Leamington brought down to earth by centurions Clarke and Johnson

Ollie Currill shared in a partnership of 69 with David Bailey but was unable to lay the platform for a Spa victory against Oswestry. Picture: Morris Troughton
Ollie Currill shared in a partnership of 69 with David Bailey but was unable to lay the platform for a Spa victory against Oswestry. Picture: Morris Troughton

After a very promising victory in the first game of the Birmingham League Division One season at Harborne, Leamington went down to a heavy defeat at home to Oswestry.

Grant Thornton removedWarrick Fynn (2) early on, but it was to prove Leamington’s only success for a while as Worcestershire and England Under-19 player Joe Clarke and former Worcestershire man Michael Johnson came together for a partnership of 126.

Clarke, in particular, caught the eye as he brought up his 50 in the ninth over before completing an excellent hundred.

He eventually fell to 16-year- old debutant Matthew Davison for 104 off only 91 balls.

Johnson (110) then set about taking the attack to the home side and accelerated through the gears to reach a hundred of his own before he fell to Davison in the closing stages.

Oswestry ended their 50 overs on a daunting 311 with Davison (9-0-36-2) the pick of the bowlers, well supported by Thornton (10-1-58-3).

The Leamington reply never really got going against a very disciplined Oswestry attack.

Shahbaz Alam (17) was the first to fall before a partnership of 69 between Ollie Currill (41) and David Bailey (34) looked to set the game up for a late challenge in the second half of the innings.

However, the introduction of spinners Robbie Clarke (5-38) and Matthew Gregson (3-36) turned the game even further in the visitors’ favour as the home side slumped from 98 for one to 168 all out.

Leamington 2nds fell just short against Premier Division champions Knowle and Dorridge.

Having been put in to bat, Steve Dyer was in fine form, making an attractive 82 before being caught.

The loss of Dyer and fellow opener Joe Somra (71) caused the run rate to slow but David Hawkes ended the innings with some aggressive, clean hitting, finishing unbeaten on 59 as Leamington posted 278.

Paul Lawrence (10-2-32-2) produced a controlled spell to put pressure on the Knowle batsmen and the introduction of all-rounder Steve Dyer continued to make it difficult for batsmen to score freely.

With 20 overs remaining, the required run rate had risen to 7.5 an over but Spa were unable to defend their total with poor bowling and fine middle-order hitting allowing Knowle to reach their target with an over to spare.

Leamington 3rds were treated to a masterclass by Shipston-on-Stour’s David Saker and Matt Corby.

On winning the toss, the Cotswold Hills Premier Division champions elected to bowl and Saker (10-3-21-3) completed his first over by having opener Gill caught at the wicket.

An adventurous innings of 28 from James Cowan took advantage of some wayward bowling from Ireland at the other end, but by the end of Saker’s sixth over Leamington had been reduced to 40 for four.

Wayne Killian (39), firstly with Richard Bate (27) and then Stuart Magill (36), progressed the innings to 144 for six, but it soon subsided to 183 all out.

With a short boundary and a good wicket that total was never going to be enough.

Opener Corby showed why he is one of the best batsmen in the league as he plundered the bowling almost at will until he was brilliantly caught by Liam Killian for 99.

Jason Murphy added 45 as Shipston romped home in just 24 overs.