OSWESTRY’S long-held hopes of playing in the very top tier of the Birmingham League must be put on hold for another year after crashing to a 96-run defeat against Wolverhampton at the Stonehouse Oval on Saturday.

In a must-win game, Dean Suter’s young side allowed their Black Country rivals back into the game, succumbing to a dramatic batting collapse.

It was a sad end to a day which had started brightly and promised so much for an expectant and good-sized home crowd.

After visiting skipper and overseas professional Matt Kleinveld had won the toss and decided to bat, Oswestry made excellent use of the new ball on a pitch that held few demons.

Larry Samarakoon and Ben Roberts ripped through the Wolverhampton top and middle order as the Tettenhall side plummeted to 55-7.

With no available third seamer, Suter looked to his spinners to complete the task in short order.

But it was not be, as first opener Archie O’Hara and Ravi Kumar added 38 for the eighth wicket before O’Hara was caught and bowled by Xavier Clarke for a patient and highly valuable 45.

Wolverhampton were not done, with Kumar (31) squeezing out a further 32 runs for the ninth wicket.

Samarakoon once again claimed the bowling honours, returning figures of 4-46 while Roberts took 3-22.

In reply, Oswestry reached 24 without loss by the ninth over with everything going to plan.

Warrick Fynn looked fluent and his young opening partner Josh Darley was leaving the ball well, playing customarily with the straightest of bats – but then, Adam Finch found form.

He first caught Fynn out before dismissing Clarke lbw two balls later, and then taking out both Joe Carrasco and Connor Davies to take four wickets from five balls.

Finch within the space of an over had turned the game on its head, from which there was to be no recovery, as the crowd slowly drifted away.

Darley battled hard for his 17 before he was trapped lbw by Kleinveld on the back foot.

Former county player Alex Huxley, who has endured one of those seasons following his return to Morda Road, was caught behind off the bowling of Aaron Patel for four.

Mattie Richards and Suter were both dismissed cheaply by Kleinveld as the procession of Oswestry batsmen back to the pavilion continued.

Samarakoon (17) briefly played some shots before becoming the fifth home batsman to be bowled out and when Ben Roberts was run out for six it summed up the Bordermen’s day as Oswestry were skittled out for 68 in the 25th over.

In the space of barely an hour, the home side had lost 10 wickets for just 44 runs in a quite remarkable collapse.

So once again Oswestry have fallen just short at the final hurdle, but this has, in the main, been a highly encouraging season after Suter’s rebuilding of the side last winter.

His side can still have a say in the promotion race when the Bordermen travel to leaders Harborne for the final game of the campaign as Leamington and Ombersley also battle for honours.

Meanwhile, Oswestry’s second XI were gifted a victory at the weekend after their opponents, bottom-of-the-table Hinstock, conceded to add 24 points to Oswestry’s total for the season. With two games remaining, Oswestry know a win on Saturday against Wellington thirds will be enough to claim the top spot for the season.


THE likelihood of Ellesmere firsts avoiding relegation from the Shropshire County Cricket League Division One was made even smaller at the weekend after they lost to fellow strugglers Knockin & Kinnerley firsts.

Knockin decided to bat after winning the toss and posted a target of 149 which looked achievable for Ellesmere.

There was an excellent display of bowling from Meresiders duo George Duncan and Tom Davies who took four wickets each.

Their performance was matched by Knockin bowlers Shaun Davies and Lloyd Edwards, who took five and four wickets respectively.

It looked as though Ellesmere were on their way to a good score when Davies started things off well but was caught out for 25.

However, things slowed down with George Duncan and Matthew Lawrenson both dismissed for eight runs each, while Graeme Cowey was bowled out for nine.

Laurence Ashley and Felix Ashley put on 42 between them to spur the team on towards the target, but a late collapse from the tail-end of the batting order saw the side fall short of the target by 20 runs.

The defeat leaves Ellesmere 31 points adrift at the bottom of the table.

They travel to take on Beacon firsts on Saturday.

