Ed barnard

Ed Barnard and Joe Leach return for Walmley’s visit

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

ENGLAND under-19 prospect Ed Barnard is in line to return to the Shrewsbury side for Saturday’s home clash against Walmley in the Birmingham Cricket League’s premier division, writes STUART DUNN.

Barnard, who helped English finish third in the under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, has been ruled out of most of the London Road club’s games this season owing to Shrewsbury School commitments.

The gifted all-rounder hit 84 on his first appearance of the season for Worcestershire’s 2nd XI against Warwickshire last week, putting on 141 for the sixth wicket with former Shropshire captain Richard Oliver who cracked a remarkable, unbeaten 292.

Now skipper Rob Foster is looking forward to welcoming Barnard back into his plans against Walmley as Shrewsbury look to build on last weekend’s excellent 147 run victory at Walsall.

Foster said: “I’m pretty sure Ed should be available most Saturdays now depending on England under-19s schedule.”

Foster is also waiting to see if Joe Leach can figure having been on County Championship duty for Worcestershire against Glamorgan earlier this week.

Should both Barnard and Leach be available, it will present Shrewsbury with a welcome selection headache as they target a run of wins to lift them up from their current position of eighth.

Foster, delighted with the manner of last weekend’s runaway victory at a Walsall side including Pakistan Test all-rounder Umar Amin, said: “It was a great 24 points for us and hopefully that was a turning point, but it will not really count for anything unless we follow it up with another win. We need to get a bit of momentum going.

“It should be a good game against Walmley and they are only a couple of points above us in the table.”

Walmley are likely to include former Warwickshire batsman Navdeep Poonia plus two more men who have played international cricket for Scotland in Ollie Hairs and Freddie Coleman, a current Edgbaston man.

Shrewsbury, from: from: S Leach, E Foster, T Cox, R Foster, P Butler, A Parker, S Barnard, D Jones, S Griffiths, M Barnard, E Green, E Barnard, J Leach.