CRICKET: LEAMINGTON took a big step towards avoiding relegation at the weekend after earning a comfortable 72-run victory against fellow strugglers Walmley.
Batting first on a wicket which would help bowlers, Leamington made a steady start through Jon Wigley and Neil Smith before the latter was dismissed by Aatif Ali.
Keeper James Gilchriest failed to trouble the scorers, but Wigley and captain Lee Hopkins steadied the Spa ship.
They moved cautiously on to 66 against good bowling before Wigley (34) fell to youngster Roshan.
A flurry of wickets in the middle order saw Leamington reduced to 131/7 as Walmley took charge of the game.
But Spa’s lower order took the game to Walmley as Jack Hawkes (48), Nabeel Asghar (29), and Tom Warner helped Leamington’s innings reach 227 at close.
In reply, Leamington struck immediately through Warner, who dismissed Walmley’s top three.
Matt Davison removed Iandev Chauhan as Walmley slumped to 50/4, but Waugh joined Andrew Hendy as the relegation candidates recovered.
Smith removed Waugh, and Wigley took the key wicket of Hendy (51) – leaving the Sutton Coldfield side on 115/6.
Smith (23/4) began to work his way through Walmley’s tail which failed to wag as the home side were bowled out for 155 with 13 overs to spare.
This win moves Leamington up two places in Division One with vital games away at Shifnal and home to Barnards Green over the Bank Holiday weekend.
In the reverse fixture, Leamington’s 2nd string maintained their run of good form with a comfortable win over high-flying Walmley at Arlington Avenue.
Batting first, Walmley made a confident start passing 40 before debutant Will Mobberley cleaned up Alex Gower.
However Carlos Prowse and Dan Bromley batted with little problem and at 134/1, Walmley looked well set for a large total.
The pacy Lee Credgington removed both, and followed up with two more wickets, on his way to figures of 62/4.
Off spinner Nick Couzens then took centre stage, claiming three wickets and a run out as Walmley were bowled out for 214.
Despite losing two wickets early doors, Leamington were always well ahead of the run rate.
Opener David Hawkes was back to his best, firstly with Rob Williams – who made 42 – and then along side Rob Lord.
Hawkes (99*) and Lord steered Leamington towards Walmley’s total to win by seven wickets with four overs to spare.
The Bank Holiday weekend sees Leamington host Shifnal on Saturday and then visit Astwood Bank on Monday.