Tough top-flight baptism continues for Leamington

A third Birmingham League defeat of the season leaves Leamington rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table, though, once again, there were promising signs at Walmley.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 2:32 pm
Richard Hanson scored a half-century but Leamington 3rds' total of 250 was chased down by Earlswood. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington’s front line bowlers all performed well, with Matt Davison making an early strike by removing Parnell for a duck.

Walmley’s second-wicket pair of Jamie Harrison and Tom Burton added a century although the scoring was kept in check on a good wicket.

Burton led the way, making a quickfire 76 before being bowled by Nick Couzens, allowing Warwickshire’s Freddy Coleman to come to the crease.

He took a particular liking to Leamington’s change bowlers, with 11 overs costing 117 runs.

Harrison went for a patient 72 to Adeel Sajid, but Coleman cut loose, hitting seven sixes in a rapid 83 as the game began to drift from Leamington.

Max Webber took two late wickets as Walmley took tea on 299 for six.

In response, Leamington’s batters all got a start with nine players reaching double figures but only Couzens making a score of any substance.

He made 40 batting at number three after Webber and Jamie Marsh had got Spa off to a fair start.

Webber made 30 as did Paul Lawrence at number ten.

Couzens’ 40 at the required rate kept Leamington in the hunt, but the experienced Sultan Afsal and Kasir Shah chipped away at Leamington’s line up as the required rate increased.

Lawrence’s late flurry saw Leamington up to 224 before they were bowled out with three overs to spare.

Afsal claimed three for 48 and Shah two for 26.

Leamington won a keenly contested 2nd XI fixture at home to Walmley to move into second place in the early-season table.

Batting first, Leamington’s openers added 132 for the first wicket, with David Hawkes and Joe Somra matching each other shot for shot.

Both fed well on variable Walmley bowling and the short boundary by Flavels was peppered with regularity.

Somra departed for a forceful 70 and was followed soon after by Hawkes (56) who was run out at the non-striker’s end after the bowler dropped a straightforward chance on to the stumps with the Spa man out of his ground.

The middle-order pair of Brad Curtis (32) and Rob Williams (59 not out) then pressed on as Leamington reached tea on a respectable 277 for five.

Walmley’s early innings followed a similar pattern, with some positive play at the top of the order.

Carlos Prowse (45) and 14-year-old Peter Shackleford kept up with the rate but despite Jamie Hall making 22 and some late hitting, no one could join the youngster in a match-winning partnership.

Shackleford batted beautifully to finish undefeated on 93 as Leamington squeaked home by ten runs.

Harry Brooks was Leamington 3rds’ chief tormentor as they went down to a two-wicket defeat at home to Earslwood in the Cotswold Hills Premier.

Brooks took three wickets in an over to rip through Leamington’s top order and then scored an unbeaten half-century from number nine to win the match for Earlswood.

Batting first, Leamington set off at a brisk pace with James Cowan (94) dominating an opening stand of 77 in 13 overs.

Brooks returned to the attack to claim four for 19 before Richard Hanson (53) rebuilt the innings with Cowan and James Whitfield (25), taking the score to 250 for nine.

Earlswood also made a good start but 73 for one from 15 overs soon became 96 for six.

Karl Everitt (43) and Arron Snipe (38) began the rebuild but the fall of a seventh wicket still left 80 needed from the last 11 overs.

However, Brooks completed a memorable afternoon by smashing 66 not out, wrapping up victory with two fours off the first two balls of the final over.