Elliot Green

Quick win at Walmley completes season

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.

Graham Williamson Trophy 2014

Shrewsbury claim fifth straight Graham Williamson Trophy

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Proud skipper Rob Foster saluted his knockout kings after Shrewsbury lifted the Birmingham League’s Graham Williamson KO Trophy for an unprecedented fifth successive year.

The London Roaders have monopolised the competition in recent times and underlined their determination to retain the trophy by rattling up a big score en route to overwhelming Walmley by 113 runs in Sunday’s final.

It crowned a productive weekend as, helped by an excellent century from Tom Cox, Shrewsbury beat Walsall by 24 runs in the Birmingham League on Saturday, a result which saw the visitors relegated from the premier division.

“It’s pretty special to have won the Trophy five years in a row,” said Foster. “It’s really pleasing and a great effort.”

Shrewsbury, stuck in for Sunday’s final, needed no second invitation to pile on the runs as they raced to 292 all out inside 38 swashbuckling overs.

Openers Steve Leach (72) and Ed Foster (49) laid solid foundations by putting on 123 for the first wicket before England under-19 star Ed Barnard weighed in with 42.

Alex Blofield, whose appearances have been limited this season, then provided plenty of fireworks by cracking an unbeaten 68 from just 28 balls, hitting five sixes and seven boundaries in the process.

Walmley, in reply, were eventually dismissed for 179, with Australian Patrick Butler (4-25), Elliot Green (3-49) and Sam Griffiths (2-28) among the wickets.

Shrewsbury, who will wrap up their league season at Walmley on Saturday, had maintained their strong form over the second half of the campaign by sending Walsall down 24 hours earlier.

Cox, at No 5, played beautifully to compile an unbeaten 120 from 129 balls, his first century of the season. The Shropshire right hander narrowly missed out on a ton a fortnight earlier when he perished for 94 against Kidderminster, but this time he was not to be denied, hitting five sixes and 15 fours.

Skipper Foster (35) and Glamorgan’s Dewi Jones (22) were next best as Shrewsbury posted 267-9, with David Powles (3-49) and Josh Bowker (3-64) the pick of the Walsall attack.

Powles (70) and Worcestershire wicketkeeper Ben Cox (61) did their best to spark a successful chase but Walsall pulled up short as they closed on 243-7, Mike Barnard taking 2-33.

“Walsall came and played well so it was a good game of cricket,” added Foster. “The way Tom Cox batted was comfortably the best I’ve ever seen him play. He was very positive and played some great shots.”

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury II boasted two centurions in their game at Wolverhampton II, but it was still not enough to save them from a 118 run defeat, a result which sentenced them to relegation from the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division.

Will Parton struck 104 and Aussie teenager Butler ended unbeaten on 102 – his second century of the week after reaching three figures against an overseas touring side a few days earlier – as Shrewsbury closed on 240-3.

Wolverhampton earlier had two centurions of their own as they rattled up a formidable 358-5.

Shrewsbury’s second string end their season at Walmley II on Saturday.

Ed Foster

All-round Ed Foster and hat-trick hero Green shine

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Ed Foster showed his versatility and Elliot Green helped himself to a fine hat-trick as Shrewsbury impressively gained a winning draw over a Berkswell side striving to succeed them as Birmingham League champions.

Foster started as wicketkeeper in the absence of Anthony Parker and then grabbed three wickets before top scoring with an excellent 87 as Shrewsbury just about reached their revised winning draw target to pick up 14 welcome points.

Spinner Green, having earlier taken three wickets in as many balls during an eye-catching five-wicket haul, hit the very last ball of the game for a boundary to ensure Shrewsbury gained the upper hand against a Berkswell side packed with first class experience.

Darren Maddy, the former Warwickshire and England star, was the biggest name in the opposition ranks with Berkswell, led by captain Dominic Ostler, another former Edgbaston stalwart, also able to field former Leicestershire bowler David Brignull and Nick James, an ex-Glamorgan and Warwickshire player.

Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster was delighted with his side’s efforts as they moved 29 points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s home clash with basement boys Himley.

“Berkswell are a very strong side,” said Foster. “They’re a bit of a who’s who of first class cricket so it was pleasing that we managed to play so well. I thought the result reflected our performance.”

Berkswell, stuck in, totalled 216-9 from their 55 overs with opener James Neale hitting 50 and Tom Lewis, a regular for Warwickshire’s second team, adding 37.

Green got rid of the two stand-out names in the Berkswell side, with Ostler impressively stumped by Ed Foster off the spinner for 30, and Maddy caught behind behind by Foster for 26.

It helped Green, no stranger to taking hat-tricks, to a return of 5-64 while Foster, in between his tidy display behind the stumps which saw him take three catches in all and complete two stumpings, also took the chance to bowl 11 overs for 3-48.

“Elliot took a bit of punishment in his first three or four overs,” said captain Foster. “But he came back strongly and bowled very well to take five wickets.

“Ed was the fourth seamer so I thought we would give him a few overs and see how he went and he did well. I kept wicket when he bowled, probably the first time I’ve done it for the first team.”

Shrewsbury, in reply, were going nicely at 101-1 but the departure of skipper Foster for 31 after he put on 72 for the second wicket with his brother Ed sparked a collapse to 119-4 and later 139-6.

Opener Foster, enjoying a rich vein of form, continued to close in on a century until he was stumped off Maddy (3-66) for an impressive 87 from 117 balls.

