OSWESTRY’S title and promotion aspirations suffered a serious dent at Tamworth on Saturday, losing to the Staffordshire strugglers by just one run in a dramatic finish.

Despite being without County batsman Xavier Clarke and all-rounder Roman Walker called up to the Glamorgan first team for their T20 Blast game against Somerset at Taunton – this was a game Oswestry could and should have won.

It was very much a missed opportunity for the Bordermen which may prove to be crucial in the final analysis as the season enters its final furlong.

With Tamworth winning the toss and electing to bat, Oswestry were quick to make inroads as the hosts tumbled to 10-3 with seamers Larry Samarakoon and Ben Roberts among the wickets, but the Oswestry spin attack could not press home the early advantage, and with the exception of Warrick Fynn, could not exert sufficient control leaking vital runs.

First Stuart Burrows and then Scott Daley repaired the early damage. When Burrows was bowled by Fynn for a useful 27, Daley was joined by skipper Ben Maddox.

The Tamworth fifth-wicket pair added 113 priceless runs, accelerating well and going comfortably in excess of five an over.

Daley was bowled for a fine 70 by Samarakoon to become the Sri Lankan’s third wicket of the afternoon, but Maddox remained undefeated on 71 which came off just 89 balls, as Tamworth posted a competitive total of 199-5 from their 50 overs.

Oswestry in reply made a slow start, losing Fynn in the fourth over. Mattie Richards became Eddie Smith’s second victim when caught behind for 18 with the scoreboard on 42.

Joe Carrasco, coming in at number four to help bolster the middle order, added 44 for the third wicket when young Josh Darley was run out for a patient 36 of 94 balls.

Alex Huxley soon followed thereafter, trapped lbw by Jacob Flower. Connor Davies briefly threatened with 16 off 19 balls as Carrasco, resolute throughout, saw those around him come and go.

Samarakoon was stumped off the bowling of Tom Kinson for 11, before skipper Dean Suter (14) gamely added 37 for the sixth wicket.

Going into the final over with 10 to win, Oswestry – always behind the run rate – reduced the deficit to two with two balls to go amid mounting excitement, but Carrasco and Oswestry were to be denied.

The Shropshire skipper was stumped by Maddox off the very last ball of the game as Oswestry agonisingly fell short of victory, going down by one run. Flower finished with figures of 3-49.

Carrasco’s valiant innings of 85 came off just 101 balls. He deserved better, but no-one stayed long enough to help him see Oswestry over the line.

The heavy reliance upon Carrasco, ,Fynn and to a lesser extent Clarke who have all scored well this season tells its own tale. There have only been two individual half-centuries scored by the rest of the entire team all season, compared to the 18 registered by those at the top of the order.

For Maddox whose side are all but doomed, it was a day to remember. In addition to his match-winning knock, he claimed two stumpings and two catches behind the wicket.

Oswestry will hope to put matters right when they entertain Bromsgrove at the Stonehouse Oval on Saturday (12pm start), a game they now must win if they are to keep their promotion hopes realistically alive, going into the last fortnight of the season.


FRANKTON first XI showed exactly why they are in the running for the Shropshire County Cricket League Division One title after a nine-wicket victory over Beacon firsts.

The travelling Beacon side put themselves in to bat after winning the toss at Hardwick Park and hoped to set a difficult target for the in-form Frankton side to chase.

Bowlers for the hosts were not going to let that happen however; A great performance by Stuart Lammie again saw him take four Beacon wickets, with Tom Cockayne and Brent Doubell taking two each.

Beacon were all out for a total of 151, with skipper Charles Higgin’s 66 being the biggest contribution.

Second-highest scorer for the side was Brynley Little with 16 runs.

In reply, Frankton made easy work of reaching the target set by their opposition as they lost just one wicket.

Up first was the top-order pairing of Ian Whitticase and Doubell who started things off well.

Whitticase reached a half-century and was joined by Thomas Wilkie following Doubell’s dismissal for 36.

