BARNT Green go in search of their second win in a week against Shrewsbury on Saturday (noon), after reaching the ECB National Club Championship national rounds.
A 28-run victory against the Shrews in the Group 7 final ensures the Green continue their progress in the competition, and means they bounced back at the first opportunity from defeat the previous day against Shifnal in Birmingham & District Premier Division One.
In Sunday’s cup tie, Barnt Green decided to bat first but lost opener Edward Pollock (0) from the fourth ball.
Peter Scott (21) and number three Jacques Banton (9) put on 32 in reply to the early dismissal, though Scott was next to go at 32-2 when caught by Matthew Swift off a Mike Barnard (3-23) delivery – who subsequently bowled Banton for lbw.
Dominic Harding’s introduction at number five was the tonic required to kick the Green into gear, forming a partnership of 74 with George Hargrave (40), although both were gone following Rob Foster’s catch from the former, and Swift stumping the latter from Tyler Ibbotson (4-20) deliveries.
Rheedyi Amin (30) and William Baker (52) worked up a partnership of 67 before their dismissals, which came either side of number eight Darrel Williams being caught by Llyr Thomas from another Ibbotson delivery.
Finishing on a score of 206-8, Barnt Green’s bowlers worked efficiently to remove the Shrewsbury batsmen at regular intervals.
Will Parton (5) was gone for lbw from Andrew Sutton’s ball, while Rob Foster (3) was caught by Amin from an Adam Hines delivery.
Thomas and Hodge built up the Shrewsbury run count somewhat at 59-3 – when the former was caught by Harding.
The Green’s fielders remained a thorn in the side of the hosts throughout the innings, as Henry Marshall caught Sam Ellis (5) from a Williams delivery, followed by a trio of catches for Amin – who caught Hodge (40) off another Williams ball, followed by takes from Swift (7) and Bradley Thornton (0).
It left Shrewsbury on 102-7, though George Garrett (18) helped add 46 alongside Ibbotson before being caught by Amin from Peter Scott’s (3-34) delivery.
Despite Ibbotson going on to hit an unbeaten 48, Shrewsbury’s innings were soon over, falling just short by 28 runs and allowing Barnt Green to progress further in the competition.
In Saturday’s league fixture, the Green again decided to bat first, with opener Oliver Stone hitting a top score of 48 and forming a second-wicket partnership of 72 alongside Banton (35).
Though the hosts managed to accumulate regular runs, finishing on an eventual 209-8 total, Shifnal had the extra edge thanks to the prolific middle order duo of James Sookias (50) and Chris Murrall (75).
The arrival of Murrall at number seven helped Shifnal recover from a 66-5 scoreline, hitting 109 alongside Sookias to put the visitors within touching distance of victory.
They did just that with only two balls remaining, consigning Barnt Green to a heartbreaking loss that puts them inside the Premier Division One relegation places.
A visit to the second-placed Shrews on Saturday (noon) offers the chance to climb up the table, and will go into the game with an extra mental edge following Sunday’s victory.