The Cheshire Cup dream is over for Birkenhead Park as they were well beaten by a strong Chester Boughton Hall side in the semi-finals of this year's competition. Unfortunately defeat was made very easy by a woeful batting performance which led to the game being lost in just over two hours.
A damp wicket proved problematic for Park as they were put into to bat by Chester skipper Stephen Ogilby. Initially they started patiently as Chris Bellis and Mike Barnes (18) put on 24 for the opening wicket inside ten overs. But the breakthrough was eventually made when ex-Upton bowler Ian Linwood saw his delivery hit by Bellis straight into the safe hands of Warren Goodwin at mid-wicket. The next 50 minutes proved painful viewing for Park supporters as the next nine batsmen all fell for a combined 25 runs. Ian Cooper was the next man to fall as he was caught at slip off Linwood before Craig Reid followed in calamitous fashion when a mix-up between him and Barnes led to an unfortunate run out. Adam Liu was then stumped by Ogilby off veteran bowler Alex Kegg with Barnes then becoming Linwood's third victim when he was caught by Mark Rowland. Kegg then bowled Chris Stenhouse before Goodwin claimed the wicket of Dan Adkins with the first ball of his spell. Goodwin and spinner Jack Williams then wrapped up the innings with the late scalps of Chris Foran, Adrian Kinsey and Alex Harris as Park were bowled out for a terrible 49 with the last seven wickets falling for just nine runs (plus no boundaries!).
Chester then came straight out to bat as Rowland and Goodwin began playing some delightful shots with the Park bowling attack failing to bring any joy in terms of scalps. The latter batsman finished proceedings in just over 25 minutes with a crisp boundary to lead his team to victory and a place in the Cheshire Cup final. Despite the humiliating result, Park can at least take credit for doing so well in this year's competition especially with it being their best cup run since 1996. Concentration on the league will now be the main priority for the last few weeks of this 2013 season!