LEAMINGTON suffered a first loss of the season after falling to a 65-run defeat to Oswestry at Arlington Avenue in Birmingham & District Premier Division Two.
The hosts won the toss and opted to let the visitors bat first, which later looked to be a poor call when openers Warrick Fynn (64) and Joe Carrasco (72) opened with a partnership of 142, prior to the former being caught by Waqar Ahmed off Nabeel Asghar.
From there, Leamington grasped a foothold in the innings.
Next to go was Matthew Richards (2) for an lbw from Asghar’s ball – who took 3-33, whilst Carrasco was dismissed shortly after at 160-3.
Oswestry’s middle order failed to build on the fantastic start, and soon lost Alex Huxley (1), Lahiru Samarakoon (4) Josh Coleridge (3) and Dean Suter (8), as Perry Derrick took 4-47.
The unbeaten pairing of Ben Roberts (44) and Christopher Carrall (14) formed a 51-run partnership, as Oswestry saw out their 50 overs for 247-7, accruing 35 runs for extras.
It left the hosts with a mountain to climb, which was not aided by the early dismissal of opener Luke De Souza (6) and number three Jonathan Wigley (7).
Opener Harrison Smith put together a partnership of 51 alongside Ahmed (25), prior to the latter’s dismissal by Carrasco.
Smith was next to go (52), ending as Leamington’s highest scoring batsmen as Carrasco took another wicket, on his way to an eventual 5-43.
It left Spa on 108-4, a scoreline which soon became increasingly ominous following the dismissals of William Mashinge (4), Oliver Currill (4) and Asghar (4).
Chris Calcott racked up an impressive 49 runs prior to his dismissal at 168-8, whilst Derrick (0) and Joe Midgley (2) were bowled by Samarakoon, as Leamington were all out for 182.
Despite defeat, Spa are still second in the table, but next welcome sixth-placed Barnards Green on Saturday.
Over in Warwickshire Division Two, Leamington’s second string are top following a third successive win to start the season, beating Pak Shaheen’s first XI.
Batting first against the elements after winning the toss, Pak Shaheen struggled to gain a foothold, with their best opener Zoraiz Shafique only scoring 27.
Dishant Sheth took an impressive 3-17, whilst Jason Butler and Tom Warner also took three wickets each throughout the innings.
Although Satya Sanikommu hit a plaudible 42, his side were bowled out for 129.
Starting brightly through Matt Payne’s steady steam of runs, Spa fell to 40-4, but rallied to hit 60 between the partnership of Payne and Jacob Sargeant – prior to the former’s dismissal by Kashif Tahir (4-51).
Captain Jack Hawkes and James Gethins helped guide their side through to victory, and hope to earn a fourth win of the campaign away to Studley on Saturday (12:30pm).
Leamington’s third XI didn’t have quite as much luck in the Cotswold Hills League First Division, where they fell to a three-run defeat to Tanworth & Camp Hill.
The hosts struck 228-6, much in part to opener Andy Turnbull’s 97, whilst James McKay later hit 67.
Christopher Guy dismissed both, taking 3-44, whilst Leamington started brightly through Ben Lane (23) and Ollie Carter (58).
Sam Forster added 52 later in the innings, whilst Jack Jewson hit 41, but Spa’s tally of 225-9 from their 45 overs would not prove enough, as the hosts held on.
Leamington third’s next host Elmley Castle on Saturday (1:30pm).
Elsewhere, Spa’s fourth string got their campaign underway in the Cotswold Hills League Division Three with a 17-run win over Wellesbourne seconds.
Luke Brotherton (31) and Shaun Williams (26) hit top scores, as Spa fell to a lowly 129 all out in the 42nd over.
Steve Dyer brought some reprieve by running through the top order with four wickets, whilst Mark Davison took 4-12, leaving David Hawkes to claim the final two wickets.
Spa’s fourth XI next visit Badsey on Saturday (1:30pm).