By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle
Shrewsbury were in no mood to hang around as they eased to their second emphatic victory over Walmley in as many weeks to end their Birmingham League premier division season in style – but skipper Rob Foster admitted it had not been the season he was hoping for.
He was optimistic Shrewsbury could made a decent fist of retaining the title they won so impressively last season, but a slow start put paid to those ambitions.
The county towners started to show what they could do in the second half of the season, impressively rallying to eventually finish fourth in the top-flight, but Foster insisted it had been a frustrating campaign.
“It’s been disappointing in my eyes,” said Foster. “Having won the league so comfortably last year, I was hopeful we could do well again.
“We lost a few close games early on without playing well and some of our performances earlier in the season were pretty ordinary so it’s frustrating when you look back.
“Apart from winning the Graham Williamson Trophy again, we’ve not had too much to shout about so it’s not been a hugely successful season.”
At least Shrewsbury managed to end on a positive note as, having coasted to a 113 run victory in the Graham Williamson Trophy final at London Road six days earlier, Shrewsbury once more proved too strong for Walmley to seal a convincing eight-wicket away win.
Shrewsbury needed less than 16 overs to reach their victory target of 145-2, completing their chase in little more than an hour.
Ed Foster led the way with a sparkling 57 from 31 balls, hitting seven fours and three sixes, as he shared in an opening stand of 74 in just 8.1 overs with Steve Leach (36).
England under-19 regular Ed Barnard missed out on the fun and games with the bat, making just four, but Alex Blofield most certainly didn’t as he once more showed his liking for the Walmley bowling.
Blofield smashed a quickfire 39 not out from just 17 deliveries – two sixes and six fours – as Shrewsbury chalked up one of their easiest wins of the season.
Spinner Elliot Green had earlier claimed an eye-catching 5-17 and Blofield helped himself to 2-18 as Walmley, despite 61 from James Brocklebank, were dismissed for 143.
“We played well, especially the way we batted, to get it done so quickly,” added skipper Foster. “There was some pretty good hitting.”
Meanwhile, already relegated Shrewsbury II closed their Birmingham League premier reserve division campaign with a welcome win, beating Walmley II by four wickets at London Road.
Having dismissed the visitors for 190, Shrewsbury’s second string made assured progress to 193-6 thanks to an unbeaten century from Charlie Farquhar.