2023 Season review 2: KO Trophy

2023 Season review 2: KO Trophy

1 Oct 2023

The weather proved kinder to Cheshire for the 50 over KO Trophy than it had for the T20 matches.

Again, four groups of five teams with Cheshire hosting Cambridgeshire and Shropshire and travelling to Norfolk and Suffolk. Some astute winter negotiation cut down on travel and expenses with a two-day trip aranged to the eastern counties, playing Norfolk at Norwich on a Sunday and Suffolk the next day on bank holiday Monday.

Norfolk v Cheshire, Manor Park, Norwich 28 May 

Harry Dearden took over the captaincy and there were debuts for ex-Glamorgan all-rounder Joe Cook, Alderley Edge's Ben Kohler-Cadmore and Neston's Matt Strong.

On a difficult pitch, the home side won the toss and ground out 238-6. A 121 third wicket partnership between Ben Wilcox (59) and Alfie Cooper (76) the highlight. Luke Young took 2-35.

Cheshire's top order struggled in the reply and although the tail wagged (Pat Ashling 38 , Luke Young 25 and Rob Lord 22), ultimately the side succumbed for 154 to lose by 84 runs. There was no answer to Andy Hanby's medium pace as he took 5-33.

Suffolk v Cheshire, Mildenhall CC, 29 May 2023 

A quick turnaround and 24 hours later it was a different story as Cheshire triumphed by 81 runs after setting 236-9 in an almost carbon copy of the Norfolk game. Henry Dobson shone with 70 and Nick Anderson 40.

Anderson was key with the ball too - his 5-24 ensuring a comforatble win with Suffolk dismissed for 155.

Cheshire v Cambridgeshire, Didsbury CC 4 June 

Bowdon quickie Rob Lord, having impressed early season, was out for potentially the rest of the season as Cheshire moved on to home soil the following week. Spin prevailed with an Andy Dufty/Steve Green/ Jack Williams trio.  

And this was Cheshire's performance of the competition as they spectacularly chased down Cambridgeshire's 300-9 to win by five wickets.

There was a fine hundred for ex-Cheshire man Wayne White while Steve Green enjoyed 4-59 on his home ground.

Confidence was high in the Cheshire camp after Ben Kohler-Cadmore (43) and Sam Perry (63) started the reply in style, putting on 82 for the first wicket. Alex Money made a fine 64 and skipper Dearden weighed in with 46. An outstanding win.

Cheshire v Shropshire, Toft CC, 25 June

The rains returned in the next game - perhaps to Cheshire's aid after Shropshire had piled up 336-7. Cheshire reached 18-1 before rain washed the match out.

With Cheshire finishing as runner-up in the group, it was an away tie in the quarter finals - at Cumbria.

Cumbria v Cheshire, Kendall CC, 2 July 

After their double T20 triumph a few weeks before against the same side, Cheshire arrived in high spirits but ultimately imploded.

Evergreen Gary Pratt was the mainstay of the home side's 208-8, Chris Sanders impressing with 4-40. 

Cheshire slipped to 64-5 but two of the county's most influential players of the season-  Alex Money (61) and Luke Young (43) - fought back.

Not to be and Cheshire exited the competition, falling 14 runs short. 

So no white ball finals in 2023 but the side had gelled well, shrugged off the weather disappointments and eagerly looked forward to the three day championship games.