27 FEBRUARY / MARCH 2020 Visit our website: www.independentnewspapers.co.uk Independent LOCAL SPORT LOCAL FOOTBALL ROUNDUP LOCAL CRICKET ROUNDUP CHESHIRE have appointed captains for each format of the 2020 National Coun- ties competitions. Nick Anderson will lead the T20 side, Will Evans will skipper the 50-over side and in the three-day competition Robert Sehmi will be county captain. The announcement comes as the Minor Coun- ties gear up for a raft of changes, including a name change to the National Counties after 124 years. There will be slightly less three-day cricket, but there will be automatic promotion and relegation within the current West- ern and Eastern Divisions. The 10-team divisions will split to two groups of five in a series of changes to the county game at its second tier. It also means a reduc- tion in three-day matches from six to four a season, while offering an increase in Twenty20 games. Fixtures for the upcom- ing season have also now been released. Cheshire start their T20 campaign on April 26 against Cum- berland. The game will be played at New Brighton. The competition contin- ues throughout May with games against Northum- berland (May 3 South Northumberland) and Cambridgeshire (Bowdon May 17) before a derby date against Staffordshire on May 25 at Uttoxeter. If Cheshire get through their group stage, they will take part in finals day on June 24 at a venue to be announced. The group stages of the National Counties Trophy get underway on June 7, when Cheshire will travel to Cambridgeshire. Shropshire are the oppo- nents on June 21 at Nant- wich. The county wo;; then travel to Bury St Edmunds on June 29 to face Suffolk before finishing their group at Toft with the visit of Norfolk. In the new three-day National Counties Cham- pionship, Cheshire start their Western Division campaign on July 12 with a game against Dorset at Oxton. That’s followed by a trip to Banbury and a game against Oxfordshire start- ing on July 26. Alderley Edge is the venue for the county’s clash with Wiltshire start- ing on August 16 and on August 23 Cheshire face Berkshire at Newbury. The Championship Final will take place from Sep- tember 6-10 at a venue to be announced. THE president of the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs is looking forward to a year of celebra- tion as the organisationmarks its centenary. David Durling, a mem- ber of Shrigley Hall Golf Club and a former member at Tytherington, has also praised the work of volun- teers in the county game. A qualified referee, he was also the first chairman of the Cheshire Golf Development Group when it was set up in 2015. The group has worked to increase the number of ladies and young people playing the sport in the county. David said: “For the past 100 years, the union has con- tinued to serve our clubs and today we represent over 90 clubs, arrange over 50 events each year including tourna- ments and championships and competitive matches against other counties at six different age levels. “In addition, we run a num- ber of life members’ meetings for those club members who love their golf but maybe wouldnot aspire toplay for the county teams. “Thistakesalotofhardwork and I would like to express my thanks to all of the volunteers who work tirelessly for the county, giving up their time to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and to all of our vice presidents who have given so much to the county over the years. “I would like our cente- nary year to be a celebration of the wonderful game of golf in Cheshire and we can- not achieve that without our clubs.” The clubs have been invited to two centenary confer- ences in April as part of the celebrations, as well as pro- viding a representative for the ‘Centenary Tournament’ final inSeptember. Acentenarydin- ner is alsoplanned inOctober. Davidadded:“I look forward to visiting as many of our affil- iated clubs as possible during the coming year.” WHEN the going gets tough, the tough get going at Loreto Pre- paratory School with its new gymnastics club is teaching the young girls to face their fears. Run by the school’s sports coaches Antonia Gillespie and Andy Holman, the new club was immediately fully subscribed with 12 girls able to train each session. Antonia said: “Gym- nastics Improves fitness, strength, flexibility and co-ordination and is an excellent foundation for a fit and healthy future, helping develop a strong core, sense of balance and flexibility. “But more over gym- nastics teaches courage, self-discipline and patience. Gymnastics is actually quite scary and takes chil- dren out of their comfort zone each time they try something they are not familiar or confident with. “We feel it’s all about how to become a stronger person