AVONCROFT can look forward to a tilt at silverware, after reaching the final of the WCL Midweek Shield.
A tantalising semi-final against Stourport-on-Severn Seconds on Monday was won by eight wickets, after Avoncroft beat the visitor’s 150-7 total with just four balls remaining.
It followed a six-wicket win on Saturday against Pershore Seconds in Worcestershire County League Division Three, which sent the Croft up to fourth in the table.
Stourport batted first after the hosts won the toss and elected to field in Monday’s Shield contest, with Josh Cound removing openers Lawrence Neill (20) and Matt Hatfield (0) – who was caught by David Apperley, en route to a 3-34 score.
Daniel Elliott also took three wickets, finishing with 3-25 after taking out Spencer Colley (39), Ethan Lockwood (0) for an lbw and Harry Downes (0), as Stourport finished off their innings.
Cound and Elliott then excelled at the crease, hitting 34 and 29 respectively, whilst the unbeaten duo of Apperley (33 no) and Chris Pitt (37 no) equally scored well – taking their side into the final with their winning partnership.
Meanwhile, in the league win against Pershore, another decision to field first after winning the toss worked in the Croft’s favour.
An early couple of wickets for Elliott (2-14) to dismiss Nao Heywood (7) and Todd Charlton (0) got the hosts off to the perfect start, before a stand of 81 between Jonathan Stickler (43) and Stephen Meers (38) took Pershore to 97-3.
Andy Pittam took both dismissals (2-36), with Elliott taking the catch to remove Meers at 109-4 which sparked the visitor’s collapse.
From there, Paul Athey stepped up to help skittle out the opposition, taking a stunning 4-11 for his efforts.
Anthony Pittam and Christopher Ward both took a wicket each, to leave Pershore with a 125 total to defend.
Unlike his heroics against Stourport days later, Elliott (6) was the first to go at 10-1, while Jonty Heslop (19) and Ben Warwick (5) followed suit to leave the Croft looking for inspiration at 35-3.
David Anson (40) and Pitt (35 not out) were the batsmen to provide it, putting on 79 to put the hosts within touching distance of victory, before the former’s dismissal at 114-4.
Although Josh Cound (1) also found himself dismissed, Pitt and Matthew Palmer (1) were able to confirm the victory in the 24th over.
Avoncroft visit Old Hill Seconds on Saturday (1pm) in the league, before they aim to go all the way in the WCL Midweek Shield final against Netherton on Tuesday (6pm).