After three defeats in a row Shipston came in to this game in need of a win to halt their slide down the league table and get their season back on track. With several key players away it was never going to be an easy task to defeat an improving Alcester side who were also in need of win to improve their chances of survival. Alcester captain Darren Turner won the toss and despite the chances of rain later on, opted to bat first on what looked a good deck.
Ragley made a steady start in the opening overs but thanks to some tight bowling from first team regular Sam Dexter and youngster Max Morris the visitors kept the openers under pressure. This pressure eventually leading to Dexter finding the edge of O Swinburn's (10) bat to end the opening stand and make the score 28-1 in the 9th over. B Lee began to feel more confident at the crease and began to edge the scoreboard back in his sides favour but the introduction of Sam Bishop put the pressure back on the home side as he took the wickets of D Kok (5), superbly caught by Max Morris at gully and G Strain (2) to make it 52-3 after 16 overs. Sam Dexter continued to bowl well up the slope and helped restrict Ragley's progress in the first half of their inning, ending his 10 over spell with figures of 1-35. Dave Pyne, who has now made over 400 appearances for the 1st XI, replaced Dexter and struck either side of the drinks break to put Alcester under real pressure at 78-5 from 25 overs.
T Foster (22) joined Lee at the crease and immediately went on the offensive, hitting Pyne for a couple of early sixes to race the score towards the 100 mark. However just as the pair were looking like building a significant partnership for their side, Bishop struck once again to end B Lee's fine inning of 43 as he edged the ball to Shipston keeper Jamie Shurmer, Bishop ending with Shipston's best figures on the day and his best since rejoining the club at the start of the season. His 10 overs going for just 18 runs and producing 3 wickets with 2 maidens. Foster went soon after when he was caught at backward point. Pyne finally getting his wicket after a good battle between the pair.
A collapse now looked on with the score 104-7 after 31 overs. However, Shipston, who had been performed brilliantly in the field for the first 30 overs, failed to take a number of chances in the later overs as J Powell (19) and R Magnall (16) put on a valuable 40 partnership to edge their side to a score they could defend. Dave Pyne who ended his spell with figures of 3-31 was replaced by Max Morris (1-35), who returned to end the partnership, bowling Powell to earn his reward for an excellent opening spell. The youngster showing he can bowl well at either end of an inning and on this showing will be a first team regular for years to come. Jack Murphy (2-19) ended the Alcester inning in the penultimate over with 2 wickets in consecutive deliveries to leave themselves a target of 145 from 46 overs.
A good start was needed from Shipston openers Julian Morris and Jamie Shurmer if they were to deny their hosts the chance of gaining an unlikely victory. The pair were positive from the off and punished any loose deliveries to race their side to 43-0 from 10 overs. However, the Alcester bowlers fought back to slow the scoring to 55-0 from 14. This pressure eventually leading to the opening wicket, Kok (1-41) bowling Shurmer who looked set on 26. This bought Jack Murphy to the crease and the Shipston number 3 looked to go on the offensive from the off, hitting several boundaries in quick succession to race the visitors towards their target. After surviving a good chance he continued to play his shots along with Morris as the pair soon put on a 50 partnership to make the score 106-1 at drinks. After the break Shipston continued to play positive cricket while the host tried to turn their luck around. R Magnell (1-30) eventually getting the better of Morris, getting one through his defences to dismiss him for 43. Sam Bishop (14*) joined Murphy at the crease and the pair looked to bring the game a swift conclusion. Murphy reached his 50 with just 1 run needed for victory but couldn't resist trying to earn his side another batting point, getting stumped from the bowling of J Powell (1-21) before Bishop knocked the winning run the very next ball to bring the game to an end. Shipston winning by 7 wickets in the 30th over.
The win moves Shipston back in to 5th spot while Alcester & Ragley stay bottom, 24 points off safety with 8 games still to play.