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Cheshire

Cheshire ended a "decent season" with victory inside two days over a weakened Shropshire side at Alderley Edge

Cheshire finished the Minor Counties Championship season with an impressive nine-wicket victory over Shropshire inside two days at Alderley Edge CC.

Last season's Western Division champions won with a day to spare as they cruised home by nine wickets in glorious sunshine at Moss Lane.

Having forced Shropshire to follow on after routing them for a meagre 143 in their first innings, Cheshire dismissed the visitors for 207 second time around.

That left Cheshire, who made 308 for eight in the first innings, chasing just 43 to win, and they wrapped up proceedings thanks to Ben Spendlove’s unbeaten 34.

Shropshire may have been crowned MCCA Knockout Trophy champions this year, but they were missing six players from that side as Cheshire dominated from the outset.

All-rounder Richard Logan starred with eight wickets in the match, while off-spinner Nathan Dumelow claimed four.

Resuming the second day on 90 for six in their first innings - still 68 adrift of the follow-on target - Shropshire only managed to add a further 53 as they were forced to bat for a second time.

Logan led the way with 5-51 from 20 accurate overs, while Dumelow impressed with 4-35.

Only Tim Murtagh (42) and opener John Whitney (33) offered any resistance as Cheshire’s bowlers tore through Shropshire.

Left-hander Anthony Parker (40) and Ben Price (49 not out) were both in the runs in the visitors' second innings, but Logan weighed in with 3-51 and promising left-arm spinner Jonny Fawcett also claimed three wickets.

"It's great to have finished the season with such a convincing victory," said Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"We played really well from the opening morning and then backed up a decent batting performance with a really excellent performance with the ball. Richard Logan bowled superbly and was backed up well by the other boys.

"It's just a shame that we've not managed to defend our title, but you can't afford to lose more than one match in this division because the standard is so high.

"Overall we've had a decent season and there are plenty of grounds for optimism for next season.

"We've used a lot of young players this season and I'm sure they will be better next season. That's the test for us now."

Scorecard

Cheshire: 308-8 dec (Hall 66*, Dixon 62, Spendlove 40, Duffy 35; Green 3-46)
Shropshire: 143 (Murtagh 42, Whitney 33; Logan 5-51, Dumelow 4-35)
Shropshire (following on): 207 (Price 49*, Parker 40; Logan 3-51, Fawcett 3-60, Wilkinson 2-32)
Cheshire: 44-1 (Spendlove 34*)

Cheshire 23 points; Shropshire 3 points