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


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.

Ed Foster

All-round Ed Foster and hat-trick hero Green shine

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Ed Foster showed his versatility and Elliot Green helped himself to a fine hat-trick as Shrewsbury impressively gained a winning draw over a Berkswell side striving to succeed them as Birmingham League champions.

Foster started as wicketkeeper in the absence of Anthony Parker and then grabbed three wickets before top scoring with an excellent 87 as Shrewsbury just about reached their revised winning draw target to pick up 14 welcome points.

Spinner Green, having earlier taken three wickets in as many balls during an eye-catching five-wicket haul, hit the very last ball of the game for a boundary to ensure Shrewsbury gained the upper hand against a Berkswell side packed with first class experience.

Darren Maddy, the former Warwickshire and England star, was the biggest name in the opposition ranks with Berkswell, led by captain Dominic Ostler, another former Edgbaston stalwart, also able to field former Leicestershire bowler David Brignull and Nick James, an ex-Glamorgan and Warwickshire player.

Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster was delighted with his side’s efforts as they moved 29 points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s home clash with basement boys Himley.

“Berkswell are a very strong side,” said Foster. “They’re a bit of a who’s who of first class cricket so it was pleasing that we managed to play so well. I thought the result reflected our performance.”

Berkswell, stuck in, totalled 216-9 from their 55 overs with opener James Neale hitting 50 and Tom Lewis, a regular for Warwickshire’s second team, adding 37.

Green got rid of the two stand-out names in the Berkswell side, with Ostler impressively stumped by Ed Foster off the spinner for 30, and Maddy caught behind behind by Foster for 26.

It helped Green, no stranger to taking hat-tricks, to a return of 5-64 while Foster, in between his tidy display behind the stumps which saw him take three catches in all and complete two stumpings, also took the chance to bowl 11 overs for 3-48.

“Elliot took a bit of punishment in his first three or four overs,” said captain Foster. “But he came back strongly and bowled very well to take five wickets.

“Ed was the fourth seamer so I thought we would give him a few overs and see how he went and he did well. I kept wicket when he bowled, probably the first time I’ve done it for the first team.”

Shrewsbury, in reply, were going nicely at 101-1 but the departure of skipper Foster for 31 after he put on 72 for the second wicket with his brother Ed sparked a collapse to 119-4 and later 139-6.

Opener Foster, enjoying a rich vein of form, continued to close in on a century until he was stumped off Maddy (3-66) for an impressive 87 from 117 balls.

James (4-47) was also among the wickets for Berkswell but Green kept his cool to end 19 not out as he dispatched the final ball of the match to the boundary to ensure Shrewsbury emerged with the lion’s share of the points.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury’s 2nd XI had a wasted trip to Leamington II in the Birmingham League premier division as the match was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Shrewsbury’s second string hit the road again on Saturday, this time to Himley II.

Oswestry win Salop Leisure Twenty20

Oswestry caused an upset as they beat hosts and holders Shrewsbury by 16 runs in the final of the Salop Leisure Knockout T20 Trophy tournament.

Because of the threat of rain, the final was reduced from 20 to 15 overs aside and Oswestry, batting first, posted 107 all out in 14.4 overs with Mark Robinson, 19, Alex Huxley, 17, and Vansh Bajaj, 16, the main contributors.

Sam Griffiths took 3-17 and Elliot Green, Henry Blofield and Paddy Butler took two wickets apiece for Shrewsbury who were then restricted to 91-8 in reply as Oswestry opted for a spin attack.

Tom Cox, 28, and Steve Barnard, 15, top scored as Shrewsbury never looked like overhauling the Oswestry total. Robinson, Robbie Clarke and Matthew Gregson claimed the bowling honours, taking two wickets apiece.

Rather than holding the tournament on a Sunday in August as in previous years, it was spread over three Friday evenings this summer to attract more spectators and avoid fixture congestion towards the end of the season.

As an incentive to attract more spectators, season ticket holders at Shrewsbury Town Football Club, those wearing the club’s football shirt and anyone picking up a flyer at the club’s two pre-season friendlies at the Greenhous Meadow qualified for a free drink courtesy of sponsor Salop Leisure at the tournament.

Scott Higgins, Salop Leisure’s sales and marketing manager, congratulated Oswestry and thanked all four teams for taking part this year. “We were delighted with the number of spectators, including many new faces, who watched the semi finals and final and hope they will continue to support Shropshire cricket clubs for the rest of the season,” said Mr Higgins.

“The change in tournament format was a massive success and we were delighted how well it was received by the teams and spectators alike. We shall now talk to Shrewsbury Cricket Club about the possibility of expanding the tournament to include more teams next season.”

Salop Leisure T20

Shrewsbury seek third straight Salop Leisure Twenty20 title

Shrewsbury Cricket Club are hoping to record a third successive crown when they face Oswestry on Friday (6.15pm) in the final of this year’s Salop Leisure Twenty20 competition.

Having defeated Whitchurch in front of a large crowd a fortnight ago, competition organisers and its sponsors Salop Leisure are hoping for another big turnout when the two sides meet at Shrewsbury’s London Road ground.

Salop Leisure are continuing their popular incentive to attract new spectators to the competition and the sport. Season ticket holders at Shrewsbury Town Football Club, those wearing the club’s football shirt and anyone who picked up a flyer at the club’s two pre-season friendlies at the Greenhous Meadow will qualify for a free drink if they attend the Salop Leisure Knockout T20 Trophy final.

The attendances at matches and the competition’s new format have been a particular high-point for Scott Higgins, sales and marketing manager at tournament sponsors Salop Leisure, “We’ve been delighted by how the people of Shropshire have got behind the competition this year. The new format, with matches spread over three Friday evenings, has worked really well and there’s been some quality cricket on show.”

As a company we’re proud to be associated with such a high standard of competition and are pleased that it has helped bring new faces to the club and the game. This Friday’s final looks set to be a great match with two strong sides set to face each other.”

With Oswestry having secured their place in the final following a closely fought victory over Shifnal, Shrewsbury proved too strong for Whitchurch as they chased down the visitors total of 97 for 8 to win by seven wickets in the eighteenth over.

Spinners Patrick Butler (2-14) and Elliot Green (2-17) did much to restrict Whitchurch and it was only Mo Ishtiaq with 36 who provided prolonged resistance. In response, England U19 international Ed Barnard top scored with 26 whilst support was provided by Butler (24) and Shropshire wicketkeeper Anthony Parker who finished 21 not out.

The competition embraces the popular Twenty20 cricket format with teams wearing coloured kit, pink balls used and music, whilst there will also be a BBQ for spectators.

Shrewsbury Cricket Club

Activity Week for Children Ages 4 –11 4th –8th August 2014

Activity Week for Children Ages 4 –11 4th –8th August 2014

At Longden School, Shrewsbury. SY5 8EX

Click here to download the information document about the activity week.

Click here to download the booking and consent form.