Wilkie added 42 runs to reach the target and confirm a comfortable victory for Frankton.

The side remains second in the table with just 11 points between themselves and league leaders Shelton firsts.

A trip to face bottom of the table Ellesmere firsts awaits Frankton on Saturday.

Frankton’s second XI followed suit and also managed a comfortable nine-wicket win over Hodnet, Peplow & Tibberton firsts in Shropshire County Cricket League Division Three.

Like with the firsts’ game, Hodnet won the toss and chose to bat first, setting the visiting Frankton team a target of 58 to chase.

Jack Hutchinson took a five-wicket haul as Frankton reduced their hosts to a low score.

In response, George Dickin and Tom Llewellyn were up first, with Dickin dismissed for 12.

Skipper Cian Jones joined Llewellyn at the crease and scored 26, along with Llewellyn’s 15 to reach the target.

The win means Frankton seconds sit seventh in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Three table.

They host neighbours Oswestry seconds on Saturday.

The third XI are in action on Sunday away at Bridgnorth fourth XI.


CHIRK first XI got back to winning ways in style with a nine-wicket win over Montgomery firsts in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Two on Saturday.

Skipper Andrew Swarbrick was the standout performer on the day after he took seven wickets to reduce their guests to 47.

It took just two deliveries for Swarbrick to have top order Thomas Corfield dismissed for zero, while Andrew Barker only made it to eight runs before he was dismissed.

Frank Macdonald-Brown bowled Montgomery skipper Ieuan Griffiths out for four runs.

Swarbrick then returned to bowl, bowling out Aaron Ruff-Cock and Rob Bennett.

Keelan Serjeant was next to go for two runs after he was caught out by Gareth Partridge. Edward Bennett was trapped lbw for zero runs, before Jonathan Williams went in similar fashion.

Gareth Jones and Keith Griffiths were dismissed lbw late on, courtesy of Swarbrick, as Montgomery slumped to a total of 47 all out.

In reply, Partridge’s 34 not out, including six fours, was helped by 12 from James Carter and two runs from Shaun Walker to reach the target set by the visitors.

The win means Chirk are back to winning ways following a month without a victory.

Despite the win, they remain second and sit 43 points behind league leaders Wellington seconds.

Wellington have shown no sign of slipping up at the top of the table, and do not have to play Chirk as the season nears its end.

Chirk return to action on Saturday when they travel to face St Georges second XI.

It was a fixture-free Bank Holiday weekend for Chirk’s second XI who also find themselves chasing the top spot in their division.

The seconds sit 27 points behind league leaders Beacon third XI in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Eight.

With three games remaining, Chirk seconds know that defeat would all-but rule them out of the title challenge.

They face second from bottom side Much Wenlock seconds at home on Saturday in their next fixture.

They then have to face Condover second XI away on Saturday, September 7 before a trip to Lilleshall thirds on Saturday, September 14 for their final game of the season.

Knockin & Kinnerley

KNOCKIN & Kinnerley first XI shared points with Bridgnorth seconds on Saturday in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division One.

After winning the toss, Knockin decided to bat first which proved a good decision as they set a respectable target.

A total of 199 was made up by the side, with Jamie Birch’s 43 runs and Tom Breese’s 33 proving important.

Birch reached 43 runs from 27 balls, hitting four fours and three sixes before he retired not out.

Knockin were helped to their total by 35 extras.

They completed their 45 overs with a score of 199-7.

In reply, Bridgnorth made a slow start with their first three batsmen making just five runs between them.

A good showing from the middle-order saw the group of Charlie Walker, Patrick Smallman, Niall Adam and Robert Hughes racked up just shy of 100 runs between them.

They finished with a total of 153-9, with Jonny Evans and Thomas Dix taking three wickets each for Knockin.

Knockin return to action on Saturday when they face Beacon firsts away.

Knockin & Kinnerley seconds travelled to take on Beacon seconds on Saturday and came away with a two-wicket victory in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Five.

