Cricket: Staffordshire's Paul Goodwin hails title 'fairy tale'.

Highfield cricket ground, Staffordshire
Highfield cricket ground in Staffordshire has a history of hosting cup games against first-class counties

Staffordshire veteran Paul Goodwin says it was a "fairy tale" winning the Minor Counties Championship title in his final game for the county.

Goodwin was part of a Staffordshire side who won the Minor Counties title for the first time in 18 years this week when they beat Wiltshire by 28 runs at Salisbury.

"It is a fairy tale finish for me," Goodwin told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I couldn't have asked for any more in my last game. It's been emotional."

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper picked up a third ball duck and was out for just seven in the second innings.

But he picked up three catches and three stumpings in the last of his 74 Championship appearances for Staffordshire.

Minor Counties final scoreboard:
Staffordshire: 227 (Wilshaw 52, Kadeer Ali 39, Young 6-72) and 254 (Wilshaw 107, Hill 45, Tahir Afridi 5-44).Wiltshire: 231 (Qureshi 90, Kilbee 61, Parkinson 3-62) and 222 (Coles 87, Willott 4-28, Byrne 4-44).
Staffordshire won by 28 runs.

"What an awesome game to end my Staffordshire career on," added Goodwin. "There were a few nerves as the match swung one way and then the other, but I can't praise this group of players enough.

"They've been immense and this win has been thoroughly deserved."

After Wiltshire had established a narrow first-innings lead of four runs with 17-year-old Staffs leg spinner Matthew Parkinson claiming three wickets, the visitors were indebted to a century from Peter Wilshaw (107) in their second innings to set the home side a target of 251.

When Wiltshire were reduced to 123-7, Goodwin's side looked to be cruising to victory.

But skipper Michael Coles (87) almost single-handedly edged his team nearer their target before left-arm spinner Paul Byrne beat his defences to spark off the Staffordshire celebrations.

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