CRICKET: NORTON Lindsey bounced back from their previous week’s lacklustre performance to record a comprehensive win over Shipston on Stour.
The win ensured Norton leapfrogged their way up the Cotswold Hill Premier Division table to third place.
Winning the toss, stand-in skipper Martin Perfect asked Shipston to bat first.
Following a similar pattern to the earlier meeting of the sides, Norton used six bowlers to wear down the opposition.
Only opener Matt Corby (68) came to terms with the changes as only three batsmen scraped into double figures.
Richard Pozzi, coming on as fourth change, produced an exceptional spell of four wickets for 16 runs from nine overs.
Shipston were dismissed for 137, handing Norton six extra batting overs.
The reply was built around a solid innings of 62 from opener Gavin Shephard, but the score laboured to 60/5.
He eventually found a reliable partner in brother Stuart Shephard (40*), and the two put on 54 together for the fifth wicket.
Bowling star Pozzi (8*) finished off the job to deliver the win in only 31 overs.
Next week sees the visit of strugglers Catherine-de-Barnes, which has to be a golden opportunity to consolidate Norton’s league position.
Norton’s 2nd XI welcomed their Shipston counterparts to Wolverton Road, and a win completed a whitewash against the South Warwickshire side.
A 22 point haul sees Norton placed second in Cotswold Hills Division Three.
Captain Dan Fell continued his indifferent form with the coin as the home side were asked to bat.
Openers Fell (28) and Mark White (35) encountered a pitch with variable bounce and pace, and struggled to find a good scoring rhythm.
Conor Green (26) and Steve Bliwert (13) suffered similar problems leaving Norton on 108/4 with just 15 overs to go.
Andrew Dellow (36) helped Norton’s cause late on as they totalled 229/9 – a much healthier target than what many had hoped for mid-way through the innings.
Shipston suffered the worst possible start when skipper Matt Pratt was out to a smart slip catch, caught second ball as Steve Bliwert immediately found his line.
Graham Pratt (28) dug in with Dan Murphy in the face of good opening spells from Andrew Dellow and Bliwert.
They held together until the 17th over when the introduction of Green and Steve Dellow changed the game completely.
From 61-1, Shipston crumbled to 92-9, with Green delivering a career-best spell of 11/5 off ten overs.
Opener Dan Murphy was still there when he was joined by Dave Murphy (12*), batting with a runner, to defend the final wicket.
They focused on getting extra batting points and had pushed the score to 126, when Fell threw the ball back to Andrew Dellow.
This was effectively game over when his second ball sent Murphy’s stumps in all directions for a gritty 46, leaving Shipston 103 runs short.
Norton meet Stratford Bards next week, which on recent form could be a tough game away game at Alscot Park.