NEW leaders Stratford will face a quick test of their title ambitions on Saturday as they seek a fifth win a row.
A fourth successive victory in defeating hosts Water Orton by four wickets, combined with a defeat for previous pacesetters C&R Hawks, meant the Swans Nest Lane side moved six points clear at the top of Birmingham League Division Three on Saturday.
This coming Saturday Stratford head to fourth placed Aston Manor.
Skipper Mike Brown and fellow opening bowler Tom Grundy were the destroyers in chief with three wickets apiece as Stratford proved too strong for Water Orton.
Grundy, who took five wickets the previous week, continued his good form with 3-37 in 17 overs, while Brown claimed 3-67.
Water Orton, having been put into bat, had a positive start to reach 45 without loss but Brown got the breakthrough to dismiss Chris Murphy.
Grundy then claimed two more wickets, including top scorer Matthew Dawes (41), to keep Stratford in the ascendancy.
From 86-2, Water Orton slipped to 124-8 and Sam Douthwaite wrapped up the innings with two wickets, both caught by wicketkeeper Chris Calcott, to end with 2-13 and dismiss Water Orton for 164 in the 48th over.
Harry Adams (35) and Calcott (33) gave Stratford’s reply an impressive start with a 60-run opening stand.
However, three wickets then fell to leave them 73-3 as Richard Morgan (4-49) struck, before Chris Whelan hit out, smashing 39 off 25 balls including six fours to put the visitors in control again.
Adrian Witts (19no) then steered Stratford home in the 41st over with 14 overs in hand.