It was also a disappointing weekend for Ellesmere seconds who continue to struggle in the Shropshire County Cricket League Division Seven.

Ellesmere remain second from bottom after a seven-wicket loss at Coton Hall firsts on Saturday.

Coton Hall set an incredible target of 404-3 for Ellesmere to chase.

Skipper Alex Cadman was unstoppable as he scored 144, while his fellow top-order batsman Patrick McBennett scored 103 before retiring.

Gareth Rich added 50 before Dan Thomas scored 37 with further additions helping them towards the huge total.

With a huge task ahead to chase down the target, Ellesmere batted well but were too slow to reach the target.

Nigel Davies and Peter Beavan put on 101 runs between them, but the side, having only lost three wickets, reached their 40 overs with 185 runs.

Ellesmere seconds return to action with a home game against Ludlow thirds on Saturday.

Ellesmere third XI host Newport thirds on Sunday.

Cae Glas

CAE Glas firsts’ final home game of the season proved to be a dramatic one with a tied game against mid-table Calverhall.

Having lost the toss, the home side were once again invited to bat, and the pairing of Ben Hipkiss and Andy Griffiths took over from where they left off last week, putting on 95 for the first wicket before Griffiths was superbly caught one-handed down the leg side by Andy Green, the Calverhall keeper, for a patient 20.

Hipkiss continued his good form and batted through the whole of the 45 overs to finish unbeaten on exactly 100, as Cae Glas posted 195-3.

George Candler added 22 to the score after Griffiths’ departure.

At tea Cae Glas felt they might have missed out on batting Calverhall out of the game completely on what was an excellent batting track and that proved to be the case.

Andy Green, opening the batting for Calverhall, crashed the ball to all parts of the ground as he dominated the visitors’ response.

He scored 50 of the first 63 runs and when he was eventually dismissed by a superb one-handed diving catch by Griffiths in the covers, he had scored 124 of Calverhall’s 177.

This still left Calverhall with five overs to reach their target of 195, but youngsters William Lewis and Robbie Vernon held their nerve and took the game down to the last over needing just two runs to win.

It was left to veteran Nick Broadbent to take the responsibility and, despite conceding a single, some great fielding from the encircling Cae Glas fielders, including a diving stop at square leg from Bobbie Phillips, prevented the run required to secure victory, as Calverhall closed their innings with the scores level.

Lewis and Vernon finished on seven not out and 10 not out respectively with seven wickets down in what was a nailbiting finish for both sides.

Cae Glas take on Bridgnorth third XI away on Saturday.

The second XI travelled to Allscott Heath thirds for their weekend fixture where they lost by 35 runs.

After Allscott posted a target of 210-2, Cae Glas put on a respectable reply but fell short of the target .

On Saturday they will host Welshpool seconds at Gatacre.


FRANKTON’S hopes of finishing top of the Shropshire County Cricket League Division One table took a huge blow on Saturday as they were beaten by six wickets at Newtown.

The Frankton men have been chasing leaders Shelton for some time; however, Newtown’s strong performance at the weekend could well prove to be the result which denies them top spot come the end of the season.

Choosing to bat first, Frankton started slowly with the hosts bowling well to reduce top-orders Ian Whitticase and Brent Doubell to six and four runs respectively.

Things went from bad to worse when Sam Cooke caught out Scott Hale and Thomas Wilkie, who managed to add just 17 between them.

Cooke was on form again to stump George Dickin for 15 shortly afterwards.

Jordan Parry and Yuri Pugh were able to provide some resistance and added 39 and 45 runs to bolster their side’s total.

Following their dismissals however, Newtown made quick work of dismissing the tail-end of the batting order to leave Frankton with a total of 176.

The bowling trio of Tom Anderson, David Laird and Bryant Galpin took three wickets each during Frankton’s time at the crease.

Frankton looked to start bowling in similar fashion to prevent a good start to their hosts’ reply.

That was not the case, however, after Aaron Knight struck 29 to open the innings along with skipper John Anthony, who hit 14.

