FINE individual performances from Warrick Fynn and Worcestershire Academy player Xavier Clarke kept Oswestry firmly in the Birmingham Premier Division Two promotion race as the Bordermen overcame Bromsgrove by 56 runs at the Stonehouse Oval on Saturday.
Fynn, who made his second league century of the season, aided by Clarke (44), helped Oswestry post a challenging total of 259-9 before the young Worcestershire all-rounder ripped through the visitors’ top-order with an impressive display of leg-spin bowling.
The return of Clarke and Roman Walker to the side following the previous week’s defeat to now-relegated Tamworth, significantly strengthened the batting and after a rain-delayed start, skipper Dean Suter chose to bat first upon winning the toss.
Fynn, despite losing fellow opener Josh Darley without scoring, was quickly into his stride as he and the teenage Clarke added 89 for the second wicket, before the latter was bowled by Ashley Newfield.
Joe Carrasco was unable to repeat his valiant efforts of the previous week as he also fell to Newfield to prompt the home side’s sudden slip to 100-3.
Fynn kept going, helping to avert a middle order collapse.
The Oswestry talisman, together with Larry Samarakoon (21), took the Morda Road side past 200, before becoming the eighth wicket to fall when he was bowled by Herefordshire Minor Counties seamer Alex Wilkinson for 117 with the score on 234.
His mammoth effort came off 125 balls and included 15 fours.
Bowlers Ben Roberts and Sam Davies added 22 useful runs for the ninth to ensure they used up their side’s allotted 50 overs.
Set a revised target of 251 off 48 overs under the Duckworth Lewis rules, Bromsgrove lost opener Jayden Levitt to Ben Roberts with only five on the board, caught by keeper Suter – celebrating his call-up for Shropshire in their final match of the season against Wiltshire.
Taylor and Newfield led a spirited reply, putting on 119 for the second wicket with the Worcestershire men well placed at 124-1 going into the 24th over.
Clarke, whose opportunities with the ball have been limited this season, following completion of his A-level studies, returned the highly-creditable figures of 4-39 off his allotted 10 overs.
It was to prove to be a match-defining spell.
Samarakoon (2-25) and Fynn (2-19) mopped up the tail as Oswestry finally ran out comfortable winners to set up a gripping finale to the season.
The final home game of the season on Saturday against Wolverhampton gets underway at 12 noon when sponsors will have an opportunity to enjoy the match-day experience at Morda Road and meet the players after the game.
Club officials are expecting a large crowd. Members wishing to join sponsors for a buffet lunch should contact the club as soon as possible for tickets (£10 per person).
Oswestry seconds’ title ambitions are still very much on track in Shropshire County Cricket League Division Three, as they remain 40 points ahead of nearest rivals, Shelton second XI, after trouncing Frankton seconds by 223 runs at Hardwick Park.
Skipper Alex Davison blasted 120, whilst fellow opener Luke Jones weighed in with 65. Steve Humphreys was undefeated on 39 as Oswestry raced to 270-3 off 39 overs.
Things did not get any better for the hosts as they were skittled out for 47 in 22 overs.
ELLESMERE launched a late push for survival in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division One on Saturday after beating second-placed neighbours Frankton.
The Meresiders picked up the important win to keep themselves in with a chance of not finishing at the foot of the table.
Visiting Frankton inserted their hosts who have struggled to get points on the board this season.
However, a solid innings from Tom Davies’ side saw them post a target of 191-8 for Frankton to chase.
Matthew Lawrenson’s half-century was a big contribution towards the total, helped by Fraser Duncan’s 24 and Ashley Thomas’ 21 late in the afternoon.
Brent Doubell led the Frankton response with 44 before being bowled out by Thomas, before Jordan Parry added 30.
A great collective effort from the Ellesmere bowlers saw Thomas, George Duncan and Scott Lawrenson take two wickets each.
The tail-end of the Frankton batting order collapsed and were out for 169 to give Ellesmere a much-needed victory.
A huge bottom-of-the-table clash awaits Ellesmere on Saturday as they host Knockin & Kinnerley in their second-to-last fixture of the season.
