Wellesbourne gained a comprehensive nine-wicket win at home over neighbours Shipston in a match where both teams were understrength but it was the visitors who sorely missed four of their main players.
Winning the toss Shipston batted first and made a good start with Jack Murphy and Julian Morris looking in complete control with Murphy in particular playing one or two handsome drives and it was a surprise in the 13th over when Morris was caught by Ricky Alford off Darren Mole for 15. Murphy continued, with the assistance of Sam Bishop, taking the score to 64 before he was superbly caught behind by Dave Barnett off Mole for 38. The fall of his wicket then began a collapse as four runs later Mole (10-2-3-30) picked up his third wicket bowling Jamie Shurmer and Max Morris soon followed as Tom Stephenson had him caught by Barnett.
The lack of strength in the visitors’ batting was evident and Bishop (18) fell next to a catch by Alford off Stephenson (7-1-2-27) before Jamie Maynard had Graham Pratt lbw and Shipston were tottering on 74 for six. Gary Betteridge with Neil Wilson tried to rescue the situation taking the score to 101 before Wilson was bowled by Sean Hopwood for 14. Maynard (8-3-2-21) then had Betteridge superbly caught one-handed by Alford, for his third catch, before Joshua Gibb was caught by Travis Butcher off Hopwood (6-0-2-26) and on 105 for nine the prospect off two extra bowling points for the hosts was looking good.
However, Dave Pyne and Liam Murphy produced a plucky little stand of 22 before Noah Rose (5.4-1-1-21) returned to the attack and bowled Murphy, leaving Pyne 11 not out and the innings closed on 127 all out in the 37th over. Without their three main seamers Shipston were always going to struggle in the field and so it proved as Myles Isted and Mole gave Bourne a solid start and these two steadily built a fine opening stand of 74, although the visitors were left to rue a couple of missed chances.
It took the drinks break for the partnership to be broken as five balls later in the 16th over Jack Murphy had Mole caught and bowled for 31. However, this was the only mishap for the hosts, as Jamie Maynard joined Isted and with Maynard striking three sixes in successive deliveries off Murphy, five overs later the game was won with Isted reaching his maiden Cotswold Hills Premier League fifty with a fine knock of 50 not out and Maynard finishing on 34 not out.
It's league leaders Exhall & Wixford next up for the London roaders and they will need a real resurgence in form if they are to cause an upset and end their losing streak.
*Match report courtesy of Wellesbourne CC.