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Dorset go top of the pile

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Two below-par batting efforts meant Cheshire slipped to their first Minor Counties Championship three-day defeat for nearly four years, at the hands of Dorset in Bournemouth.

The defending Western Division champions went down by 146 runs at Dean Park after they were bowled out for 219 in pursuit of 376 for victory on the final day.

It brought to an end Cheshire’s outstanding record, dating back to their last three-day loss away to Shropshire in a rain-affected match back in late August 2006.

The other time Cheshire lost in the championship in recent times was in last year's showcase final, but that was contested over four days at Slough.

Having scored 264 batting first, Dorset’s match-winning contribution came from Matthew Metcalfe, who claimed 7-53 in 25 overs, dismissing Cheshire for a paltry 135 in their first innings.

Metcalfe then made 51 not out as the hosts were able to declare on 236 for eight, leaving Cheshire a mammoth total for victory.

Cheshire wicketkeeper Matt Dawson showed plenty of fight with a gutsy innings of 81 opening the batting, but his team-mates failed to click.

Metcalfe returned in the second innings with figures of 3-33 to finish the match with 10 wickets.

Dorset go top of the Western Division, while Cheshire slip to fourth.