Leamington are on the up as Hopkins and Mellor both compile centuries
Leamington's gained their second league win of the season with a well-judged run chase at Attock, which leaves the Birmingham side at the bottom of Birmingham League Division One.
Attock made a steady start having been asked to bat first and moved to 50 before Omar Masood was dismissed by Jon Wigley, the first of five victims for the Spa all-rounder.
Attock’s middle order all made starts but Leamington kept chipping away as Tom Warner bagged two victims and Wigley worked his way through the line-up.
At 171 for seven it seemed that Attock would not make 200 but tail-ender Safraz Ali had other ideas.
In truth, Leamington did not test him but he took his opportunity well, blasting 75 as Attock rallied to 271 all out.
Wigley’s efforts, which were to cost him after tea, earned five for 60 in 17 overs, while Warner took three wickets and Neil Smith two to leave the matchfinely balanced.
Cramp forced Wigley to step down from his opening spot and Sulaiman Hussain joined Alex Mellor in compiling a half-century stand before Hussain was dismissed for 26.
James Gilchriest failed to trouble the scorers and Leamington were in trouble, effectively three down with over 200 needed.
However, Mellor was batting beautifully in partnership with Hopkins and they set about chasing Attock’s testing target.
Running well and using the shorter downhill boundary to good effect, the pair were untroubled by the Attock bowlers, cantering to an eight-wicket victory with five overs in hand.
Mellor notched his first century for the club, crafting a cultured unbeaten 132, while Hopkins was as impressive ending 109 not out; the first time in many years that Leamington have had two centurions in the same Birmingham League match.
Leamington remain in the relegation zone but are further boosted by the arrival of Hamish Kingston, recently seen playing for Tasmania in the Big Bash.
Leamington’s 2nd XI produced a limp display with bat and ball and were well beaten by Brockhampton.
Batting first on a well-grassed Arlington Avenue strip, Leamington struggled against Brock’s attack, in particular the impressive Alston Weerapura (5-42).
He dismissed Matt Payne and Jimmy Gethins with fine deliveries although Leamington’s batters too often contributed to their downfall.
Nick Couzens looked in good form but guided a long-hop to point for 26 and it was left to skipper Jason Butler to set any sort of target as he compiled 42 before being last man out as Leamington totalled a below-par 160.
Leamington’s openers each claimed an early victim as the game was in the balance and Jack Jewson took a fine catch behind the sticks off Couzens to have Brock three down in no time.
However, left-hander James Mockler was batting well and he was joined by captain Max Porter to take the game away from Leamington.
Mockler fell before the end for 42 but Porter accelerated, finishing unbeaten on 69 as Brock claimed an easy four-wicket win with 18 overs in hand.
Leamington’s third string remain bottom of the Cotswold Hills Premier Division despite an easy win at long-time rivals Long Itchington.
Batting first, Long Itchington struggled to break free from Leamington’s attack and posted a modest 167 for five at tea.
With Leamington four for two in reply, the hosts appeared in the box seat.
However, veteran David Lord and Jon Hall were completely untroubled as Leamington lost no further wickets in reaching their target.
Leamington 4ths hosted Gloucestershire side Adlestrop for the first time and a close match saw the table-topping visitors sneak to a six-run win.
Adlestrop posted 255 for seven on a fast-scoring ground and were kept in check somewhat by Leamington’s bowlers.
Despite a slow start, captain Paul Wilson and Rob Williams built a strong reply and although Wilson fell in the forties, with Williams at the crease the home side were always in with a shout.
Williams reached his century as Leamington pushed on but was bowled for 120 with the required scoring rate at around ten an over.
Despite a few shots from Leamington’s tail, Adlestrop edged home in a fine match.