Ed barnard

Safety still priority as Ed Barnard returns

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster wants his side to make mathematically certain of their place in next season’s Birmingham Cricket League premier division with victory at Knowle & Dorridge on Saturday.

While Shrewsbury sit sixth in the table and in no immediate danger of being dragged into a fight for survival, Foster’s main aim for several weeks now has been putting enough points on the board to be definitely safe.

Last weekend’s home win over Kidderminster, with Tom Cox cracking a fine 94, was followed by a wash out at title hopefuls Barnt Green on Monday so Shrewsbury sit 51 points clear of the bottom two with just three games to play.

Now Foster wants his team to maintain their improved form in the second half of the season against a side which beat them comfortably at London Road by 118 runs in June.

“Another win will confirm it,” said Foster. “We’ve definitely played a lot better in the second half, but it’s been a strange sort of season with the weather and there’s not really been any continuity.

“We owe Knowle & Dorridge one as they stuffed us out of sight by more than 100 runs at home earlier in the season.”

Shrewsbury will be without unavailable opening batsman Steve Leach while his brother Joe, who made a welcome return to club duty last weekend, is expected to be ruled out by Worcestershire commitments as the Pears begin a four-day Championship game at Derbyshire on Sunday.

But on a brighter note, England under-19 all-rounder Ed Barnard, fresh from playing in the one-day series against South Africa, is set to feature.

Meanwhile, it’s President’s Day at London Road on Sunday with John Foster, the Shrewsbury president, looking forward to welcoming a host of familiar faces.

Invited guests will include the club’s two National Club Championship winning teams together with other former players, sponsors and honorary members.

“I hope it will be a sunny day for us all to enjoy,” said the president. “The day will form a cricket festival and a hog roast so the festival will give players a chance to enjoy themselves in the company of as as many members and friends of the club as possible.”

Two Twenty20 matches will be played, the first at noon involving senior Shropshire cricketers, and, after afternoon tea, there will be a match involving current Shrewsbury players and some guests.

The hog roast will take place at 5.30pm with the day concluding with the presentations of man of the match awards at 6.30pm.
Shrewsbury (v Knowle & Dorridge): E Foster, T Cox, E Barnard, R Foster, A Blofield, P Butler, S Barnard, D Jones, E Green, M Barnard, S Griffiths.

Impressive Cox lays platform for Shrewsbury win

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Rob Foster, the Shrewsbury skipper, was delighted to see Tom Cox recapture his best form as the London Roaders moved to the brink of Birmingham League premier division safety with victory over Kidderminster.

Shrewsbury, washed out at title hopefuls Barnt Green on Monday, now know victory at Knowle & Dorridge on Saturday will make them mathematically safe as they sit 51 points clear of the bottom two with three games to play.

Cox was the star of the show as Kidderminster were beaten by 11 runs in a well contested clash at London Road last Saturday.

Batting at No 3, Cox just fell short of a richly deserved century, dismissed for 94 from 122 balls, a fine knock featuring a six and nine fours, as he lifted the Shrewsbury score up to 187 all out.

No other Shrewsbury player made it past 20 as Cox, eighth man out, held the innings together.

“Tom Cox was outstanding,” said skipper Foster. “It was as good a knock I’ve seen him play for a long time and he helped us put a score on the board as we didn’t bat well as a team.

“By his standards, he’s perhaps not got the runs he would have wanted this season, so it was pleasing to see him play so well.”

A rain interruption meant Kidderminster were set a revised victory target of 176 in 42 overs, but they fell short, dismissed for 164 with eight balls remaining.

Opener Richard Kimberlin top scored with 44 but Worcestershire’s Matt Pardoe, who has lost his place at the top of the New Road club’s batting order to former Shropshire skipper Richard Oliver, managed just 13 before being caught by Steve Leach off the bowling of Mike Barnard.

Shrewsbury were pleased to welcome back a Worcestershire player of their own in Joe Leach, but he took a back seat as the lion’s share of the wickets were shared between Dewi Jones (3-26), Sam Griffiths (3-28) and Elliot Green (3-37).

