CHESHIRE have been boosted by the return of Oxton all-rounder Neil Cross from his honeymoon for their crucial last three-day Championship match against Shropshire at Whitchurch (August 17-19) to stand a chance of winning the Minor Counties Western Division.
And with Berkshire 14 points ahead of Cheshire at the top of the table the experienced ace admits full points are essential if they are to edge their title-rivals at the last hurdle.
"We have got to win," admitted captain Andy Hall. "The good thing is that Berkshire are playing Devon, who are second, so they have got a tough match.
"We had to beat Wales and we couldn't have done much more up to this stage in the season. The weather probably saved us from getting beat in one match this year, at Cornwall, but it also probably prevented us from winning against Herefordshire at Chester Boughton Hall, so things even themselves out.
"Considering the season we had last year, when we fielded a very young side, I think all the players are happy with the way we have played. All we can do is beat Shropshire and hope for the best."
Neston's Simon Marshall has also been picked, as well as Stephen Ogilby, the Chester Boughton Hall wicketkeeper.
CHESHIRE: Danny Leech (Oulton Park), Alexis Twigg (Harrowgate), Andy Hall (Bramhall, captain), Nafees Din (Mobberley), Richard Hignett (Bootle, vice capt), Neil Cross (Oxton), Simon Marshall (Neston), Simon Renshaw (Kibworth), Jason Whittaker (Oulton Park), Dave Pennett (Harrogate), Stephen Ogilby (Chester Boughton Hall, wicketkeeper), Robin Fisher (Bootle).
Meanwhile, Hall is toasting sweet success having been selected for the Minor Counties team due to play the MCC at Colwyn Bay today.
Hall crashed a career-best 175 for his county as they defeated Wales MC at Abergavenny two weeks ago.
And now the former England under-19s captain is looking to take his form with the willow into this season's eagerly-anticipated 50-over clash between the two teams in North Wales.
"I'm looking forward to the match," said Hall, whose has already score three centuries this season. "I'm pleased with my form, so hopefully I can score some runs because the MCC should have a strong team."
And for Minor Counties coach Phil Oliver and his players, history is certainly on their side with victories in four of their previous encounters in recent years.
The Minor Counties outfit defeated their London-based opponents last term in a nail-biting 50-over showdown and have a full-strength squad at their disposal.