After inserting Beacon, the Knockin men bowled well for the most part, but struggled to stop Nick Bevan who scored a huge 76 before being caught by Eric Heath.

Aside from Bevan, the Knockin bowlers were able to make their way through the Beacon batsmen relatively quickly, with the openers dismissed for one run between them.

Martin Ellis took four wickets while Daniel Morris took three.

In reply, Andy Beckett started things off with 21 runs before he was caught by Emmett McKinley.

It was the pairing of James Mullock and Gary Darlington that did the most damage with 45 and 61 runs respectively.

Joe Kynaston’s 28 helped them to a total of 193-8 to take the win.

They face Whitchurch seconds at home on Saturday (starts 1pm).

Knockin’s thirds were in action on Sunday and suffered a nine-wicket loss to Shrewsbury fours.

They face Wem’s third XI on Sunday.


ELLESMERE will more than likely need to win all four of their remaining games if they are to maintain their place in the Shropshire Cricket League Division One.

Tom Davies’s men were edged out by four wickets on Saturday as they lost on the road to Cound despite a half-century from Ashley Thomas.

Davies knew his side needed maximum points and he opted to set his hosts a target after winning the toss, but he would not have been happy with the start they made.

He was first man out as Ellesmere were 5-1, caught by Calum marsh for one off the bowling of Iwan Morgan, though he hung around for 16 balls.

Former skipper Jonathan Mitchell was next to go on 24-2 as he was caught by Graham Trow, also off Morgan’s bowling, while Tom Quraishi accounted for Fraser Duncan to leave the visitors 28-3.

That soon became 32-4 as Graeme Cowey was dismissed for an eight-ball duck and Felix Ashley followed soon after, with Marsh this time the wicket taker.

However, Ellesmere launched their counter-attack through Matthew Lawrenson as he scored 37 batting at number four, scoring five fours and one six from 67 balls before he was bowled by Marsh to leave them 105-6.

He shared a sixth-wicket stand with Max Smith, who eventually finished on 45 after he was bowled by Trow while Thomas then went on the attack with six fours and four sixes in a display of blistering hitting, taking 30 balls.

Ellesmere were eventually dismissed for 181.

In reply, Ellesmere made early inroads as Thomas took early wickets, but a third-wicket stand of 91 between skipper Jack Case and Pabel Kumar Saha was enough to set up Cound’s victory.

Case was first out of the pair when he was dismissed by Scott Lawrenson for 65 and Troy Newton eventually accounted for Saha for 60 before Cound eventually passed their target in their 43rd over.

The first XI host near neighbours Frankton on Saturday while the second XI travel to Quatt’s thirds.

Cae Glas

CAE Glas first XI picked up a vital win against Acton Reynald firsts on Saturday to avoid going bottom of the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Four table.

The Oswestry men claimed a seven-wicket win over the team placed sixth in the league to keep themselves 23 points ahead of bottom-placed Church Stretton.

Hosts Acton Reynald were inserted after Cae Glas won the toss, and made a slow start when their two openers were caught out for ducks.

John Gwilliam and Adrian Burr were caught by Matthew Coulson and George Jones.

The good start continued as they dismissed Rishi Lee for six, and were only really troubled by Johnathan Evans’ 38 and John Cotton’s 39.

Jones and Andy Hughes took four wickets each as they reduced Acton Reynald to 145 all out.

A standout performance from Ben Hipkiss in reply meant Cae Glas made quick work of reaching the total posted for them to chase.

Hipkiss led the way with 67 not out, joined along the way by Ian Holgate who scored 39.

Holgate was caught and bowled by Kevin Harrison and replaced by Barry Richards who was caught by Evans after eight runs.

Skipper George Candler added a run before being dismissed, and was replaced by Coulson who scored six runs to help Hipkiss to the total.

Cae Glas return to action with a home fixture against Bishops Castle firsts on Saturday (starts 1pm).

Meanwhile, Cae Glas seconds were without a fixture this weekend.

They remain fifth in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Eight table after 15 games.

They have a trip to face Condover seconds away on Saturday.