1st XI pass Knowle and Dorridge test

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

SHREWSBURY are looking good ahead of the start of their Birmingham League premier division title defence this weekend after another impressive victory in the Graham Williamson Trophy.

Having won at top-flight rivals West Bromwich Dartmouth a week earlier, Shrewsbury, who have won this comeptition four years in a row, claimed another eye-catching result last weekend by beating much fancied Knowle & Dorridge by 16 runs.

“It was good to pick up another win,” said captain Rob Foster. “We probably weren’t at our best for large parts in the field but it was good to put down a marker against a good side which finished third in the league last season.”

The success was built around an excellent 132 run stand for the second wicket between Ed Foster and Ed Barnard.

Shrewsbury, invited to bat first, lost Oxford University batsman Steve Leach in the infancy of their innings for three.

That brought Foster and Barnard together in the middle and they batted the London Roaders into a strong position.

Foster, on his first club appearance of the season, led the way with a polished 81 as he built on the splendid 118 he hit for Shropshire in a friendly against Staffordshire the previous Sunday.

Foster cracked eight fours and two sixes off 81 balls and together with teenager Barnard he really took the game to K&D.

England under-19 ace Barnard, the star of the show in making 98 in the first round win at West Bromwich, was once again in good touch in hitting 49 from 74 deliveries as Shrewsbury racked up 185-8 from their 40 overs.

Shrewsbury could not have hoped for a better start with the ball with the club’s Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach trapping Australian opener Michael Hill leg before with the very first ball of the innings.

Hill is a regular for Victoria Down Under and renowned as a dangerous, big-hitting batsman but he had no chance to show what he can do.

Former Shelton man Sam Griffiths then also picked up a key lbw decision, removing Warwickshire’s Paul Best for 20 to make it advantage Shrewsbury.

Opener Alex Phillips dug in to make 53 but the visitors pulled up short of their target on 169-8.

Leach took 2-20 from eight tight overs and Steve Barnard claimed 2-35 to leave Shrewsbury eagerly awaiting Saturday’s opening league game of the season at home to West Bromwich Dartmouth.

Captain Foster added: “The two Eds batted very well to put us in a good position. Joe Leach then bowled fantastically well and some of Knowle’s top players couldn’t lay a bat on him.

“This is a good competition for us. They are always good competitive warm up games and now we’re raring to go for the league season.”

Shrewsbury will now take on Kidderminster Victoria in the semi finals of the Graham Williamson Trophy on Sunday, May 4.