LEE DIXON experienced the full spectrum of emotions last weekend for club and county.
The Chester Boughton Hall skipper saw his batsmen collapse to 26-6 in their pursuit of a rain-affected target at home to Macclesfield in Saturday’s Premier Division clash, eventually survivng on 107-9 to claim a disappointing losing draw.
However, the following day Dixon led Cheshire to glory in the Minor Counties T20 Finals Day with a stunning victory over favourites Oxfordshire in the final, as Hall openers Warren Goodwin (132 off 61 balls) and Ollie Law (101 off 59) helped Cheshire amass a mammoth 240-0 off 20 overs.
Dixon was able to lift the trophy after brother Ross (4-19) helped dismiss Oxford for just 121, and he explained how his players coped with the ups and downs across the weekend.
“We got dealt a rough hand with the weather against Macclesfield as I thought in dry conditions we’d have chased down the 230,” said Dixon, who takes his side to Hyde tomorrow for a crucial top of the table encounter.
“We tried chasing a reduced target quickly and got in a bit of a mess. However, we managed to save a draw and Ross (51) and Ash Davies (25) dug us out of a hole.
“To go from that to Sunday was a massive positive.
“We had seven Hall lads in the line-up and they all performed brilliantly.
“It was an absolutely superb day and not many captains can say they have won the Minor Counties T20 and Club Knockout T20 within the same 12 months, so I’m incredibly proud of that.
“I promoted Ollie to open and it paid off. Ollie and Warren were just on the same wavelength from the start.
“It was lovely to see the emotion from Warren when he reached his century. Clearly it had been building up and for someone who has achieved so much in cricket to celebrate like that shows what it still means.”
Hall make three changes for the trip to Hyde, as Steve Ogilby, Alex Kegg and Harry Killoran replace Law, Ian Linwood and Alex Townened. Tom Marsland retains the gloves despite Ogilby’s return.
“We showed character last week to avoid defeat and I keep telling the lads if we can be 20 points off top with five or six games to go then I’m backing us all the way,” Dixon commented.
“We’ve got experience of winning titles and I expect Mark Rowlands to be back in three weeks time, which is a major boost.
“We have got to stamp our authority on Hyde, hopefully win the toss and bat to maximise our points scoring chances.
“I won’t enjoy this conversation next week if we lose, so it is time for us to start firing against the better teams in this division.”
Toft head to Cheadle, while Nantwich host Neston at Whitehouse Lane.
Other fixtures: Bramhall v Bowdon: Grappenhall v Alderley Edge; Macclesfield v Marple.
Christleton are in need of points if they are to stave off relegation from Division One.
Mike Gaynon’s side are 14 points adrift of safety ahead of their home clash with Urmston tomorrow and they will hope that New Zealand overseas Mitchell Renwick, pictured right, can recapture some of his early season form.
Tattenhall are the team immediately above Christleton in the league standings and they head to fellow strugglers Cheadle Hulme.
David Shewring has been the pick of Hall’s attack this season, taking 27 wickets at an average of 17.
Other fixtures: Davenham v Timperley; Didsbury v Weaverham; Middlewich v Oulton Park; Oxton v Sale.
Alvanley will hope to build on their first victory of the season after they brushed aside Irby by nine-wickets.
Alvanley made a mockery of their relegation-threatened position as Chris Charles mopped up 5-30 off 19 overs and Sophie Ecclestone snaffled 3-15 off four.
They host unbeaten Warrington tomorrow, the league leaders having won 10 of their 13 matches this term.
Other fixtures: Bredbury v Bollington; Congleton v Widnes; Northwich v Brooklands; Stockport v Irby; Upton v Mobberley.
See full story in the Chester Leader