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Berkshire ready to grab second chance

Title rivals have points docked to leave Royal County in pole position

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Morris is all smiles after Berkshire victory

Berkshire celebrate another wicket against Cheshire

BERKSHIRE’S hopes of winning the Western Division of the Unicorns Championship have received a massive boost after title rivals Shropshire had the 24 points they secured for beating Cheshire last week docked for fielding an ineligible player.

Scott Elstone, who scored a century in the first innings, was a first-class contracted player to Derbyshire until July 23. After his release, he was registered by Shropshire on July 29, just two days prior to the fixture, when Minor Counties regulations stipulate there has to be at least 14 days.

So the revised placings at the top of the table now show Berkshire with 88 points, Cornwall 83 and Shropshire 69 and the main title contenders complete their league fixtures from Sunday to Tuesday when Berkshire play Dorset at Finchampstead and Cornwall take on Devon at Sidmouth.

It means Berkshire have a great chance to clinch the Western Division title for the first time since 2008.

They have not lost a championship game for two seasons and have won their last three meetings with Dorset, who currently lie fifth in the table with two wins, two defeats and a draw.

Skipper James Morris said: “This is certainly a big game for us. It is very tight at the top of the table and it is exciting that is has all come down to the last fixture.

“We all know the importance of it and all the boys are very aware of what they must do. We are hoping for a big crowd at Finchampstead to cheer us on.”

Play starts at 11am on Sunday.

The Berkshire squad is: Ollie Wilkin (Ealing), Waqas Hussain (Slough), James Morris (capt, Datchet), Richard Morris (Henley), Billy Rogers (Finchampstead), Andy Rishton (Finchampstead), Euan Woods(Henley), Chris Peploe (Datchet), Stewart Davison (wkt, Henley), Matt Carter (Finchampstead), Tom Nugent (Henley), Ali Akbar (Slough),

 

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