CRICKET: LEAMINGTON were dragged back into a relegation dogfight at the weekend following a four wicket home defeat against Himley.
Overnight rain at Arlington Avenue left the wicket ideally suited to bowling first, and Himley took full advantage by winning the toss.
A poor batting show saw only Jon Wigley (23) and Max Kenny (28) reach double figures for Spa as the experienced Chris Boroughs ran riot through the batting line-up.
His figures of five wickets for just 25 runs saw Leamington bowled out for just 77 runs.
Boroughs received excellent support from Jamie Turner (23/3) and there were two cheap wickets for Stuart Wedge.
Himley also found conditions testing but the small target proved reachable.
Matt Davison dismissed both openers cheaply, while Tasmania’s Hamish Kingston cut through the middle order – striking three times.
When Nipun Karunanayake fell for 24, Himley were reduced to 72 for 6.
But the visitors eased to their target with no further loss meaning Leamington are locked in a four way battle to avoid the drop.
Leamington’s second string showed plenty of resilience to earn a draw at Himley.
All of the home team’s top order made starts, with Chad Brandwick and Matt Bowen passing 50.
Leamington’s bowlers stuck to their task though and Himley were unable to build a dominant total, ending on 193/6.
For Leamington, the slow bowling trio of Jim Gethins, Nick Couzens and Matt Payne, shared five wickets.
In reply, Ross Briscoe got Spa off to a bright start with 26 before he was bowled by Euan Wentworth.
Regular wickets meant Leamington struggled to build a match-winning partnership. But efforts of 31 from Couzens and 25* from Payne ensured Leamington closed on 159/8 to earn a losing draw.
Like the first team, Leamington’s 3rd XI are embroiled in a four way fight to avoid the drop following a three wicket loss at Leek Wootton.
Missing a number of familiar faces, Leamington could only muster 117 in bowler friendly conditions.
Wootton found the going equally hard, but managed to get over the winning line – making 118/7, with a couple of overs to spare.
Elsewhere the fourth team notched another win at home to Bidford.
After being asked to bat first, Bidford made a solid start before Leamington ripped through the middle-order and tailend to reduce the visiting side to 91 all out.
A poor start saw Leamington reduced to 20/4 before Mark Davison restored order.
His unbeaten 50 meant Leamington reached their target having lost just four wickets.