Wins for 1sts and 2nds maintain pressure on league top two

Wins for 1sts and 2nds maintain pressure on league top two

By Alex Thomas
5 August 2021
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Stellar performances headline 1st and 2nd team wins, but fine all-round efforts from 3rds and 4ths don't quite get over the line...

Bridgnorth (183) beat Barnards Green (162) by 21 runs

An excellent all-round display from Adam Quiney dragged Bridgnorth from being behind in the game to taking control in the field, moving the Cricket Meadow men back in up fifth in Birmingham League Division Two, and staying in sight of the top two places.

After electing to bat first, the visitors were in trouble early on as they were reduced to 10-3 before Tom Weston (29) and Simon Gregory (28) dug in to arrest the slide. However, after their dismissals a further slide saw Bridgnorth slump to 100-7 and facing a distinctly under-par total. But Quiney was joined by Matt Martin (18) as they pair put together a valuable 50-run partnership for the eighth wicket, before Quiney accelerated late on to hit a vital 60 off 63 balls.

Now with a competitive score on the board, opposition skipper Ryan Tongue gave his side a positive start in reply. Dave Exall (1-26) and Matty Simmonds (2-45) chipped away in the first half of the second innings, before a double-strike for Bridgnorth saw the hosts reduced to 99-5.

Quiney and skipper Sam Whitney then took control with the ball, as the left-arm seamer completed a match-winning performance to take 4-40 off 16 overs, before the captain finished off the job with seven overs remaining, picking up 2-25.

Whitney was quick to praise his key-allrounder at the end of the game, and challenged his players to keep believing in the remaining games this season.

“We all know what a quality player Adam is, and he really showed it today. He’s capable of winning games like that almost by himself, and believes he can affect a game from anywhere. It was good to see Matt getting stuck in with him too, that partnership changed the game.

“We’ve been inconsistent this year, but everyone has stepped up at different times to put in a performance. If we keep believing in each other, and keep improving, we have an excellent chance of pushing into the top two this season.”

Bridgnorth II (277-4) beat Bomere Heath (121-9) by 156 runs

A superb century from Joe Smallman set up a resounding win for Bridgnorth’s second string at Cricket Meadow, as they too maintained their hopes of a top-two finish in Shropshire League Division One.

After the visitors chose to field first, openers Will Rodenhurst and Smallman played positively to put their side in front with an opening stand of 93, before Rodenhurst was dismissed for a well-worked 41. Stand-in skipper Cam Wallis then joined the free-scoring Smallman to help add a further 54 runs for the second wicket. An unfortunate incident saw visiting skipper Harry Bolland hit on the head by a well struck shot from Smallman, forcing him to be taken to A&E and take no further part in the match, and after play resumed Wallis was dismissed for 13.

Peter Thompson then joined Smallman, and the pair took advantage of the missing fielder by playing a range of powerful attacking shots racing their team past 250. Smallman was finally dismissed for a fantastic 129 late in the innings, whilst Thompson continued towards an eye-catching 62 off just 47 balls, and late support from Niall McAdam saw Bridgnorth post a challenging 277-4 off 45 overs.

Bomere then made a steady start to the run chase as opening bowlers Toby Hughes and Norman Roberts made it hard for them to get away, but despite keeping things tight struggled to make an early breakthrough.

A double bowling change from Wallis (3-18) then saw him make a much needed strike, thanks to a brilliant high one-handed catch from McAdam at midwicket, before Wallis himself took an excellent one-handed diving catch off his own bowling to claim the second, and the third following two balls later.

Lewis Hurdley once again bowled economically and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket himself, but a pacey Ross Hurdley (3-20) and Dan Rodenhurst (3-11) combined late on to run through the lower as the visitors collapsed from 96-4 to 121 all out.

Bridgnorth III (155-8) to lost Quatt (156-3) by seven wickets

A spirited effort from Bridgnorth’s third team pushed unbeaten league leaders Quatt all the way, but were ultimately beaten on Saturday.

After a very pitch delayed the start, a 25-over-a-side contest was agreed, with Bridgnorth invited to bat first. Despite the loss of four early wickets, returning skipper Ash Bowler led from the front with an eye-catching 35, but it was Alex Bashford and Ben Cresswell who followed their captains call to play without fear to take on the hosts.

Pouncing on anything loose and taking the game on, Bashford chanced his arm to reach a maiden half century off just 33 balls, before Cresswell was unluckily run out just short of a well-deserved fifty of his own.

In response, home captain Elliot Parker (57) went about the run chase in positive fashion, putting Bridgnorth’s bowlers under pressure early on, despite losing the wicket of Nathan Hakeman early on. Luke Daly (49 not out) and Jonathan Edwards (32 off 20) continued to take the game on, and despite Alex Thomas (2-49) and Ben Cresswell breaking through, Quatt reached their target with three overs to spare.

Bridgnorth IV (180-8) lost to Wellington (181-7) by three wickets

The fourth team produced another excellent all-round team performance on Sunday, but ultimately were undone by a comeback from Wellington’s lower order.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the runs were shared around the top order as Henry Roberts, Huw Morgan and Dan Rodenhurst all passed 20, before Ben Cresswell upped the ante later on to hit a 44-ball 49. Supported by a late cameo from James White a final total of 180 off 40 overs seemed competitive.

The hosts young seam attack once again bowled well to work through the visitors top order, as Huw Morgan (2-24) took the first two wickets to fall, before Cresswell finished off a good weekend to pick up 4-23. But a late counter-attack from Wellington saw them once again race towards their target, and despite James White picking up key-man Zadran for 73, the winning line was reached in the 37th over.

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