Foster hope Jones can continue good form

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

SKIPPER Rob Foster has high hopes that in-form quickie Dewi Jones can shine again with the ball as Shrewsbury target back-to-back Birmingham Cricket League wins at Kidderminster on Saturday.

Teenager Jones grabbed four wickets for the London Roaders in last weekend’s victory over Kenilworth Wardens, a result which propelled Shrewsbury from bottom spot up to seventh place in the premier division table.

He’s now taken 14 wickets in his last three matches having grabbed five-wicket hauls a few days earlier both for Glamorgan’s 2nd XI against Somerset and also for the Wales Minor Counties side at Wiltshire in the Unicorns Trophy.

Foster said the contribution of Jones, a close season recruit from Wombourne, was key to the victory over Kenilworth and he now hopes there is plenty more to come from the 18-year-old Welshman.

Foster said: “It’s been a difficult start to the season for everyone but I thought Dewi bowled very well against Kenilworth.

“It was great to see him knock over their top four and you could tell he was bowling with confidence having taken a few wickets for Glamorgan seconds and for Wales.

“He’s a quick bowler and he’s only 18 so he’s still filling out, still developing.”

Foster felt his side were still not at their best last weekend but insisted it was a vital victory after Shrewsbury were restricted to just 116.

“We need to string a few wins together now,” he said. “We’ve got Kidderminster next and that’s always a tough game. It could be a case that they’re missing Matt Pardoe to Worcestershire and we’re without Joe Leach for the same reasons unless Worcester release him.”

Shrewsbury are again without the unavailable Steve Barnard and Alex Blofield while England under-19 star Ed Barnard misses out through injury.

Shrewsbury are also in action on Sunday when they host Attock in the first round of the National Twenty20 (2pm).

Foster added: “We got to the last 16 last year and it’s a good competition that we would like to do well in. It’s always good fun playing Twenty20 cricket and the final in the last few years has been held at The Oval and been shown live on TV.”

SHREWSBURY (v Kidderminster): E Foster, S Leach, T Cox, R Foster, P Butler, A Parker, J Anders, D Jones, E Green, C Morris, S Griffiths.

Dewi Jones’ haul guides Shrewsbury to tight win

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

DEWI JONES made his first significant contribution for Shrewsbury as the Birmingham League champions hauled themselves off the bottom of the premier division with a hard-earned victory.

Jones, a regular in the Wales Minor Counties Championship side, knocked over the top four Kenilworth Wardens batsman as Shrewsbury pulled off a 29 run verdict in a low scoring game to secure a morale-boosting second league win of the summer.

The London Roaders could have been excused for fearing the worst at the halfway stage after being dismissed for a modest total of 116 which was built around a determined half century from Tom Cox.

But once paceman Jones made early inroads there was no way back for Wardens and they were sent packing for just 87 inside 25 overs.

“It was a huge 24 points for us,” said Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster. “The pitch was pretty difficult, hard to score on, but Tom Cox played very well. His 50 in the circumstances was probably worth 100 as it gave us something to bowl at.

“He’s done well for us a few times over the years in this sort of position when our backs are against the wall by putting his hand up and scoring a few.

“Then Dewi bowled really well which was great to see and he took out their top four batsmen to quickly put them on the back foot.”

Foster was pleased with the spirit his side displayed on a day they were missing several key men with the the likes of Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach, Steve Barnard, Ed Barnard and Alex Blofield all absent.

The result rocketed Shrewsbury from bottom up to seventh place ahead of Saturday’s trip to Kidderminster.

Jones, who spent last season playing his club cricket for Wombourne, grabbed five wickets for Wales in the Unicorns Trophy at

Wiltshire the previous weekend and weighed in with another five-wicket haul for Glamorgan’s second team at Somerset in between his starring role for Shrewsbury.

And he picked up where he left off in those games by quickly removing the Kenilworth top order to leave them reeling at 39-4.

Australian youngster Patrick Butler (3-6) and Shropshire new boy Sam Griffiths (3-25) then got to work to dismiss Wardens for 87.

“Both Pat and Sam did very well after Dewi picked up the first four wickets,” added skipper Foster. “Sam got the next three before Pat cleaned up the tail.

“He’s been a big plus for us since coming in. He bowls his leg spin a little quicker than Elliot (Green) and I thought he would cause them problems with his variation.”

Shrewsbury had earlier found runs hard to come by with the exception of Cox, at No 3, who dropped anchor to compile a defiant 54 from 122 balls.

It was just what Shrewsbury needed as they lost wickets at regular intervals with the experienced Jon Anders, a late call up to replace the injured Ed Barnard, the next highest scorer with 17.

