Whitchurch off to a flyer after sinking champs
Reigning Saxonby Shrewsbury & District Evening League Division One champions Bomere Heath began the defence of their title in the worst possible fashion with an opening-night defeat.
They slipped to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Whitchurch in a high-scoring encounter, writes Joss Elliott.
A century partnership between Jonathan Clifton (78 not out) and Llyr Thomas (61) saw Bomere amass 159 off their 20 overs. But the big-hitting Whitchurch batters had few problems reaching their target inside the 16th over for the loss of just two wickets, Elliott Bowen (74 not out) and Matthew Batkin (44 not out) doing the bulk of the damage.
Grasshoppers – who just missed out on the title last season because of a points deduction – started well at Frankwell against Frankton.
Brent Doubell top scored for the visitors with 42 as Andy Harrison (3-22) and Adam Williams (2-27) reduced them to 146-7. Hoppers slipped to 25-3 before Craig Heath took control, smashing 102 as the hosts crossed the line in the 19th over – youngster Jack Hutchinson picking up 2-27 for the Hardwick Park outfit. In the other top flight game Shelton conceded to Wem.
In Division Two, Knockin opened up with a win at Pontesbury.
Opener Carl Morris led the way for the Nursery Ground men with 68 as they posted 140-9, despite the best efforts of James Churms (4-15).
In reply, Pat Cudmore (25) and Dan Walker (22) gave Pontesbury hope but good bowling from Jonny Evans (3-26) and Richard Boyes (2-7) kept the hosts to 122-7.
Beacon also got off to a winning start with a 65-run victory over Cound.
Ryan Lockley narrowly missed out on a century for the Frankwell side, finishing unbeaten on 97 as they posted a daunting 177-2, the new young overseas star Jack Doyle also chipping in with 33. Dan Parry added respectability to the Harnage Road side’s score with 52 not out, but the run rate proved too much to ask as they finished on 112-3.
Wellington got the better of newly-promoted Cae Glas in Division Three, in a match reduced to 15 overs per side.
Opener Gary Davies hit 50 as the Gatacre men reached 98-4, Steve Kendrick returning 3-19 for the Orleton Park side.
An early flurry of wickets gave the visitors hope but Martin Weill (25 not out) came in at number seven to see Wellington home.
Guilsfield eased to a nine-wicket victory over Much Wenlock.
Wenlock were indebted to Dan Searle (34) and Aaron Lloyd (22) to help them to 89-7 as John Anthony picked up 3-9. Ryan Davies (61 not out) and Chris Proctor (22 not out) then saw Guilsfield home.