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Hall hails Cheshire hero Syddall

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Adam Syddall

Adam Syddall celebrates one of his eight second-innings wickets in Cheshire's fine victory over Shropshire © Barry Mitchell

Skipper Andy Hall heaped praise on pace bowler Adam Syddall after he propelled Cheshire to the Minor Counties Championship Western Division title.

The left-armer returned career-best figures of 8-83 from 23.4 overs as Cheshire beat Shropshire by five wickets at Whitchurch CC to secure a second Championship final appearance in three seasons.

“Syds bowled really well - it was a great effort from him,” praised Hall. “There's no doubt that spell swung the game for us.

“It was a great effort because we all felt that the pitch was good, and the scores both teams made didn't do justice to how good the wicket was.

“But Adam has been brilliant for us all season. He bowled well at the end of the second day and then took wickets when we needed them on the last day.”

Syddall's inspired spell left Cheshire needing 199 for victory on the third and final day - a target they reached in 45.3 overs.

Added to his 2-52 return from Shropshire's first innings, Syddall finished with fine match figures of 10-135.

Ben Spendlove top-scored with 59 in the successful run-chase, taking his match tally to 162 following his first-innings century.

David Hurst, given the chance to shine with Chris Tipper unavailable, impressed with a spirited 39, while Nathan Dumelow’s unbeaten 31, and 18 not out from Hall, who hit the winning runs, saw Cheshire home.

“We knew we couldn't afford to let Shropshire get too big a lead because it would be tough for us to chase down the runs,” added Hall. “We showed a lot of character to get this win.”

Cornwall were favourites for the title, having gone into their final fixture against strugglers Wales Minor Counties with a five-point cushion at the summit.

But Cornwall, as Cheshire have for a large proportion of the summer, were thwarted by rain and their match was abandoned.

“We knew Cornwall had been rained off, so we had to win our last match,” said Hall. “I said before the last two games that if we won both of our matches then we would the division - and thankfully I was proved right.”

Oxfordshire, who had also been in the title race, had to settle for third place as the drew their final game to Berkshire.

Cheshire now face Buckinghamshire, the Eastern Division champions, in this year's Championship final from September 6-9.