20th Jan, 2019

Leamington closer to drop after nine-wicket defeat and zero points

Craig Gibbons 20th Jul, 2018

LEAMINGTON made the trip to Barnards Green on Saturday in Birmingham League Division One and returned completely empty-handed as they failed to collect a single bonus point in a nine-wicket defeat.

Captain Jon Wigley decided to bat first on winning the toss, but was soon regretting the decision. He was the first wicket to fall, run out by Phil Harris for 12.

There then followed a procession of Spa batsmen who came and went without making a mark on the scoreboard.

Only Waqar Ahmed (21) made it to double figures.

The havoc was reaped entirely by George Rhodes, the Worcestershire player seemingly unplayable as he accounted for all nine of Leamington’s wickets.

His splendid 9-23 saw Green dismiss Leamington for a paltry 74 in the 29th over.

Leamington were unable to earn any bowling points or indeed much self-respect as Ryan Tongue made hay for Green.

He breezed to an unbeaten 39, and with Spa conceding 26 extras, the target was reached inside ten overs.

Defeat and no points has dragged Leamington closer to the drop, and an upturn in batting performance is required for the second half of the season.

In contract, the second team remain on top of the Premier Division Second XI table following a comfortable six-wicket win at home to Walmley.

Bowling first, Leamington struck in the first over with the prolific Paul Lawrence dismissing Walmley skipper Alex Gower for a duck.

Walmley’s middle order all got starts, but only Bilal Hussain built an innings.

He made 79 before being deceived by Nick Couzens and stumped by Henry Mortimer.

Couzens ran through the Walmley batting, earning 5-41 in 12 overs.

Openers Lawrence and Joe Midgley each grabbed two wickets as Walmley were bowled out for 203 in the last over.

Two quick wickets offered Walmley hope but the in-form Max Lion was joined by Rob Lord as Spa made good progress towards the target.

Lord made 24 and Lion 79, before both fell to Ian Schmid.

However, Leamington were in the driving seat and an unbeaten 30 from Couzens and 36 not out for Jack Hawkes saw Leamington home without further loss.

The third string had the worst of the conditions and lost to Elmley Castle by one wicket in Cotswold Hills League Division One.

Batting first on a damp wicket unprotected from a thunderstorm, Leamington struggled to 55-5 before Matt Dale and skipper Jack Jewson built a defendable total.

Dale made 66 and Jewson 36 as Leamington were bowled out for 172.

Castle made a good start as the wicket dried, although Nick Payne bowled well to take four wickets.

The veteran David Lord kept Leamington in the hunt with three victims, but Castle squeezed home by one wicket with three balls in hand, thanks to an unbeaten 30 from Jim Richardson.

Meanwhile, the fourth team allowed Long Itchington Seconds to make a whirlwind start as the visitors cantered along at ten runs an over, with the veteran Steve Rawbone leading the way with 90.

Itch kicked on and took tea on 304-6, thanks to a flurry from Simon Parsons and Nick Brooks who both passed 40.

The returning Rob Ainscow made a fine 51 bur he was adjudged LBW, as was skipper Shaun Williams next ball.

Mark Davison took centre stage but found insufficient support from fellow batsmen as Itch kept control of the required run rate.

Davison’s magnificent 140 was not enough for Leamington as the hosts were dismissed for 265, with Brooks and Rawbone earning three wickets each in the Division Three encounter.

On Saturday the firsts and seconds play Shifnal, the thirds play FISCC and the fourths take on Stanway.

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