“It was good to get a win,” added Foster. “All the bowlers did really well and we also took some good catches.”

Meanwhile, improving Shrewsbury II host leaders Knowle & Dorridge II in the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division on Saturday chasing a great escape from relegation.

Shrewsbury’s second string hauled themselves off the bottom of the table with an impressive five run victory at Moseley II last Saturday but were then washed out at home to Barnt Green II on Monday.

Shrewsbury’s total of 208-9 just proved to be enough as Moseley were removed for 203.

George Panayi was the top performer for Shrewsbury, taking five wickets after earlier hitting 57, while the London Roaders were also well served with the bat by Henry Blofield, in good touch for 59, and Toby Jones (26).

It was a second successive victory for Shrewsbury after beating Attock a week earlier and they are 16 points adrift of safety with three games to play.

“We’ve given ourselves a bit of a chance,” said captain Jon Anders. “We’ve still got three of the top four to play in Knowle & Dorridge, Wolverhampton and Walmley.

Shrewsbury are without both Panayi and Blofield this weekend.

Shrewsbury Cricket Club

President’s Day cricket festival teams announced

This Sunday sees Shrewsbury CC players, members, sponsors, Vice President’s, friends and guests descend on the club for an afternoon of cricket and family fun – President’s Day 2014.

The teams have now been announced for the popular inter-club match which is set to kick off around 3pm, following the Shropshire Seniors Twenty20 match.

2011 XI
Rob Foster (c), Anthony Parker, Patrick Butler, Will Parton, Dan Manders, Greg Wassell (w), Toby Jones, Steven Carless, Jack Garmson, Spot, Michael Barnard, Sam Griffiths

1983 XI
Tom Cox (c), Ed Foster, Ed Barnard, Jonny Anders, George Hargrave (w), Alex Blofield, Edward Griggs, Stephen Pym, Steven Froggatt, Dewi Jones, Elliot Green, Will Sharpe

Programme for the day

  • 12 noon – Shropshire Seniors 20/20
  • 2.30pm – 3.30pm afternoon teas
  • 3.00pm – Shrewsbury CC 20/20
  • 5.30pm – Hog roast
  • 6.30pm – Presentation: Man of the Match awards, raffle
Joe Leach

In form Joe Leach set for Shrewsbury return

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Rob Foster, the Shrewsbury captain, insists Joe Leach richly deserves his new two-year contract with Worcestershire as he hopes to welcomes the all-rounder back into his side this weekend.

Leach was a key man for Shrewsbury when they won the Birmingham Cricket League’s premier division last season, but his development into becoming a Worcestershire regular in all forms of the game this year means little has been seen of him at London Road since the early weeks of the campaign.

Foster stressed any club would miss a player of Leach’s ability but said everyone connected with Shrewsbury were delighted to see the former Shrewsbury School pupil successfully carving out a career in the first-class game.

He also revealed that Leach may be available to make a welcome return for Shrewsbury in part one of their Bank Holiday double header at home to Kidderminster on Saturday. They will quickly follow it up with a trip to title contenders Barnt Green on Monday.

Foster said: “Joe’s potentially available for Saturday and it’s great to see how fatastically well he’s doing at Worcestershire.

“They have finally put their faith in him and he’s had to do it the hard way and put in the hard yards.

“Everyone at the club is really proud to see Joe doing so well and he’s made great strides in the first-class game.”

Leach has emerged as a key man for Worcestershire who top the second division of the County Championship.

While he has yet to add to his maiden first-class century, at Gloucestershire last season, Leach has chipped in with some useful runs down the order and taken 30 Championship wickets.

He also recently claimed the notable scalp of Surrey’s Kevin Pietersen as Worcestershire narrowly missed out on a place in Twenty20 finals day.

“He has possibly been our most-improved seamer and he’ll definitely get another hundred because he is good enough,” said Worcestershire’s director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

Leach has not looked back since earning a recall to the Worcestershire side in May, claiming career-best figures of 5-36 against Kent at Tunbridge Wells.

Meanwhile, Foster added steering Shrewsbury, who sit 38 points clear of the relegation zone, to premier division safety as quickly as possible remains his top priority.

