Spa’s impressive bowling display is unable to atone for below-par batting

Jimmy Gethins on his way to a century for Leamington 3rds. Pictures: Morris Troughton
Jimmy Gethins on his way to a century for Leamington 3rds. Pictures: Morris Troughton

Leamington were denied a second successive Birmingham League win at Tamworth on Saturday as the hosts edged to a three-wicket victory.

Having chosen to bat, Leamington lost two early wickets and although all the middle order got starts, none reached 30.

Only skipper Jon Wigley made a substantial contribution, compiling 57 before being bowled by Josh Bowker, one of five victims for the Tamworth opener in an excellent spell.

Leamington’s innings ended on 184 for nine with Bowker claiming five for 19.

In response, Tamworth made a comfortable start, reaching 102 for one before Liam Banks was dismissed by Nabeel Asghar for 45.

Tamworth’s middle order followed Leamington’s example, with none playing a substantial innings as Asghar took two more wickets.

Tamworth were always just ahead of the game, however, and despite an excellent bowling performance from Leamington, the Staffordshire side passed the target with three wickets and five balls in hand.

Matt Payne and Max Lion both hit centuries as Leamington 2nds cruised to a nine-wicket win at home to Tamworth 2nds.

It looked a remote outcome as Tamworth took advantage of a good batting track to notch a century stand for the first wicket.

Sam Kinson was dismissed by James Silk for 44 but James Tomson had settled into the anchor role as Tamworth prospered against Spa’s six-man attack.

However, after Tomson was dismissed for a well-crafted 107, the last five wickets only added ten runs as the visitors were bowled out for 237.

Silk was the pick of Leamington’s attack with two for 33, while the late flurry of wickets benefited Joe Midgley (4-46).

The opening pair for Leamington of Max Lion and Matt Payne made a sedate start before Lion got into his stride, playing a number of pleasing drives.

Both batsmen then prospered against Tamworth’s change bowlers and with Payne now going through the gears, Spa moved towards a fine win.

Payne made exactly 100 before surprisingly falling to the persevering Tom Philpott with the partnership having progressed to 229.

Lion ended unbeaten on 101. Leamington’s third string came out on top in a high-scoring Cotswold Hills Division One fixture at home to FISSC.

A strong batting line-up absorbed the loss of two quick wickets and prospered through Jimmy Gethins and Manpreet Gill, the latter making a pleasing 37 before being bowled.

This allowed Rob Williams to join Gethins and they set about building a good total.

Gethins made 103 and Williams remained unbeaten on 75 as Spa closed on 258 for five.

FISSC made a good fist of their response with the top order making useful contributions, led by Kane with 65.

Louis Glover made 48 but once they had gone FISSC fell away as the veteran David Lord ran through the middle order. He earned fine figures of five for 26 and there were three victims for Gethins as FISSC fell well short on 200 for nine.

The fourth team came away from Stanway with a 16-run win to remain top of Division Three.

Openers Paul Bennett and Richard Bate both passed 30 and the returning Rob Wollaston top-scored with 48 as Leamington piled on the runs on a slow wicket.

A late-order flurry from Dan McCarthy (39) and Faisal Gujjar (28) saw Leamington end on a testing 247 for eight.

Stanway’s batsmen initially prospered against Spa’s threadbare attack but were always behind the rate as scoring became more difficult and despite just loing two wickets, they finished 17 short of victory.