Ed barnard

Safety still priority as Ed Barnard returns

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster wants his side to make mathematically certain of their place in next season’s Birmingham Cricket League premier division with victory at Knowle & Dorridge on Saturday.

While Shrewsbury sit sixth in the table and in no immediate danger of being dragged into a fight for survival, Foster’s main aim for several weeks now has been putting enough points on the board to be definitely safe.

Last weekend’s home win over Kidderminster, with Tom Cox cracking a fine 94, was followed by a wash out at title hopefuls Barnt Green on Monday so Shrewsbury sit 51 points clear of the bottom two with just three games to play.

Now Foster wants his team to maintain their improved form in the second half of the season against a side which beat them comfortably at London Road by 118 runs in June.

“Another win will confirm it,” said Foster. “We’ve definitely played a lot better in the second half, but it’s been a strange sort of season with the weather and there’s not really been any continuity.

“We owe Knowle & Dorridge one as they stuffed us out of sight by more than 100 runs at home earlier in the season.”

Shrewsbury will be without unavailable opening batsman Steve Leach while his brother Joe, who made a welcome return to club duty last weekend, is expected to be ruled out by Worcestershire commitments as the Pears begin a four-day Championship game at Derbyshire on Sunday.

But on a brighter note, England under-19 all-rounder Ed Barnard, fresh from playing in the one-day series against South Africa, is set to feature.

Meanwhile, it’s President’s Day at London Road on Sunday with John Foster, the Shrewsbury president, looking forward to welcoming a host of familiar faces.

Invited guests will include the club’s two National Club Championship winning teams together with other former players, sponsors and honorary members.

“I hope it will be a sunny day for us all to enjoy,” said the president. “The day will form a cricket festival and a hog roast so the festival will give players a chance to enjoy themselves in the company of as as many members and friends of the club as possible.”

Two Twenty20 matches will be played, the first at noon involving senior Shropshire cricketers, and, after afternoon tea, there will be a match involving current Shrewsbury players and some guests.

The hog roast will take place at 5.30pm with the day concluding with the presentations of man of the match awards at 6.30pm.
Shrewsbury (v Knowle & Dorridge): E Foster, T Cox, E Barnard, R Foster, A Blofield, P Butler, S Barnard, D Jones, E Green, M Barnard, S Griffiths.