both physically and mentally, working through frustrations as well as sore muscles and injuries.” The girls meet once a week and have been inspired by the recent unprecedented suc- cess of GB team gymnasts such as Max Whitlock and Claudia Fragapane. Andy added: “When Anto- nia and I were growing up, the GB gymnastics team were not as competitive. Now they are among the very best in the world and our girls have responded to that success with tre- mendous enthus i asm and determination.” AN outstanding perfor- mance at the North-West Association of Junior Independent Schools Hockey tournament saw King’s School’s U11s lifting the trophy for the first time. The day started slowly with a defeat against last year’s winners, Kirkham. The Macclesfield side was undaunted and went on to win the next six matches to land the title. Goals from Joe Moores, Archie Hood and Leo Burns in the group stages saw the team victorious against The Grange, Westholme, Cheadle Hulme and AKS to set up a semi-final encounter against a strong King’s Chester side who were unbeaten in the tournament. In a tense game, the King’s defence was outstanding with Alex Creswell and Seth Oliver-Williams making last- ditch tackles and Zach Al-Ausi pulling off a string of out- standing saves in goals. The match went to a ‘gold- en-goal’ with Walter Lowe finally breaking the deadlock when he slid the ball past the advancing keeper. The final was a rematch against Kirkham. King’s dominated the early stages with some outstanding midfield play from Dylan Parks-Symborkski, Walter Travis, Leo Burns and Joe Moores. It was Walter Lowe, who was again on hand to put the team in front with a calmly taken finish after some excel- lent approach play. King’s searched for a sec- ond goal to settle the nerves but as the game progressed, Kirkham pushed for the equaliser. The King’s boys stood strong in defence and again, some excellent saves fromZach saw the teamcome out as winners. IT’S lift-off for another set of King’s School trampo- line stars who have dom- inated the North of Eng- land championships. An astonishing seven teams and four individuals have qualified for the national finals to be held in Eastleigh on March 14. Otis Hughes was crowned champion with Rueben Black- hurst second and Jamie Pearce and Oliver Pinches placed third in their categories. All 12 of the Macclesfield school’s teams were placed in the top three podium places with the exception of under 11 novice girls, who were a cred- itable fourth, still regarded as an outstanding achievement in such a tough competition. Five King’s teams won gold and there were two sil- ver medals. Coach Rachael Burrows Jarvis said: “Such results demand immense hard work not only from the pupils but also from their parents too, who have been tremendously supportive. It truly is a team effort. “That togetherness was characterised by the older team members encouraging, supporting and advising the younger ones. As a coach that is exactly what you want to see. It is a disappointment for the third places teams who so narrowly missed out on qualifying for the nationals but our aim is to teach resilience and persever- ance and I know they will be still be giving everything and more next time around.” CHEADLE Town man- ager Liam Brownhill was delighted after his side lifted the January Macron NWCFL First Division South clubof themonth award. He told the league’s official website: “It is a fan- tastic achievement from everyone involved with CheadleTown.” Cheadlewentundefeated throughout the month, with five wins and just the one draw to finish off a fine January. That run included victories against Sandbach and StockportTown. Brownhill praised everyone involved for the accolade and he added: “We have only been with Cheadle town for four months and the club have never won this award, so it’s a great achievement!” Congleton Town have signed Whitchurch Alport goalkeeper Dave Parton. He leaves Alport after two seasons. And he joins Arron Johns, who joined the Bears from Alport towards the end of last season. Johns has been in fine form over recent games. He and Aaron Bott, on loan from Leek Town, have found the net nine times in three games. Bott’s five strikes included a hat-trick against Barnoldswick. The Macron Challenge Cup final will take place on Saturday May 2 at Altrincham FC, with a 1pm kick off. The game will also be followed by the popu- lar Altrincham FC Beer Festival which takes place throughout the weekend of the game. Countdown to the new season David looks to a ‘great year’ Gymnastics club is a hit Hockey stars shine Jumping for joy Town’s ‘fantastic achievement’ Skill sets - Pictured here with Antonia Gillespie are Loreto young gymnasts Alice Ifield and Maria Hilton.