Oswestry 197-6 drew with Halesowen 270-8

Oswestry had to scrap for a draw against leaders Halesowen at the Stonehouse Oval on Saturday.

After winning the toss the visitors were soon in trouble as they slipped to 16-2 with youngsters Alex Selby and Harry Darley removing both Jamie Harrison and Harry Baddams .

Order was restored with Jamie Harris and Luke Tulacz putting on 73 for the third wicket before Tulacz was clean bowled by David Laird (3-39) for 35.

Harris (47) fell to an excellent catch in the deep by Laird off the bowling of Warrick Fynn, but at 101-4, his dismissal signalled the arrival of Alexei Kervezee.

Supported by Eddie Bragg and Wesley Griffiths, Kervezee helped Halesowen accelerate past 200, but when just four short of his century, he was superbly caught by Josh Coleridge on the deep mid wicket boundary off the bowling of Laird as Halesowen closed on 270-8.

In reply, Oswestry got off to the worst possible start, losing Mattie Richards and Ryan Lockley in the early overs against a hostile, opening attack of Eddie Rhodes and James Rudge who were particularly impressive.

Fynn and Josh Darley weathered the storm in a third wicket 131 run stand before Darley was finally caught behind off the bowling of Kervezee for 49.

Fynn finally reached his century to muted applause from the opposition who themselves had shown little inclination to open the game up and prise victory, particularly after winning the toss.

The visitors’ frustration at Oswestry’s tactics became increasingly audible as the game entered the final overs.

When Oswestry finally closed on 197-6, Fynn was undefeated on 110 off 160 balls.

Defeat had been averted against a side not top of the table by accident and who will almost certainly be challenging for honours.

The Oswestry skipper is very much an old fashioned player and not one to sell his wicket cheaply. After such a torrid start it was to his inexperienced side’s credit that they did not roll over.

With the Bordermen still in the bottom two in the table they know that every point could prove vital come the end of the season.