Shrewsbury take lion’s share from Walmley contest

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Skipper Rob Foster insisted he was happy with a 17-point return after Shrewsbury produced a dominant display against Walmley to keep moving in the right direction in the Birmingham League’s premier division.

Half centuries from Joe Leach, Ed Foster and Ed Barnard helped Shrewsbury rattle up an imposing total of 278-7.

Sam Griffiths then helped himself to four wickets as Walmley recovered from 95-6 to close on 193-8.

The result lifted Shrewsbury up to seventh spot in the table and ensures they will travel to joint leaders West Bromwich Dartmouth on Saturday in good spirits.

“I was happy with the performance,” said skipper Foster, who picked up a wicket in the first over he’s bowled this season. “We have wanted to put a bit of consistency into our cricket and this was as good as you can get really without a win bar one more bonus point.

“It was obviously disappointing not to get 24 points but it’s as close as a win you can get. We dominated the game really from five overs in to the end so that was pleasing to see.”

Shrewsbury struggled for runs earlier in the season but this was one of their more productive days with the bat as they scored freely.

They lost Steve Leach early on but Ed Foster and Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach then put on 158 for the second wicket.
Leach top scored with 73 from 119 balls and Foster cracked 70 from 99 deliveries.

England under-19 international Barnard kept the scoreboard ticking over by making 54 before wicketkeeper Anthony Parker added a brisk, unbeaten 28 to lift the score up to 278-7.

Skipper Foster said: “When Ed (Foster) scores runs it seems to settle the side down and help us.

“It was good to have Joe Leach back and he played well. They built a platform for us.

“Ed Barnard then came in and showed his class and Mushy (Anthony Parker) got a few as well so it’s good to see him getting runs. It was a good performance with the bat.”

Walmley, in reply, looked on the brink of going under once former Warwickshire batsman Navdeep Poonia was bowled by Griffiths who took 4-34 from 15 overs.

But Chris Whittock managed to steady the ship for the visitors with an unbeaten 56 as Walmley, despite Joe Leach also taking 2-32, held on for the draw, closing on 193-8.

“Sam was the star with the ball,” added Foster, who decided to bring himself on to bowl for the first time this season towards the end, taking a wicket with his fourth ball.

“I only bowled three or four overs last season but I thought I would give it a try,” he added. “A few people have twisted my arm to have a bowl.

“It’s just a case of doing what’s best for the side. If I need to bowl a few overs then so be it.”

Meanwhile, SHREWSBURY II are 13 points adrift at the bottom of the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division following a 49 run defeat at high flying Walmley II.

Henry Blofield (3-49) and Aussie Patrick Butler (2-38) picked up some reward as Walmley, held together by 90 from James Brocklebank, totalled 246-8.

Shrewsbury’s openers Jon Anders (60) and George Hargrave (45) laid solid foundations to the reply while Blofield (38) and George Panayi (29) also weighed in as the visitors were dismissed for 197.

Shrewsbury’s second string host Harborne II on Saturday.