By Jamie Arrowsmith 07/06 Updated: 14/06 17:29
DROITWICH Spa suffered a five-wicket defeat off the penultimate ball of their Worcestershire League Division One clash at fellow high-flyers Pershore on Saturday.
Spa, who entertain Astwood Bank tomorrow, went into the clash as the league leaders but after being forced to make five changes suffered a defeat that saw them fall to fourth.
Stuart Bryan walked out with a new opening partner in the form of Alex Kolb after the visitors has been put in, Kolb took to the middle in confident mood having hit a century for the 2nds last week.
Both openers found the boundary with ease in the early stages and Spa looked to be on course for an imposing total as they added 65 in ten overs.
Kolb was the first to fall when adjudged lbw for 26 and Bryan (30) joined his partner back in the pavilion after a smart catch was taken at fine leg.
Jerome Connor (38) and Paul Bryan (33) looked to rebuild, but like the openers, both were out when appearing set for an innings defining score.
Two more wickets went quickly and it was then down to captain Mike Rogers (20) and Matt Briggs to battle hard to bring some respectability back to the score and post a total that would at least give the bowlers something to work with.
Briggs was in particularly good touch and timed the ball beautifully in his innings of 48no as he gave the top order a lesson in shot selection.
With 70 runs coming off the final seven overs, the innings closed on 241-8.
Spa’s efforts to make early inroads started in the worst possible manner as the in form opening bowler Rogers was forced out of the attack with an injury to his leg.
Briggs and Max Young tried hard to make an impression but on a flat wicket the home side’s openers looked untroubled.
It was the introduction of two old stagers in Martin Woodward and Adrian Field who brought Spa back into the game as the runs started to dry up.
Chris Ayliffe had started to become frustrated and when he fell for a stylish 77 to Woodward, it appeared the game was heading for a draw as Pershore needed 81 from the final ten overs.
With wickets in hand, Chris Ridings (36no) went for his shots though and Spa’s fielding crumbled as they dropped three catches.
With 20 needed off the final two overs, Shaun Jenkins hit two sixes and Pershore got home with one ball remaining to claim 20 points.
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