Ricky Davies stepped up and made 24 from 73 deliveries, before Laird brought his bowling form into his batting game to top score for his side with 38.

It took just two more batsmen in Cooke and Anderson to get the job done and reach the target set by Frankton.

One positive for Frankton was the solid display of bowling courtesy of Richard Parry-Jones who took four wickets.

Frankton will look to return to winning ways on Saturday when they host league leaders Shelton.

Frankton’s second XI hosted Ludlow seconds on Saturday and had to settle for a draw.

After electing to field, Frankton were set a target of 215 to chase.

In reply, they reached a total of 182 runs by the end of their 40 overs and lost just four wickets.

On Saturday, the seconds travel to face Shelton second XI.

Knockin & Kinnerley

KNOCKIN & Kinnerley first XI took a huge stride towards survival by beating bottom-of-the-table Ellesmere on Saturday.

Knockin batted first and got off to a steady start with Lawrie Hitchin making 13 and Jack Jones 20, before a mid-innings wobble saw the scoreboard reading 51-7.

However, a recovery was led by Thomas Dix and Hugh Morris, before Jonny Evans and Marcus Williams scored vital runs at the tail end of the innings, to give Knockin a total of 149, with Morris unbeaten on 34.

George Duncan and Tom Davies both picked up four wickets for the hosts.

Shaun Davis then got to work with the ball and took the first five wickets to give him figures of 5-24, before Lloyd Edwards took four wickets in three overs to give Knockin the victory by 20 runs.

Knockin host Newtown next week, knowing a victory will all but ensure survival.

Knockin’s second XI played host to Montgomery, and they also picked up 20 points to continue their sprint away from the trapdoor.

Monty made 170 from their 40 overs, the highlights being a patient 55 from opener Matt Jones, and four wickets for Oliver Dallaway.

The chase got off to a flier with Joe Kynaston making a brisk 35, before Dallaway took centre stage and finished unbeaten on 80, as Knockin cruised past the finishing line with eight overs to spare to make it four wins on the spin.

Next week Knockin travel to Newtown, again knowing a victory will keep them in Shropshire County Cricket League Division Five.

Frankton was the destination for Knockin thirds, and Rob Ford took six wickets as Frankton were dismissed for 160.

In reply, an unbeaten 50 from Grant Tunnadine gave Knockin a five-wicket victory.

The third XI hosts Whitchurch thirds on Sunday.

Knockin fourth XI took on Newport thirds, and were asked to bat first.

They were dismissed for 96 with skipper Geraint Lloyd’s 43 with seven boundaries being the highlight.

In response, Newport reached the target having lost just three wickets to claim a seven-wicket victory.

A stand of 55 between John Smith and Matt Round saw Newport home by seven wickets.


CHIRK first XI were gifted a victory on the weekend after their scheduled Shropshire County Cricket League Division Two opponents, Wroxeter & Uppington, conceded the fixture.

Wroxeter are third from bottom in the division and were deducted five points from their total as a result of conceding.

Meanwhile, Chirk remain second after taking 24 points from the weekend.

They remain 41 points behind league Wellington seconds who know one more victory would confirm their promotion.

Chirk firsts host Forton first XI on Saturday before they travel to play Lilleshall firsts on the following Saturday to round off the season.

Chirk’s second XI were left feeling disappointed after they were beaten on Saturday in their Shropshire County Cricket League Division Eight game against mid-table side Condover seconds.

The loss will be even more painful after league leaders Beacon thirds lost their weekend game, meaning Chirk would have gone to within touching distance of the top spot with one game to play.

Chirk’s defeat means Beacon have now won the league.

The seconds batted well with Liam Walker’s half century matched by Gary Bailey sending the team to a total of 168.

However, Condover’s reply was strong, lead by James Upton who managed 75 not out to guide his team towards the target.

Rhys Evans bowled well for Chirk to take three wickets, but a late 25 from Sam Rogers and 27 from Chris Lock gave the side a total of 169 to win the game by five wickets. One more game remains for Chirk seconds when they travel to face Lilleshall thirds on Saturday.