27th September 2012 at Oakham Town Cricket Club (Northamptonshire won the toss): Cheshire 159-9, 45 ovs (Ray Swann 5-34); Northamptonshire 89 ao, 34.1 ovs (Chris Lees 3-14, Dick Powell 3-16) Cheshire won by 70 runs
Cheshire win for the third year running.
Cheshire inserted on a slightly greenish track, obvious considering the rain falls, started brightly with Nick Sharp and Andy Hurworth taking 39 off 8 overs with Sharp (30) hitting 3 consecutive fours off Dave Ingham. However, the introduction of left armer Steve Edwards soon put a stop to any ideas of 200+ and he removed lbw Sharp and Ted Williams immediately. A stranglehold by Edwards and Ray Swann then kept Cheshire pegged back, but John Edwards (23) took the game to the Midlanders, attacking with three fours and a six. All the time Ian Brown stayed there (after Hurworth’s long vigil for 15) and the former's 34 gave Cheshire the base to snaffle valuable runs totalling 159-9 with Ray Swann 5-34 and Edwards 2-18.
Northant’s worst fears were realised immediately as England’s opening bowler Chris Lees, bowled Chris Thomas (0) second ball and then talisman Swann (1) – the high fives couldn’t have got any higher for ‘Noisy’. From then on Northants were on catch up and only whilst Steve Edwards was at the crease did they have a chance. Richard Powell took over the reins at the other end, picking up valuable wickets periodically and despite Edwards valiant 37, Northants finished on 89, well behind, and come the day, well beaten by a very astute and well balanced team, worthy champions. And Cheshire’s twelfth man was Steve Yates, their current O50 ECB opener. How many sides have that luxury and strength in depth and credit to Steve for appearing changed on the field, ready to come on at any time.