Meanwhile, Ellesmere second XI remain second from bottom in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Seven table after a four-wicket defeat away at Quatt thirds.
Batting first, Ellesmere posted a target of 106 for their hosts, after a difficult innings saw them lose four wickets to bowler Joshua Shrimpton.
Sam Druce top-scored for Ellesmere with 24.
In reply, Quatt fared better as they reached the target after losing six wickets.
Tom Appleyard took three Quatt wickets, but Tarran Noble and Joseph Cotham helped Quatt to their total adding 23 and 29 runs respectively.
An away game at Coton Hall firsts is scheduled for Ellesmere seconds on Saturday.
Ellesmere thirds had a free weekend with no scheduled fixture to be played.
They remain bottom of the Shropshire County Cricket League Sunday Division Two.
The thirds are back in action on Sunday when they host mid-table Lilleshall fours.
A SURPRISE defeat for Frankton first XI at the hands of Ellesmere may have damaged their Shropshire County Cricket League Division One promotion hopes.
Frankton visited the bottom-placed side as they looked to continue the battle for the top spot with Shelton firsts, however defeat means they now sit 23 points behind the leaders.
Winning the toss and electing to field, Frankton looked to restrict their hosts to a low score.
However, a solid innings for Ellesmere saw them post a respectable target of 191-8.
Wickets fell elsewhere with Stuart Lammie, Tom Cockayne and Brent Doubell all performing well to take two each.
In reply, Frankton looked to find the good form they have shown all season to chase down the Ellesmere total.
Doubell started well for his side, scoring 44 to add to Ian Whitticase’s 16 and Scott Hale’s 12.
Thomas Wilkie added eight runs and Jason Brookes got 13 before he was run out.
Frankton looked to be steadily making progress towards the target, and were handed a boost when Jordan Parry added a helpful 30 to their total.
Yuri Pugh held his position at the crease to add some more important runs, but it was not to be for the visitors who struggled to pick up runs as more wickets fell, leaving them on a total of 169 all out eventually.
They will look to get back to winning ways to keep the pressure on Shelton in their next fixture against Newtown firsts on Saturday.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Frankton seconds who fell to a 223-run defeat against visiting Oswestry seconds.
Batting first, Oswestry’s Alex Davidson put on 120, helped by Luke Jones’ 65.
Josh Coleridge (18) and Steve Humphreys (39) replaced them following their dismissals.
In reply Frankton struggled to get any momentum, with Elwyn Jones top-scoring with 14, as they limped to a total of 47.
Frankton seconds are home again on Saturday when they face Ludlow second XI.
Frankton’s third XI also suffered defeat as they were beaten by Bridgnorth fourth XI.
Bridgnorth picked up a seven-wicket victory at Cricket Meadow.
On Sunday, Frankton thirds host Knockin & Kinnerley third XI.
A FOUR-wicket win for Chirk against St Georges second XI in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Two means they remain in second place as they look to stay within distance of league leaders Wellington seconds.
Chirk face an uphill battle to gain promotion now, as they sit 41 points behind the league leaders with two games remaining.
Nevertheless, a good performance from Chirk and an excellent batting display from Nick Flack meant Chirk secured a comfortable win against the side third from bottom of the table.
After winning the toss, Chirk decided to field and came up against a strong St Georges side which set a total of 192.
After losing their two openers in quick succession, Austin Rowley stepped up to score 31 alongside Matthew Chesters who managed a total of 70 runs from 84 deliveries.
He was joined by Andy Johnson, who added 44 from 41 deliveries, while the tail-end of the batting order failed to add any significant totals.
Frank Macdonald-Brown was responsible for the dismissal of four St Georges batsmen, while skipper Andrew Swarbrick took three wickets.
In reply, Ollie Gough started things off with 18 runs while Shaun Walker and James Carter both lost wickets in quick succession.
Replacing them however was Flack who managed 71 runs, aided by Swarbrick’s 37.
A partnership late on between Mark Shaw (15) and Billy Swarbrick (21) was enough to reach the target set as they bowed out with a score of 196-6.
A trip to face Wroxeter & Uppington firsts is next up for Chirk on Saturday.
