Shifnal seal group win with something to spare
Shifnal have secured their place in the Birmingham League’s end-of-season shoot-out for glory.
A 13-run success away to Shrewsbury clinched top spot in group one of the Graham Williamson Trophy competition for Chris Murrall’s side, with one game remaining.
They will now go on to play group two winners West Bromwich Dartmouth in the semi-final on September 26.
Saturday’s success took Shifnal six points clear of Bridgnorth and means there will be nothing at stake when the sides meet this weekend.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, skipper Murrall saw his side close on 180-9 from 40 overs.
Shifnal were reduced to 16-2, but solid middle-order contributions from Xavier Clarke (43), Robbie Clarke (28) and Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach (25), plus a final flourish from Mitchell Stanley (31 from 27 balls), saw them post a reasonable target.
And that total proved enough as an impressive display with the ball saw Shrewsbury bowled out for 167.
Tyler Ibbotson took the bowling honours for the visitors with figures of 3-35 from his eight-over stint.
Leach, returning to his old club, took 3-46 and there were two wickets each for Stanley, Amar Jassall and Chad Brandrick.
Rob Foster top scored with 25 for Shrewsbury with Greg Wassell (23) and Patrick Jacob (22 not out) providing some late hope after the hosts had been reduced to 101-8.
Bridgnorth needed to match Shifnal’s success to keep their hopes of topping the group alive.
But a poor start to their clash at Oswestry left the Cricket Meadow men with too much to do.
After being put in, Bridgnorth found themselves in early trouble as they slipped to 22-3.
Joseph Smallman (32) top scored as the visitors battled their way to 160 all out in 39.5 overs.
Opening bowler Ben Roberts picked up 2-21 while Warrick Fynn and Chris Cathrall also bagged two victims each.
Fynn then capped a solid individual display by scoring 47, sharing a third-wicket stand of 61 with Josh Coleridge (52) to help his side secure a three-wicket success with more than five overs in hand.
Sam Baugh took 3-26 for the visitors.
The other group match saw Wolverhampton edge to a four-wicket success at home to Wem with just three balls remaining.
Harry Chandler (53) held the Wem innings together after they lost their first five wickets for 70.
An unbeaten 37 from number nine Alex Ollerenshaw and 27 from Tom Astley helped boost them to 184-8 in 40 overs, which included an unbroken stand of 56 for the ninth wicket between Ollerenshaw and Josh Gough (16 not out).
Jack Stanley set Wolverhampton on the road to victory with 52 as he and Rahul Kaushal (40) shared an opening stand of 80.