CHESTER BOUGHTON HALL face a ‘must-win’ clash with Nantwich tomorrow if they are to reignite their Premier Division title hopes.

Hall’s title chances suffered a major blow last weekend with a three-wicket loss at Hyde, and Dixon’s men are now 29 points behind leaders Toft with eight games to play.

Jack Williams hit 77 but Hall’s lower order struggled, falling to 48-5 before recovering to 207 all out. 

Alex Kegg took 4-59, but 99 from Harry Dearden enabled Hyde to secure the points.

Dixon refuses to rule Hall out of the race, but admits a loss of form from his batsmen at this crucial stage of the season is costing them dear.

“I’m realistic and it’s clear that it is now looking unlikely for us to win the league,” said Dixon, who welcomes back Harry Killoran, Ian Linwood and Matt Griffiths into the side tomorrow.

“To win the league you need your best players out there all the time, and for one reason or another it’s not quite happened for us in recent weeks.

“Ollie Law for example was away last week as he and his girlfriend have had a baby. That’s wonderful news and it puts things into perspective that it’s not all about whether we win or lose.

“If we’ve got any realistic hope of winning the title, we’ve got to go out and beat Nantwich, it’s that simple. It is must-win and if we don’t manage it then I can’t see it happening.

“We owe it to our fans at Filkins Lane to put on a good display with the bat, because too often recently we’ve been losing cheap wickets and the top order have not been firing.

“We have to put in a performance with that added quality but I’ve got every faith in us.”

It is a busy weekend for Hall, who are one of four teams invovled in Cheshire T20 Finals Day on Sunday at Upton CC.

Hall face Grappenhall in their semi-final, the winner playing either Urmston or Toft in the final later that day.

- Hall off-spinner Harry Killoran enjoyed a day to remember bowling at the Australian national team.

Killoran is a member of Derbyshire’s academy and, prior to the Aussies three-day tour match against Derbyshire, the Hall bowler was asked to take part in a net session with the likes of Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh and Brad Haddin.

Killoran, 17, also got to spend valuable time bowling in tandem with Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, regarded by many as the best off-break bowler in the world.

“Lyon was great, he was easy to speak to and gave me some tips and advice,” said Killoran.

“He just told me to work hard and have patience. Spinners can break through quite late in their careers, so to learn off those guys was brilliant.

“They were in high spirits after Lords and all the batsmen seemed to be in good nick.

“I bowled at Voges, Marsh and Haddin, while David Warner and Michael Clarke were also having a net. 

“It’s certainly the best possible preparation to go into a club game with.”