CAPTAIN Mark Evenson says Bromsgrove will relish the chance to have a say in deciding the Birmingham & District Premier Division Two title race this weekend when they entertain leaders Harborne.
Just 13 points separate the top four teams with two matches to play.
Bromsgrove want two wins from their fixtures to guarantee they finish in fifth place but they go into Saturday’s contest at St Godwalds Park (noon), looking to bounce back after last week’s 53-run defeat away to third-placed Oswestry.
That ended a three-match winning sequence for the Boars and Evenson has all eyes on getting back to winning ways against the league leaders.
“From our point of view, we want to add two wins, 40 points and get into that top four or five,” he said. “It adds extra spice playing the leaders, going against another team going for promotion, so I’m hoping we can throw a spanner in the works.
“They could be without some of their overseas players on Saturday who have impressed for them this season, so that will help our cause. If we can bowl and bat better, then we will have a chance.”
Bromsgrove’s Alex Milton misses out against the league leaders having received a call-up to Worcestershire’s T20 side, handing an opportunity to Ryan Pedley to make an impression.
In Saturday’s game at Morda Road, Oswestry reached 256-9 and Bromsgrove were all out for 197 in reply.
Oswestry lost Josh Darley (0) early in the innings but quickly bounced back through Xavier Clarke (44) and Warrick Flynn (117) in a stand of 89.
Clarke and number four Joe Carrasco (0) were both dismissed by Ashley Newfield (2-26) and Roman Walker fell to Evenson as the hosts slipped to 124-4.
Connor Davies (11) was the first of four wickets for Jack Taylor (4-51), though not before adding 38 alongside Flynn.
Taylor skittled out three of the next four batsmen, with Alex Wilkinson finally removing Flynn for 117 off 125 balls as the eighth wicket in the 46th over.
But the hosts were already heading towards a solid score, leaving Bromsgrove with a battle on their hands. Opener Jayden Levitt (4) was lost early on, but a remarkable stand of 119 between Taylor (63) and Newfield (67) gave the Boars scent of a victory.
Taylor’s dismissal by Xavier Clarke (4-38) prompted three further dismissals by the Oswestry bowler, which dealt a crucial blow to the visitors’ chances.
Newfield battled on until he was the fifth man out with the score 164.
That became 186-6 when Henry Dwyer was run out, and then four more wickets followed with just 11 further runs scored, as the Boars ultimately fell well short after demonstrating early promise.
Evenson felt the contest could have had a different outcome, with Flynn close to being dismissed on two separate occasions.
“It was a fair result in the end, we didn’t bowl well, we dropped a few catches and Warrick [Flynn] batted very well, giving us a tall order at 257,” said Evenson.
“There was an opportunity at around 50 runs into Oswestry’s innings where a dropped catch by the wicketkeeper let Flynn off the hook, it really would’ve helped our cause.
“Oswestry would’ve been looking at a much different score had he been dismissed at that moment.”