A magnificent display by star all-rounder Warrick Fynn helped Oswestry’s cricketers start the season in great style with an 84-run victory at C and R Hawks.
Fynn blasted 107 off 125 balls, including 15 fours and three sixes, to set up an imposing total of 263-7 after Oswestry had been asked to bat.
He shared an opening stand of 160 with Joe Carrasco, who made 58, and the middle order carried on the good work.
Skipper Robbie Clarke weighed in with 31, Xavie Clarke added 18 and Mark Robinson hammered 34no off just 15 balls, with three fours and two huge sixes.
Highlight of Oswestry’s knock from the home side’s point of view came right at the death, when Shropshire all-rounder Omar Ali – brother of England’s Moeen – took a hat-trick with the last three balls of the innings.
One major factor for Oswestry if they were to win the game was to dismiss Ali as early as possible – and Robinson did just that when he bowled the prolific left-hander for just seven.
Then Fynn stepped forward again, taking three quick wickets – including a brilliant caught-and-bowled to dismiss former England ace Kabir Ali.
Robbie, Xavie and Ollie Clarke picked up a wicket each – probably the first time in the club’s history that three brothers have taken wickets in a first-team league game for Oswestry.
Robinson came back to dismiss two more batsmen and finish with 3-26, and the last wicket fell to a run out as C and R Hawks were bowled out for 179. Fynn’s final figures were 3-16.
Oswestry Seconds completed one of the greatest run chases seen at Morda Road for many a year when they beat their C and R Hawks visitors by five wickets.
Hawks took full advantage of a superb wicket to post a mammoth total of 295-3 in 45 overs, with centuries for Michael Gallear (114) and Josh Skyte (113no).
Owen Aspinall (49) and Matt Whitthread (42) got the Oswestry reply off to a flying start before James O’Reilly played the innings which won the match.
O’Reilly hit seven sixes and ten fours before he fell for exactly 100, and with Luke Jones adding an unbeaten 43, Oswestry reached their target at 297-5 with more than three overs to spare.
n Oswestry will look to build on their good start with a home game against Harborne on Saturday (noon). The Seconds visit Shropshire rivals Wellington Seconds.
The Thirds and Fourths start their Shropshire League seasons this weekend, with the Thirds visiting Guilsfield on Saturday and the Fourths entertaining Wellington Sixths at Morda Road on Sunday (1pm).