LEAMINGTON’s impressive run of form in the Birmingham League Division One came to an end on Saturday after they suffered a narrow one-wicket defeat at the hands of fellow title challengers Old Hill.
Leamington travelled to the Black Country missing a handful of regulars and the Spa men lost a couple of early wickets as Old Hill got on top.
A partial recovery ensued, but another brace of wickets again saw the visitors fall to 56 for five before stand-in captain Grant Thornton and Shahbaz Alam set about a recovery with a mixture of sound defence and selective hitting.
Alam scored a patient 57 and Thornton went on to top score with 64 before three wickets from the league’s leading wicket-taker Nigel Davenport limited Leamington to a total of 183 all out.
Unlike their rivals, Old Hill made a bright start with the bat by making 67 for the first wicket and they went on to score 149 before losing a third, with spinner Jamie Marsh removing all three batsmen.
Nabeel Asghar took wickets four and five as panic set in Old Hill’s ranks before Neil Smith carried on the threat taking four cheap wickets.
When the ninth wicket fell with the scores were level and Leamington sensed they could snatch a tie from certain defeat.
But the hosts managed take one more single to sneak home by one wicket and push Leamington down to third in the table.