Meanwhile, SHREWSBURY II are next-to-bottom in the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division table ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Moseley II.

They were beaten by two wickets at Attock II last weekend with Shrewsbury’s total of 173-7 not quite enough to see them home.

Rob Foster collects the Birmingham League trophy in 2013

Captain Foster targets Birmingham League defence

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Upbeat Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster insists successfully defending their Birmingham Cricket League premier division title is the club’s target this season.

Shrewsbury, who have again secured the services of Nottinghamshire and England batsman Jimmy Taylor as the club’s contracted player, open their league season at home to West Bromwich Dartmouth on Saturday.

The London Roaders were runaway champions last year, racking up a record points total, and Foster wants his team to pick up where they left off.

Shrewsbury have signalled their intentions by pulling off excellent victories in the past fortnight over West Bromwich Dartmouth and Knowle & Dorridge in the Graham Williamson Trophy to ensure they should hit the ground running.

Foster said: “We want to win the league again, I’m not too shy to say that, and good sides win titles back-to-back.”Wellington did that probably 10 years ago and we would very much like to do the same.

“We know we will be there to be shot at but a lot of teams will not relish coming to play us.

“I think we got a lot of respect from other teams in the league over how we played last season and went about winning matches so we’re all raring to go again and looking forward to it.”

Shrewsbury will make one change from the side which impressively beat K&D in the Trophy last weekend with Elliot Green replacing fellow spinner Charlie Morris.

Glamorgan Academy player Dewi Jones, a fast bowler, will make his league debut for the club against a West Brom side likely to include former Gloucestershire batsman Kadeer Ali and also potentially current Warwickshire first teamer Ateeq Javid.

Foster added he was delighted that Nottinghamshire star Taylor, the free-scoring former Shrewsbury School pupil, has again agreed to be the club’s contracted player.

Taylor, the one-day captain for the Trent Bridge club, was among the crowd for Shrewsbury’s victory last weekend and is a popular figure at London Road.

Foster said: “When we see Jimmy it’s a bonus and having an England cricketer at the club is always great.

“Hopefully he will get a chance to play for England again this season and he couldn’t have done much more over the winter with the runs he scored for England Lions.

“Jimmy says he will play for us when he gets the chance so hopefully we’ll get him in for a few games.”

Shrewsbury are also in action on Sunday whey they travel to ambitious Penkridge in the first round of the National KO, a competition the county towners have memorably won twice.

Foster added he expects a tricky game against a Penkridge side expected to include former Shropshire all-rounder Attiq Chisti.

SHREWSBURY (v West Bromwich Dartmouth): S Leach, E Foster, E Barnard, J Leach, T Cox, R Foster (captain), A Parker, S Barnard, S Griffiths, E Green, D Jones.

Shrewsbury Cricket Club

Jones and Morris to make debuts in opening weekend

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

NEW signing Dewi Jones goes straight into the Shrewsbury side as the Birmingham Cricket League champions open the new season with a Graham Williamson Trophy first round trip to West Bromwich Dartmouth on Saturday.

“Dewi’s played a lot of games for Glamorgan’s Academy and for Wales in the Minor Counties and has always impressed when we’ve played against him,” said Rob Foster.

“He’s Wrexham-based and was keen to come and play for us. It’s always nice that people want to come and get involved.

“He’s rated very highly at Glamorgan and he fits the mould for us of being a young and keen player.”

Jones is the second close season recruit for Shrewsbury and the other, Charlie Morris, a left-arm spinner from Oswestry, is also in Saturday’s team as Shrewsbury hope to maintain their dominance of the Graham Williamson Trophy having won this competition for the last four years.

Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach and Ed Barnard, recently part of the England under-19 team which finished third in the ICC World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, also feature this weekend in a team which will be captained by Tom Cox.

Skipper Foster and his older brother Ed are both unavailable as they are guests at a family wedding while Sam Griffiths is also ruled out through his brother’s wedding.

Steve and Mike Barnard are also missing this weekend, as is opening batsman Steve Leach, earlier this week part of the Oxfordshire University side which took on a Warwickshire team featuring England batsman Jonathan Trott in a rain-ravaged clash at The Parks which ended in a draw.

The free-scoring Leach, who left Worcestershire midway through last summer, made his first class debut the previous week against Nottinghamshire.

SHREWSBURY: Tom Cox (captain), Joe Leach, Henry Blofield, Alex Blofield, Charlie Morris, Dewi Jones, Elliot Green, Ed Barnard, George Hargrave, Anthony Parker, Tom Ellis.