Shropshire Star

Skipper’s derby delight as Shropshire get better of Staffordshire

Shropshire skipper Charlie Home was delighted with his side’s all-round performance as they got the better of neighbours Staffordshire in their NCCA Trophy clash over the county border at Moddershall & Oulton CC.


A five-wicket haul from Sam Ellis helped restrict the hosts to 227-9 from their 50 overs. Then Ollie Westbury and Tom Fell led the way with the bat as Shropshire chased down their target with 5.1 overs to spare.

Having elected to bat, Staffordshire openers Callum Hawkins and Zen Malik put on 46 before Ellis struck twice with successive deliveries in the eighth over.

Malik went for 22 and Staffordshire captain James Kettleborough, the former Northamptonshire and Glamorgan batter, followed immediately. When Ellis soon struck again, with the departure of Michael Hill, the hosts were reduced to 56-3.

Hawkins was closing in on a century until he fell for for 99, from 145 balls, with three sixes and eight fours, caught by Fell off Ollie Currill, to leave Staffordshire on 180-7.

Ellis returned to help himself to two more wickets towards the end to give him his best bowling return for Shropshire - 5-49 from his 10 overs - in limited overs cricket.

Home said: “The wicket was quite good to begin with and Staffordshire got off to a good start. Then Sam Ellis bowled a couple of overs brilliantly, produced some quality balls, and got a few of their very good batters out.

“The spinners came on and bowled beautifully. Joe Stanley bowled his 10 overs for 22 runs and Jacques Banton his 10 for 29 runs. To do that in one-day cricket, when keeping the run rate down can be difficult at times, is fantastic.

“Sam also bowled really well against Herefordshire and he built on that. Everyone was delighted for him to get a five-for. He’s one of those lads that’s played for years for Shropshire and always gives 100 per cent.”

Shropshire, in reply, made an assured start before George Hargrave, with the score on 78, was bowled by spinner Anis Raza for 32. Fell joined his former Worcestershire team-mate Westbury in the middle and they kept the scoreboard ticking over in a second-wicket partnership of 103. Fell had just completed his second half-century in as many games when he was trapped lbw by Matt Morris for 54, which came off 61 balls and featured two sixes and three fours, with Shropshire 181-2.

Opener Westbury’s impressive knock came to an end shortly after, caught for 82 by wicketkeeper Hawkins off former Lancashire seamer Liam Hurt (2-37). Westbury faced 118 balls and struck nine boundaries.

Contributions from Banton (16), Andre Bradford (16no) and Currill (18no) saw the job through as Shropshire progressed to 231-4.

Home added: “We didn’t really look back after Ollie Westbury and George Hargrave put on 78 for the first wicket. Tom Fell came in after George was out and picked up where he left off.

“I was delighted for Ollie as we all know how good a cricketer he is. He’s been battling himself a little bit in white-ball cricket, so to bat the way he did in what’s always a big game against Staffordshire, one we want to win, anchoring the innings against a good bowling attack was excellent.”

Shropshire begin their three-day campaign in Western Division Two of the NCCA Championship against Dorset at St George’s on Sunday, July 7.