Shrewsbury have opened up a 19 point lead at the top of the Premier Division at the halfway point of the season, following a resounding 157 run win at Wombourne who are in danger of being cast adrift at the other end of the table.
Having won the League’s Qualifying Tournament for the ECB National Twenty 20 Competition last weekend, the Shropshire side show no sign of easing off and still have a chance of completing a four trophy League monopoly with the (Twenty 20) Challenge Cup Competition and the Williamson Trophy in their sights.
At Wombourne, they were sent into bat and soon made the home side pay for their generosity by piling up 340 for three in 55 overs. Worcestershire’s Joe Leach (131) and his brother Steven (108 not out) put the home side’s attack to the sword before skipper Rob Foster finished the innings off with an unbeaten 62 in 31 balls.
Wombourne were not helped by an injury to Jack Biddulph who suffered a fractured thumb and was unable to bat. Although Tom Meek hit 59, Wombourne were dismissed for 183 with Elliott Green taking 4-38 and Stephen Barnard 3-54.
Kidderminster Victoria hung on for a losing draw at Wolverhampton while third placed Brockhampton went down to an unexpected seven wicket defeat to Himley who move 21 points clear of Walmley in 11th place.
Simon Lycett (51 not out), Tom Fell (43) and James Hammond (39) saw Wolverhampton to 194 for four at Danescourt before left-arm spinners Andy Bowyer (3-51) and Enamul Haque (3-53) restricted Kidderminster to 183 for eight, Craig Wood top scoring with 61.
Ben Stebbings scored 34 for Brockhampton but a lively spell of 6-30 by Danny Smith saw the Herefordshire outfit dismissed for 141 before Nathan Round (59 not out) and
Greg Wright (50 not out) steered Himley to a much needed victory after they lost three early wickets to Chris Boroughs.
Although fourth placed Knowle & Dorridge trail Shrewsbury by 30 points, they are chasing Brockhampton and Kidderminster hard to become the main threat to the London Road side following a convincing seven wicket win at West Bromwich Dartmouth who were helped to 223 for nine by Zeesh Asif (68) and Rawlston Tappin (30).
Tom Payne took 3-38 but it was a stand of 109 for the second K & D wicket between Alex Phillips (141 not out) and Alex Butler (42) which set up the win. Phillips hit 13 fours and two sixes and after Butler was dismissed he shared an unbroken stand of 81 for the fourth wicket with Sam Reddish (31 not out).
Walsall slipped to a narrow 10 run defeat at Berkswell after Ben MacFarlane had taken 5-42 to restrict the home side to 179 for eight. Tom Lewis hit 45 for Berkswell which gave Imran Arif (4-54) and Chris Cheslin (3-34) something to bowl at.
Despite the efforts of Paul Wicker (58), Walsall were dismissed for 169, a result that leaves Berkswell eight points behind their victims in mid-table.
The highlight of the Barnt Green innings of 248 for five against Walmley was a stand of 177 for the third wicket between Nathan Newport (105) and Sam Hain (80) before Andrew Hendry (101) and Chris Booth (90) put on 102 for the fifth Walmley wicket as the visitors finished on 218 for eight.