets to Staffordshire in Worcester.

The 1985 final saw Cheshire beat Suffolk by 58 runs in Worcester, a result Hall would like to repeat.

"We've got a very strong squad and we're looking forward to the match," said Hall, whose side will be pitted against ex-England pace bowler Devon Malcolm, former Derbyshire duo Christopher Warn and Trevor Smith, and also ex-Essex bowler Andrew McGarry.

"We would have liked Steve (Ogilby) and Jason (Whittaker) to play for us, but I'm sure the new players we've selected can come in and do a good job.

Cheshire 12-man squad: Andy Hall (captain, Bramhall); Robin Fisher (Chester Boughton Hall); Matthew Dawson (Milnrow); Mark Currie (Alderley Edge); Chris Schofield (Littleborough); Nick Cantello (Heaton Mersey); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park); Dave Pennett (Harrogate); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall); Tom Young (Hyde).