CHESHIRE skipper Andy Hall knows his side must win their last championship match against Shropshire at Whitchurch (from Sunday to Tuesday) to stand a chance of winning the Minor Counties Western Division.
Hall has been inspirational this season for his county as they have remained unbeaten in the domestic competition.
But with Berkshire 14 points ahead at the top of the table, the experienced skipper admits full points are essential if they are to edge their title rivals at the last hurdle.
'We have got to win,' admitted Hall, who smashed a career-best 175 for Cheshire in their victory over Wales MC two weeks ago.
'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 beaten 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.'
The good news for Hall is that he has a full-strength side at his disposal for what promises to be an action-packed encounter.
Promising opening batsman Danny Leech, from Oulton Park, has returned to the side having missed the team's last match because of work commitments, while Neil Cross, the Oxton all-rounder, makes only his second
appearance of the season on the return from his honeymoon.
Chester Boughton Hall wicketkeeper Stephen Ogilby is also back in the fold and replaces Widnes' Ian Spencer behind the stumps.
Barney Cutbill, the Macclesfield seamer, is the one player to make way at this stage, although the other player to drop out of the side will be decided on the day of the match with a 12-man squad selected.
'We haven't got anything to lose,' added Cheshire chairman Gerry Hardstaff.
'We've had a good season up to now, but we could have done with Berkshire drawing with Wiltshire.
'They ended up winning and that has meant they are favourites, which might work in our favour because the pressure is off us a little and on them.
'All we can do is try and beat Shropshire, but they are a good side and we know they have quite a few useful players.'
Indeed, although Shropshire have not sparkled in the league format, they have been flying in the MCCA Knockout Cup and play Cambridgeshire in the final at Lord's on September 2.
Cheshire meet Bedfordshire in the first round of the C&G Trophy on Thursday, August 28, at Wardown Park, Luton.
Cheshire's team this Sunday is: 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 (wicketkeeper), Robin Fisher (Bootle).