“There’s 40 points to play for over the weekend so things can change quickly,” he said. “Kidderminster are pushing for survival like we are and then we go to Barnt Green who are pushing for the title.

“They are two tough games but if we can get a lot of points it could really put us out of any danger so that’s the aim.”

As well as the prospect of Leach returning, Shrewsbury will also be boosted by the availability of Alex and Henry Blofield.

Shrewsbury, from: E Foster, S Leach, R Foster, T Cox, G Hargrave, W Parton, P Butler, G Panayi, E Green, M Barnard, S Griffiths, J Leach, A Blofield, H Blofield.

Shrewsbury come unstuck on travels

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shrewsbury are targeting the start of another decent run of results after their recent revival in the Birmingham League premier division was emphatically ended with a heavy 113 run defeat at fellow mid-table side Kenilworth Wardens.

Skipper Rob Foster revealed beforehand that Shrewsbury usually struggle on their visits to the Warwickshire club and that pattern disappointingly continued.

Foster admitted it was a day to forget and is now seeking two much better displays over the Bank Holiday weekend as Shrewsbury, 38 points clear of the relegation zone, host Kidderminster on Saturday before a tricky trip to second-placed Barnt Green on Monday.

Kenilworth opted to bat first last weekend and found conditions just to their liking to amass a competitive 304-3 from their 50 overs.

Mike Barnard, the only Shrewsbury bowler to enjoy any success, claimed 3-53 from 10 overs, but it was otherwise hard going for the visiting attack as the runs flowed freely.

Wardens skipper Martin Donald smashed an unbeaten 108 from just 51 balls while opener Keith Bell, the brother of England Test star Ian, narrowly missed out on a ton, ending on 97 not out.

Kenilworth’s long-serving Indian pro Sitanshu Kotak also kept the scoreboard ticking over by hitting 68.

Shrewsbury, in reply, quickly lost in-form opener Ed Foster and they were always up against it as they were eventually dismissed for 191.

Will Parton, making a welcome return to the side, top scored with 35 while there were also runs for skipper Foster (32), Steve Leach (22) and Tom Cox (21), but no-one delivered a telling contribution as Alastair Wilkinson claimed 4-42.

“It was obviously disappointing,” said captain Foster. “Sometimes you have to credit the opposition and their captain, Martin Donald, played a great innings.

“It was some of the cleanest hitting I’ve seen in a long time and he really took the game away from us.

“I felt anything around 250 would have been a good score but they ended up passing that fairly comfortably.

“When we batted Ed hit the first ball for four and was then out off the second ball so that kind of summed up our day.”

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury II enjoyed one of their better days of a difficult season in the reserve premier division by beating Attock II by 50 runs at London Road.

The home side’s total of 142 all out in which experienced pair Jon Anders and William Davies were mainstays looked vulnerable at the halfway stage, but then Shrewsbury excelled in the field to skittle Attock for 92, with young Jack Garmson taking five wickets.

Shrewsbury, who remain bottom of the league, travel to Moseley II on Saturday before hosting Barnt Green II on Monday.

Joe Leach signs two year Worcestershire contract

From www.wccc.co.uk

Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach has signed a new two year contracts with the county.

Twenty-three-year-old Leach scored his maiden first class century last season against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham last season.

He has fought his way back into the side this season in LV = County Championship, List A and NatWest T20 Blast cricket after captaining the Second Eleven during the early part of the campaign.

Leach’s bowling has improved considerably after working with bowling coach Matt Mason during the winter.

He has taken 24 Championship wickets including a career best 5-36 against Kent at Tunbridge Wells.

Leach has formed part of an effective pace attack after replacing Gareth Andrew following his back injury.

But he has also continued to weigh in with useful runs batting in the lower middle order in all formats of the game.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: “His bowling has come on leaps and bounds and he has been an important part of our attack. He has possibly been our most improved seamer.

“But he’ll definitely get another hundred batting where he bats now because he is good enough to do it.”

