Bridgnorth clinched a memorable victory at home over Wolverhampton on Saturday, which could well prove crucial in them maintaining a place in Birmingham League cricket next season. Unfortunately the seconds couldn’t quite double up and lost out away at Frankton.
Bridgnorth (251-9) beat Wolverhampton (232) by 19 runs
Captain Sam Whitney was ecstatic after ‘the best win of the season so far’ on President’s Day at Cricket Meadow on Saturday, as they overcame a strong Wolverhampton side with an impressive all-round performance.
After being asked to bowl first following a brief delay due to heavy morning showers, Bridgnorth were initially put on the back foot, loosing both openers early. However, the recovery began through the calm perseverance of Ben Lees, who took his opportunity at number three with both hands to play a pivotal role in the game. JP Erasmus made an eye-catching 47 to force the momentum back Bridgnorth’s way, before Adam Quiney (48) combined with Lees to take the total well past 200.
Lees continued to accumulate after reaching his maiden first team fifty, but was agonisingly dismissed just eleven runs short of what would have been a deserved century. Wolverhampton fought back late with a small flurry of wickets, but the home side were happy with a season-highest total of 251-9 off a rain-shortened 47 overs.
In response, following a quick start from the visitors, Bridgnorth struck back through Dave Exall and Adam Quiney to restrict them to 40-3. However, Worcestershire’s Tom Fell counter-attacked to calm the hosts early optimism and keep the game in the balance.
Despite a tough first over, Sam Baugh bowled well in the middle overs to peg back the middle order, but skipper Sam Whitney produced a key spell. The legspinner grabbed four wickets, two being stumped by the irrepressible Lees, as Bridgnorth squeezed hard in the latter overs. Erasmus then grabbed the key wicket of Fell for 111, before Quiney (3-39) finished off the job by bowling the last man in the final over.
“It’s a massive win”, said Whitney after the game. “and it puts us on the brink of safety.”
“Ben grabbed his chance today, and that will give him great confidence that he can succeed at this level. It was great to see his talent shine through today.
“That was undoubtedly our best performance of the year, in front of a big crowd on Presidents’ Day when we really wanted a win over a very good side. We stayed calm throughout, and outplayed them in all facets of the game. Adam was brilliant running into a gale force wind, and Sam recovered really well after his first over to bowl a crucial spell.
“Well all know there’s more work to do, but today’s result means so much for us as a side, both this year and moving forward.”
Bridgnorth II (173-8) lost to Frankton (174-3) by seven wickets
The second string were well beaten away at league high flyers Frankton on Saturday.
After being asked to bat first following heavy rain and in windy conditions, Bridgnorth were made to work hard early on as skipper Matt Martin (16) and Joe Smallman (23) dug in following two early wickets. A further middle-order wobble saw the team struggling to reach 120, but counter-attacking efforts from Niall McAdam (39) and Ross Hurdley (31 not out) saw their side reach a competitive 173-8 off 40 overs.
However, the hosts came out firing and soon put the visitors on the back foot, before taking the game away from Bridgnorth. Alex Hill (2-29) and Alex Yarnley were the only wicket-takers as the hosts eased over the victory line in just the 29th over.
Bridgnorth will now look to get a positive result over neighbours Shifnal at home this week to try and pull away from the relegation spots in Shropshire League Division One.