Marvellous Marsh continues red-hot form for Spa side

Grant Thornton's three-wicket haul helped Leamington grasp the initiative at Oswestry.
Grant Thornton's three-wicket haul helped Leamington grasp the initiative at Oswestry.

Leamington lie second in Birmingham League Divison One after returning from the long trip to Oswestry with a superb seven-wicket victory.

Oswestry opted to bat first and got off to an excellent start as Warrick Fynn and Alex Huxley (29) put on 73 for the first wicket.

Grant Thornton (3-44), however, continued his great form as he quickly turned the game with three quick wickets as the hosts were reduced to 101 for three.

Mark Ashcroft (1-54) then bowled Fynn for a well-made 82 and Jamie Marsh removed Carrasco (15) as the home side slumped to 137 for five.

Miles (35) and Morris (37 not out) added some respectability but the story of the day was once again Marsh, whose impact since joining Spa has been remarkable.

He ripped through the middle and lower order to finish with figures of five for 46 off 13.3 overs - his third consecutive five-wicket haul - as Oswestry closed on 228.

For the second week running, the Spa openers got their team off to a flyer, with Jonathan Wigley (62) continuing his fine run in an opening stand of 141 with that-man Marsh.

Ollie Currill (17) soon departed but Marsh went on to complete an astonishing all-round performance as he bullied the spinners during a 121-ball knock of 108 (16 x 4, 4 x 6).

Once Marsh was dismissed, Tom Lewis (13 off six balls) and Lee Hopkins (24 off 11 balls) wasted no time in securing an emphatic win with more than 13 overs remaining.

Leamington 2nds moved into third in the Premier Division after a third straight 24-point victory on Saturday, this time over Knowle & Dorridge.

Batting first, Leamington made a poor start, losing two early wickets to the prolific Ben Coley.

The wicket offered some uneven bounce, making strokeplay difficult and Leamington were five down after barely passing 50.

Tom Warner compiled a pleasing 44, but when he was dismissed there was a further clatter of wickets, leaving Leamington perilously placed on 110 for eight.

Captain Jason Butler was joined by Will Dixon and the unlikely pair set about reviving Leamington’s innings. Butler made a doughty, unbeaten 41, while Dixon’s 31 include a trademark maximum as Leamington closed on 199 for nine.

Leamington made the ideal start as opener Gareth Davies was run out without scoring following a direct hit from Warner’s boundary throw.

In shades of Ben Stokes’ dismissal against Australia, the batsman protested that he was taking evasive action but to no avail.

Captain Joe Barnett played the anchor role and six batsmen made scores of over 15.

Steve Dyer took two vital wickets and Butler rang the changes effectively as Leamington remained in the hunt.

Knowle remained favourites despite the loss of Barnett lbw to Paul Lawrence for 40.

However, Butler returned to take his second and third wickets and Warner finished the contest in the last over, sending Strong’s leg stump cartwheeling to give Leamington a five-run success.