OSWESTRY’S first team stormed to the top of the Birmingham Premier Cricket League Division Two with an 89-run victory over old county rivals Bridgnorth at the Stonehouse Oval on Saturday.

A brilliant century from Shropshire captain, Joe Carrasco set the Bordermen on their way.

Carrasco who earlier in the week had agonisingly fallen just one short of three figures in the Minor Counties game against Oxfordshire, plundered 111 of just 68 balls. His stunning innings included 13 fours and six sixes.

When he departed, caught off the bowling of Dave Exall, the score stood at 134 with young Josh Darley in for the unavailable Warrick Fynn on 18.

Darley continued to add valuable support as Connor Davies maintained Oswestry’s progress, making 35 off 39 balls before becoming Exall’s second victim.

A quick-fire half-century from Xavier Clarke off 42 balls, and a useful contribution from Alex Huxley (20) saw the home side reach 269-7 off their 55 overs.

Whitney returned figures of 5-71 as Oswestry made a push for late runs with wickets in hand.

In reply, the south Shropshire side got off to a poor start as they lost Ian Gregory, caught by Larry Samarakoon first ball off Ben Roberts’ delivery.

Exall was clean bowled by Samarakoon and Joe Smallman suffered an immediate similar fate at the hands of Roberts.

A spirited counter-attack from Jean Paul Erasmus who smashed four sixes in a remarkable innings of 35 off just 12 balls, was ended when Connor Davies trapped the South African lbw.

The rapid departure of Whitney and Ben Lees saw the visitors further reduced to 63-6.

However, Adam Quiney and Tom Weaver added 85 in quick time to keep their side still in the game with plenty of overs to spare.

A wicket was needed for Oswestry and it finally came courtesy of Davies, when the dangerous Quinney was bowled.

Samarakoon then bowled Weaver for a plucky 57 off 55 balls, before rapping Baugh in his next over, lbw on the knee roll.

It was all over next ball as Dan Kearsley saw Samarakoon’s delivery crash into his stumps with the visitors finally being dismissed for 180 in the 32nd over.

It was an impressive display by Samarakoon who returned his best figures of the season with 6-44, in addition to fielding like the proverbial tiger.

Oswestry’s rise to the summit of the second division will have taken a few by surprise, but there is still a long way to go with just eight points separating the top six clubs in the tightest of races.

The expected return next week of key players Fynn and Walker, should see Oswestry at full strength against fourth-placed Leamington who are the visitors to Morda Road.

The Bordermen will be looking to complete the double over their Warwickshire opponents, in what promises to be another absorbing contest.

Oswestry second XI batsmen were once again in fine form as they chased down Willey’s total of 259 at the Barrow in the Shropshire League.

The ageless Steve Humphreys who is enjoying an Indian summer struck a magnificent century before being run out for 101.

He was well supported by Jonny Davies with 47 who perished in similar fashion.

Ian Roberts hit a brisk 38 and Alex Roberts (24) also contributed as the Bordermen got home with 11 balls to spare.

Earlier Roberts taken 3-34 and there were 2 wickets each for Alex Selby and Stu Owen. Oswestry remain five points behind leaders Shelton.