Shrewsbury Cricket Club

President’s Day Cricket Festival and Hog Roast 2014

After a summer heat wave (except at weekends!) I hope the good weather will continue at least until Sunday 31 August and provide a sunny day for us all to enjoy at the Cricket Club. This year performances on the pitch have been a little mixed so the Festival will give players a chance to enjoy themselves in the company of as many members and friends of the Club as possible.

Once again there will be two 20/20 matches, the first involving Shropshire’s senior cricketers as they battle to show that whilst you can’t stop growing old at least you can enjoy a game of cricket! The main event will see two sides from the Club (including some guests) facing each other. Invited guests will include the two National Club Championship teams together with other players, Sponsors and Honorary Members.

The Club have managed to secure some funding to develop a fantastic new net practice facility – these nets should be available for first use a few weeks after President’s Day so make a note in your diary, come down and join us on the day, to see the progress of the new nets and enjoy the company of the members and friends of Shrewsbury Cricket Club!

• 12 noon – Shropshire Seniors 20/20
• 2.30pm – 3.30pm afternoon teas
• 3.00pm – Shrewsbury CC 20/20
• 5.30pm – Hog roast
• 6.30pm – Presentation: Man of the Match awards, raffle

I look forward to seeing you!
With kind regards,

John Foster

Charlie Morris departs for Australia

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shrewsbury have seen the last this season of Charlie Morris, the young spinner who recently forced his way into the Shropshire side, after he flew to Australia this week to begin his gap year in Sydney.

Morris, who joined Shrewsbury from Oswestry during the winter, has held down a regular place in the first team at London Road.

“Charlie’s done well for us since coming in,” said Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster. “He’s only a young lad so for him to come in and play first team cricket in the Birmingham League premier division and also get into the Shropshire frame has been good to see.”

The unavailable Steve Barnard also drops out from the team which chalked up a one-sided winning draw against Himley last weekend, but wicketkeeper Anthony Parker, now a groundsman at Wolverhampton Wanderers, could return for Saturday’s trip to Kenilworth Wardens.

Shrewsbury have now opened up a 40 point gap between themselves and the premier division relegation zone and skipper Foster, a centurion alongside his brother Ed last weekend, hopes the straight win-lose format which now kicks in for the last six games will see them climb higher than sixth spot.

Kenilworth are directly below Shrewsbury in the table, some 17 points adrift, and Foster is keen his team perform better than they usually do at the Warwickshire club.

“It’s always a tough place to go,” he said. “We traditionally do pretty poorly there. They’ve got a good overseas player, Sitanshu Kotak, who seems to have been there for ever.

“But we’re playing well at the moment so it’s just a case of going there and playing properly.”

Meanwhile, promising Shrewsbury all-rounder Ed Barnard gained more international recognition when he was part of the England under-19 side for the drawn second Youth Test against South Africa at Northamptonshire.

Barnard has now been selected for the five-match one-day series against the Springboks which gets under way at Edgbaston tomorrow (Friday).

Two further games follow at Trent Bridge, on Sunday and Monday, before the sides also meet at the home grounds of Leicestershire CCC and Derbyshire CCC.

Shrewsbury, from: E Foster, S Leach, R Foster, T Cox, A Parker, P Butler, M Barnard, E Green, S Griffiths, D Jones, G Hargrave, G Panayi, H Blofield.

Rob Foster

Ton up Fosters impress for Shrewsbury

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

It was a memorable day for the Foster brothers as they both cracked glorious centuries to put more daylight between Shrewsbury and the Birmingham League premier division relegation zone.

The London Roaders, who head to Kenilworth Wardens on Saturday, now sit 40 points clear of the bottom two after piling on the runs in a one-sided winning draw at home to surprise basement boys Himley.

Skipper Rob Foster hit 113 to register his first century for six years and older brother Ed, his predecessor as captain, maintained his rich vein of form with 112.

“Both us played quite well, said the captain, modestly. “To get 100 with your brother at the other end makes it extra special.

“Ed’s in great form at the moment and it was nice to get a hundred as I had not got one since a game against Halesowen in 2008 so I was well overdue.

