Bridgnorth (229) lost to Himley (278-6) by 49 runs
A century from former England U19 and Worcestershire batsman Oliver Westbury was the anchor for Himley posting a dominant score at Cricket Meadow on Saturday, allowing his middle-order colleagues to play with freedom and take control of the game.
Skipper Sam Whitney took the bowling plaudits for Bridgnorth as the legspinner chipped away to pick up 4-69, but the runs flowed throughout the innings.
In reply Bridgnorth were pegged back to 24-2 early on, before Dave Exall (59) and Simon Gregory worked hard to give their side a platform to accelerate later on. With both falling in quick succession, Tom Weston upped the ante with a run-a-ball 41, supported by Ben Lees as the home side pushed past 200.
But the visitors total proved too much for the Cricket Meadow, and despite the lower order showing resistance in the final throws of the game, Himley prised out the final wicket with just a ball remaining to grab a tense victory.
Captain Whitney was frustrated by the final result, but remained confident of his team changing its fortunes this season.
"We keep getting into positions to win games but then we panic a bit. We are a very talented side, but need a bit more confidence and belief that we can finish the job off. Once we get on a roll it will be tough to knock us off it. Just need one or two to stand up and make a key contribution to start the ball rolling."
Bridgnorth II (129) lost to Worfield (130-3) by seven wickets
The second team put in an extremely disappointing performance as they were well beaten by local neighbours Worfield in a one-sided affair at Davenport Park.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat the Bridgnorth top order were unable to deal with a lethal opening burst from Calvin Priest and Tom Parker who reduced the Cricket Meadow men to 50-6, with only Joe Smallman (23) and Niall McAdam (25) showing any resistance. They may well have been all out for less had it not been for an enterprising counter-attacking 34 from youngster Dan Rodenhurst, who dragged the total up to 129, which still appeared well below par.
The home side’s reply with the bat confirmed that case as they eased to a seven-wicket win with more than twenty overs to spare, as only Ross Hurdley (2-33) and Toby Hughes put any dents in the hosts batting line-up.
Skipper Matt Martin will hope for a much better display from his team at home to Newtown this Saturday.
Bridgnorth III (213-7) lost to Calverhall (217-6) by four wickets
The third team were narrowly beaten on a good batting wicket at Calverhall, as they just failed to defend a good total.
After being asked to bat first, Rich Ealey (54) and Charlie Ward gave their side a good start to reach 50 without loss, before Ed Bennett (38) joined Ealey in the middle to take Bridgnorth past the 150 mark. With a good platform set, Ben Taylor (31) and Guy Black (30 not out) were able to accelerate in the second half of the innings to post what appeared an above-par total.
Young opening bowlers Jenson Caine and Huw Morgan then gave their side a fantastic start with the new ball to reduce the hosts to 49-4 to put themselves in command. But the hosts chose to counter-attack to get themselves back into the game, as Bridgnorth struggled to find the much-needed breakthrough.
Despite the returning Huw Morgan picking up two further scalps late on to achieve his first third-team five-wicket haul, the hosts eventually clinched victory in the final over of the game.
Bridgnorth IV (138-1) beat Chelmarsh (135-7) by nine wickets
A rapid-fire century from Jack Welch made short work of a modest run-chase on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Cricket Meadow, as the fourth team won Bridgnorth’s first and only game of the weekend.
After the hosts elected to bat, visiting captain Rob Price’s unbeaten 40 was the top score as early wickets were shared between Alex Bashford, Jenson Caine and Rhona Ferrans, before Ashton Briggs-Thomas ran through the lower-order to take 3-14.
Welch then took full advantage of the favourable conditions to blitz his side to the win inside eighteen overs of the reply.