Joe Leach

Steve Leach returns at Shrewsbury host Walsall

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Skipper Rob Foster insists Walsall can expect no favours from in-form Shrewsbury in their desperate battle to avoid relegation from the Birmingham Cricket League’s premier division.

Walsall, despite having Pakistan international all-rounder Umar Amin in their side, head to London Road for the penultimate game of the season on Saturday 32 points adrift of safety. Anything less than an away win will see them relegated.

“I wouldn’t expect any favours if we were in their position and you owe it to the other teams around them to play properly and put in a good performance,” said Foster, whose confident side are now fourth in the table following last weekend’s win at Knowle & Dorridge.

“Walsall are a big club, a proud club, with a big history, so I’m sure they’re not going to come here and be any pushovers. Along with West Brom, they’re probably won the league the most.”

Foster is just pleased his side are involved in such a meaningful game rather than an end of season clash with nothing riding on the outcome.

“There’s nothing worse than playing for nothing,” he stressed. “The last two or three games of the season can be quite painful in terms of motivation and will to play, but with them wanting to stay up it does give us something to play for which is good.”

Shrewsbury will be boosted by the return of Steve Leach, the opening batsman, and will pick from a squad of 12.

Shrewsbury also have the chance to pick up some silverware this weekend when they host Walmley in the Graham Williamson Trophy final on Sunday (12.30pm).

The London Roaders have dominated the 40 over competition for Birmingham League clubs having won it four years in a row.

“Walmley have done well this year and had a good run in the National KO,” added Foster, whose dad John held a highly successful President’s Day Festival at London Road last weekend. “We’ve won it the last four years so to win it five times would be quite a special achievement.”

SHREWSBURY (v Walsall), from: E Foster, S Leach, A Blofield, T Cox, E Barnard, R Foster, W Parton, P Butler, D Jones, M Barnard, E Green, S Griffiths.