Cheshire clinch Western Division title
Cheshire toasted sweet success today when they were crowned the new Minor Counties Cricket Association Western Division champions.
The 2007 winners clinched an impressive five wicket win away to Shropshire to land their second title in three years.
Needing 199 to win on the final day at Whitchurch Cricket Club, Andy Hall's team rose to the challenge and finished top of the table with 101 points.
And having missed out on winning the Western Division title by just one point last season, victory was understandably sweet to savour.
"It's a great feeling," reflected Hall. "It's been a real team effort all season, it's great to have won the title again."
Cheshire are now likely to face Buckinghamshire in this season's four-day showcase final, which runs from September 6-9.
Bucks were favourites to clinch the Eastern Division title today and set-up a mouth-watering clash between the two counties.
"All the lads are looking forward to the final, it will be great occasion for the county," added Hall. "Let's hope we can win it again!"
Ahead by 20 runs from the first innings, Shropshire resumed on 90 for four on the last day of three.
But some inspired bowling from paceman Adam Syddall, who returned championship best figures of 8-83 from 23.4 overs, saw the host humbled for 178 in their second innings.
That left Cheshire needing 199 for victory - and Hall's men gallantly chased the runs down with five wickets to spare and claimed the 23 points they needed to secure top spot.
"We had a few hiccups in the match, but we showed our character again, we've done that all season," said Hall, whose side needed just 45.3 overs to reach their target.
"It's such a special feeling to be in another championship final, all the hard work this season has really been worth it."