“I’ve been close a few times, ending 80 not out when we’ve chased down totals, so it was nice to get one.”

The Fosters put on 156 for the second wicket as the runs flowed for the county towners who remain sixth in the table after claiming 17 points.

Ed shared in an opening stand of 89 with Steve Leach, first man out for 33, and he then played well in tandem with his brother.

Ed struck his 112 from as many balls, hitting a six and 12 boundaries, while skipper Rob, at No 3, helped himself to 15 boundaries on his way to making 113 from 116 deliveries.

Tom Cox then added a brisk 38 as Shrewsbury racked up an imposing total of 352-6 from their 55 overs, with Himley’s Jamie Harris plugging away to take 4-60.

Himley’s reply, in truth, never got going and, despite 42 at the top of the order from captain Greg Wright, the visitors were never likely to chase down their daunting target.

Survival quickly became the name of the game and they achieved it as they ended on 171-7.

Elliot Green, the consistent spinner, claimed 2-45 from 16 overs.

“It was pleasing to come away with 17 points and dominate the game,” added skipper Foster. “We played well although it was just a shame we couldn’t get the wickets we needed to win the game.

“We had seven or eight overs at the end needing three wickets but it didn’t quite happen.

“Sometimes you need teams to play a few shots and I was a bit surprised they didn’t attempt to go for it any stage given they are bottom of the table and need the points, but it was a big chase for them.”

Meanwhile, SHREWSBURY II are 27 points adrift at the bottom of the Birmingham League’s reserve premier division after Henry Blofield’s half century helped them secure a losing draw at Himley II.

Blofield was in good touch for 59 as Shrewsbury, who emerged with six points, closed on 160-5 in reply to Himley’s imposing 278-6 which was built around 74 from Sandeep Dillon.

Promising youngster Harry Bolland bowled tidily to claim 4-63.

Shrewsbury’s second string take on Attock II at London Road on Saturday.

Himley set for visit to London Road

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Himley, Saturday’s visitors to London Road, may currently be bottom of the Birmingham League’s premier division, but Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster is expecting nothing but a tough game.

Foster is pleased how Shrewsbury have performed on the last two Saturdays with victory at Dorridge followed by an impressive winning draw at home to high-flying Berskwell, who included former Warwickshire and England man Darren Maddy in their side.

Now he has urged his team, who are up to sixth place, some 29 points clear of the relegation zone, to keep hitting the heights.

“We’ve started to play well,” said Foster. “That’s pleasing given some of the big players we’re missing at the moment.

“We expect another tough test against Himley and I think they’re in a bit of a false position when you look at some of the players in their side.

“Greg Wright, their captain, is scoring a lot of runs at the moment so we know that we’ll have to keep playing like we are.

“We want to finish as high in the table as possible, but we’re mindful that teams around us are also winning so we need to string a few more results together.”

Foster saluted the contribution of his brother Ed who has hit 90 and 87 at the top of the order in the last two matches as he’s once again underlined his class.

“When Ed plays well, we play well,” he said. “Some people might say he’s had a quiet season but he’s still in the top four or five run scorers in the league.”

Foster added it’s unlikely Shrewsbury will see much of influential all-rounder Joe Leach in the closing weeks of the campaign now that he’s a regular in the Worcestershire side.

“It’s great for Joe that he’s taken his chance so well,” stressed Foster. “Credit to him for that and it was nice to watch him on TV playing against Surrey last weekend, particularly getting Kevin Pietersen out.”

Meanwhile, teenage Shrewsbury all-rounder Ed Barnard returned to the international stage when he lined up for England under-19s in their drawn four-day game with South Africa at Cambridge ground Fenner’s.

Shrewsbury, without the unavailable Alex Blofield this weekend, are waiting to see if Dewi Jones, who recently made his first team debut for Glamorgan, will have recovered from the injury which meant he missed the Berkswell game.

Shrewsbury, from: E Foster, S Leach, R Foster (captain), T Cox, S Barnard, M Barnard, D Manders, E Green, C Morris, S Griffiths, D Jones, P Butler, G Hargrave, G Panayi.