Chirk seconds hosted Much Wenlock seconds on Saturday and claimed a huge 10-wicket victory.
After electing to field, Chirk restricted their visitors to a total of 65-9, with Chirk’s Connor Bailey, Mark Roberts, Mike Vickers and Jonathan Gough all taking two wickets each.
In reply, Chirk only needed top-orders Ian Skinner and Bailey to see off their opposition.
Skinner made 29 runs while Bailey added 19. The pair was helped by 19 extras to reach the target.
They face Condover second XI in their next fixture on Saturday.
CAE Glas’ late run of good form continued in their game against fellow Shropshire County Cricket League Division Four strugglers Bishops Castle on Saturday.
Having lost the toss and being invited to bat, Cae Glas made a terrific start by posting their first century stand of the season.
Andy Griffiths and Ben Hipkiss built steadily against an accurate opening spell from Tom Moulder and Gary Rayment.
Hipkiss top scored with 59 in a stand of 113 and Gary Davies and Matt Coulson kept the momentum going as the home side posted a creditable 157 in their 40 overs.
Griffiths was dismissed for 57 in the last over, one of three wickets to fall to Tom Moulder in the 40th over as he finished with 3-41 off his 12 overs.
In reply, Moulder was once again very much to the fore as, opening the batting, he held the Bishops Castle reply together, top scoring with 67.
When he was dismissed in the 34th over, Bishops Castle were left to bat out the last six overs for a draw as they finished on 118-8, giving them five points, while Cae Glas secured 15 points for their winning draw.
Earlier, Gary Davies had been the pick of the Cae Glas bowlers as he took four wickets for 29 off his 12 overs, Dave Edwards providing good support with 2-10 in three overs at the end.
This result still gives Cae Glas the opportunity to avoid relegation if they can take their good form into their last two games, starting next week with their last home fixture against Calverhall.
Cae Glas seconds lost their Shropshire County Cricket League Division Eight fixture against Condover by nine wickets.
They return with an away fixture at Allscott Heath thirds on Saturday.
Knockin & Kinnerley
Knockin first XI travelled to Beacon on Saturday, knowing a win would keep their Shropshire County Cricket League Division One survival prospects intact.
Knockin won the toss and elected to bat but were soon 31-3 as Guy Leslie took two early wickets.
Lawrence Hitchin with 30 and Lloyd Edwards with 38 led the recovery, but once the pair were dismissed, Knockin were eventually all out for 120.
In reply, Beacon came out of the traps quickly, but lost wickets at key times.
Hitchin and Edwards picked up four wickets each as Beacon were bowled out for 102.
Next week, Knockin play host to basement dwellers Ellesmere, where a win could take them out of the relegation zone.
Knockin second XI climbed out of the bottom two of the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Five table on Saturday after beating Whitchurch by seven wickets.
Knockin won the toss and elected to field, and despite some resistance from Molly Batkin and Dave Weaver, they dismissed the visitors for 72.
Oliver Dallaway was the pick of the bowlers with 3-6, while Dan Morris and Martin Ellis both picked up two wickets and Paul Holyoake took two diving catches in the gully.
In reply, Holyoake was clean bowled to the first ball of the reply, and when Mac Davies was needlessly run out, Knockin were 26-3, but the steady hands of Gary Darlington and Dallaway steered Knockin over the line.
On Sunday, the third XI hosted Wem thirds in the Shropshire County Cricket League Sunday Division One.
Winning the toss and electing to field looked to have been a good decision, with Wem finding themselves 77-6 at drinks. However, an 89-run partnership between Lee Bowen (117) and skipper Mark Ellis (28) helped set a total of 211-8.
Robert Ford with 3-39 and George Lawrence with 2-16 were the pick of the Knockin bowlers.
In reply, the Knockin batting department fell apart, making 57 all out, as only Jools Gallimore (21) made double figures. Matthew Tudor, Shaun Mostert, Tim Leach and Ollie Dunn picked up two wickets each.
Knockin fourth XI travelled to Bomere Heath on Sunday and suffered a disappointing defeat.
Knockin were bowled out for 83 and Bomere won by eight wickets.