By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle
DEWI JONES made his first significant contribution for Shrewsbury as the Birmingham League champions hauled themselves off the bottom of the premier division with a hard-earned victory.
Jones, a regular in the Wales Minor Counties Championship side, knocked over the top four Kenilworth Wardens batsman as Shrewsbury pulled off a 29 run verdict in a low scoring game to secure a morale-boosting second league win of the summer.
The London Roaders could have been excused for fearing the worst at the halfway stage after being dismissed for a modest total of 116 which was built around a determined half century from Tom Cox.
But once paceman Jones made early inroads there was no way back for Wardens and they were sent packing for just 87 inside 25 overs.
“It was a huge 24 points for us,” said Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster. “The pitch was pretty difficult, hard to score on, but Tom Cox played very well. His 50 in the circumstances was probably worth 100 as it gave us something to bowl at.
“He’s done well for us a few times over the years in this sort of position when our backs are against the wall by putting his hand up and scoring a few.
“Then Dewi bowled really well which was great to see and he took out their top four batsmen to quickly put them on the back foot.”
Foster was pleased with the spirit his side displayed on a day they were missing several key men with the the likes of Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach, Steve Barnard, Ed Barnard and Alex Blofield all absent.
The result rocketed Shrewsbury from bottom up to seventh place ahead of Saturday’s trip to Kidderminster.
Jones, who spent last season playing his club cricket for Wombourne, grabbed five wickets for Wales in the Unicorns Trophy at
Wiltshire the previous weekend and weighed in with another five-wicket haul for Glamorgan’s second team at Somerset in between his starring role for Shrewsbury.
And he picked up where he left off in those games by quickly removing the Kenilworth top order to leave them reeling at 39-4.
Australian youngster Patrick Butler (3-6) and Shropshire new boy Sam Griffiths (3-25) then got to work to dismiss Wardens for 87.
“Both Pat and Sam did very well after Dewi picked up the first four wickets,” added skipper Foster. “Sam got the next three before Pat cleaned up the tail.
“He’s been a big plus for us since coming in. He bowls his leg spin a little quicker than Elliot (Green) and I thought he would cause them problems with his variation.”
Shrewsbury had earlier found runs hard to come by with the exception of Cox, at No 3, who dropped anchor to compile a defiant 54 from 122 balls.
It was just what Shrewsbury needed as they lost wickets at regular intervals with the experienced Jon Anders, a late call up to replace the injured Ed Barnard, the next highest scorer with 17.
Meanwhile, SHREWSBURY II are next-to-bottom in the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division table ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Moseley II.
They were beaten by two wickets at Attock II last weekend with Shrewsbury’s total of 173-7 not quite enough to see them home.