EVEN a prolonged interruption by the weather failed to prevent Herefordshire suffering one of their heaviest MCCA Championship defeats against Cheshire at Alderley Edge.

Although much of the second day was lost to rain, Herefordshire, whose attack had been put to the sword by some brilliant batting on day one, were dismissed twice by lunch on the third day to go down by an innings and 160 runs.

There was little evidence of the carnage ahead when Barney Morgan (1-79) and Jamie McIlroy (2-79) reduced the home side to 15-2 on the first morning.

And when teenage leg-spinner Alex Russell (1-101) had Rick Moore caught at the wicket by Ian Bullock for 52 with the score at 74-3, matters seemed well in Herefordshire’s favour.

However, some spectacular batting by Furqan Shafiq, who hit 28 fours and six sixes in his 207, and Jamie Crawley, 14 fours and seven sixes in his 173, saw the tiring Herefordshire bowlers cracked to all corners of the ground.

The pair added 339 for the fourth wicket, a record against Herefordshire and, although Tom Hage (4-105) was responsible for a flurry of late wickets, the home side were able to declare on 502-8 with one ball of their allotted 90 overs remaining.

When Herefordshire subsided to 60-4 by the close of play, it was clear that a long uphill battle would be necessary if anything positive were to be retrieved from the game.

And despite rain delaying proceedings, it was only Jamie McIlroy (68), who hit nine fours and two sixes in his first half-century for the county, who resisted substantially.

Matters scarcely improved in the second innings, although opener Tom Cummins was dismissed one short of a half-century.

Bullock (26) and skipper Pete Burgoyne (24) were the only other players to pass 20.

And McIlroy, who had been called up by Glamorgan 2nd and had to depart after the second day, was not around for a second attempt at resistance as Herefordshire were bowled out for a meagre 137.