A MIKE BROWN five-for earned Stratford-upon-Avon a crushing six-wicket win over Coventry & North Warwickshire that sent them back to the top of the Warwickshire League Premier Division.
After seeing off the visitors for 110 runs inside 38 overs, Stratford openers Dexter Purser (36) and Gareth Langman (30) laid the crucial foundation that allowed their side’s middle order to see the job through.
The result helped the Panthers atone for the sense of great frustration felt when failing to secure victory from a promising position at Barby the previous weekend, with Brown (5-39) perhaps taking heed of that that situation.
Stratford’s demon bowler removed four of the opening five batsmen from the crease, while Tom Grundy (2-17) again starred with the crucial dismissal of Coventry’s main source of inspiration – opener Matthew Nobes (26) – at 39-5.
With the scoreline not looking too favourable for the visitors at Swans Nest Lane, Coventry & NW dug in and batted cautiously in an attempt to frustrate Stratford’s bowlers – the duo of Ibrahim Afzal (15) and Toby Palmer (26) the leading examples of this approach.
Josh Colwell (2-24) took a couple of wickets late on, including Sameer Hohra’s (0) dismissal to end Coventry’s innings, to instigate the hosts’ response earlier than anticipated.
Putting on an opening partnership of 71, Purser and Langman were both gone by 80-2 but were able to see Nick Pepper (16, no) and Luke Nardone (3, no) secure the Panthers’ 11th win this term.
Now back where they feel they belong, Stratford’s next task is a trip to Attock, fifth, on Saturday.
PERSHORE’S wonder season continued in emphatic fashion on Saturday, as the Worcestershire League Premier Division challengers romped to a nine-wicket triumph over Bromyard.
Fielding first after winning the toss, the Plums eliminated the hosts for just 72 runs in the 33rd over and then needed just 57 balls to secure a winning total, making it nine league victories on the spin for Christopher Ridings’ men.
There was another colourful Mike providing the majority of the dismissals at Flaggoners Green – this time Mike Green – who served up four wickets for 34 runs conceded.
He took four straight dismissals to leave Bromyard teetering on the edge of implosion at 39-6, before Stephen Miles (2-8) and Andrew Hill (2-12) compounded the home side’s misery.
Despite opening, Paddy Thompson (3) was a mere observer to Imran Wahid’s (55, no) unbeaten half-century for the most part before falling at 55-1, allowing number three Liam Ridings (16, no) to complete the away day rout.
Third but applying pressure on leaders Stourbridge and Stourport-on-Severn above them, Pershore host fourth-placed Old Elizabethans next.