James (4-47) was also among the wickets for Berkswell but Green kept his cool to end 19 not out as he dispatched the final ball of the match to the boundary to ensure Shrewsbury emerged with the lion’s share of the points.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury’s 2nd XI had a wasted trip to Leamington II in the Birmingham League premier division as the match was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Shrewsbury’s second string hit the road again on Saturday, this time to Himley II.

Elliot Green

National T20 success can’t hide League troubles

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shrewsbury’s disappointing start to the defence of their Birmingham League premier division title continued with defeat at home to Barnt Green – but there was again better news 24 hours later with progress in the ECB National Twenty20 KO.

A four-wicket haul from spinner Elliot Green was not enough to prevent the London Roaders from suffering a fourth defeat in eight league games this term as they suffered a three-wicket reverse at the hands of Barnt Green.

Now skipper Rob Foster knows it’s important his third-bottom side, emphatic 147 run winners over Oswestry in the National T20 KO on Sunday, produce a much better performance at home to Knowle & Dorridge on Saturday to get them moving in the right direction in the top-flight table.

Foster said: “We’re just past the third way point of the season and there’s a few of us that have not really performed yet this year. The sooner we can turn it around the better.”

Shrewsbury’s batting again failed to fire as they were restricted to 188-9 from their 55 overs.

A number of men made starts without going on to deliver a truly telling contribution with Tom Cox (38), young Aussie Patrick Butler (32), Dewi Jones (29no) and Steve Leach (26) top scoring as Tom Brown (4-29) and Andy Sutton (3-44) kept it tight with the ball.

The dependable Green did his best to make a game of it by snaring 4-49 from 17 overs, but Barnt Green, held together by 51 from opener Nathan Newport, had more than six overs to spare as they progressed to 191-7.

“We were probably 20 or 30 runs light of having a chance and giving them a tougher chase,” said Foster. “It was the same problem we’ve been having the last few weeks as we’re just lacking someone to go on and make a big score.”

Sunday once again provided the highlight of the weekend for Shrewsbury as they made light work of dismantling depleted lower league Shropshire rivals Oswestry in the third round of the ECB National T20 KO.

Shrewsbury rattled up an imposing 239-5 from their 20 overs before Oswestry, in reply, got nowhere near as they closed on 92-6.
Most of the batting fireworks were provided by big-hitting Alex Blofield (65) and Steve Leach (56) while skipper Foster (26) and Steve Barnard (23) also weighed in.

Mike Barnard then marked his first senior appearance of the season by claiming 4-15 from his four overs as Oswestry ended well off the pace.

Foster said: “Oswestry had a pretty weak side out with only a couple of first teamers so it was a bit of a non-event really. But it was pleasing to get a win and you can only beat what’s in front of you.”

Shrewsbury can now look forward to competing with hosts Walsall, Barnt Green and Tamworth in Birmingham League finals day for the national competition on Sunday, June 29. The winners will progress to the regional stages.

Meanwhile, SHREWSBURY II enjoyed one of their best days of the season in the Birmingham League’s premier reserve division as they chalked up a winning draw at Barnt Green II.

Skipper Jon Anders, back from a fortnight in the first team, cracked 78 at the top of the order while a quickfire, unbeaten 41 from William Davies and 20 not out from Stephen Pym lifted the Shrewsbury total up to 205-7.

It proved enough to secure the lion’s share of the points as Barnt Green pulled up short in their chase, closing on 196-9, with two wickets apiece for Joshua Anders (2-22), Harry Bolland (2-51) and Jack Garmson (2-55).

Shrewsbury’s second string travel to leaders Knowle & Dorridge II on Saturday.

Rob Foster collects the Birmingham League trophy in 2013

Williamson Trophy win caps memorable season

By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle

SHREWSBURY’S brilliant season ended on a suitably positive note as they became Birmingham League record breakers before lifting the Graham Williamson Trophy yet again.

Rob Foster’s runaway champions saw off Wombourne by five wickets in their final premier division encounter to end the season with a new top flight record high of 378 points.

Then, just for good measure, Shrewsbury saw off Barnt Green by 32 runs in a rain-affected Graham Williamson Trophy final at London Road on Sunday to win the competition for the fourth successive year.

Shrewsbury ultimately finished a mighty 91 points clear at the top of the premier division after ending their season of dominance with another win, their 14th outright victory from 22 league games.

“Breaking the points record was a nice motivation to have going into the last game,” admitted Foster. “It’s been a fantastic season and we’ve ended up playing 43 games in all competitions.

“It’s been a long season but it’s been well worthwhile.”

Relegated Wombourne were their final league victims, not that Shrewsbury had it all their own way before running out five-wicket winners.

Sam Griffiths, the former Shelton paceman now a key part of Shrewsbury’s bowling attack, helped himself to 4-15 as Wombourne were removed for 116 inside 35 overs.

There was also some joy with the ball for spinners Elliot Green (2-21) and Alex Blofield (2-49).

Shrewsbury, in reply, were soon in trouble at 44-5 and an upset looked on the cards.

But then skipper Foster (40no) joined forces with 14-year-old first team debutant George Hargrave (32no) to put on an unbroken stand of 72 for the sixth wicket as Shrewsbury advanced to 118-5.

“Wombourne bowled very well with the new ball and got some good genuine wickets,” said Foster. “But fortunately myself and young George Hargrave, a late call up to replace Tom Cox, managed to then put a partnership together.

“George batted fantastically well and showed real maturity for a 14-year-old making his debut for the first team.

“He’s quite a small lad but he’s a good player, very keen cricketer and is already part of the Warwickshire Academy. He did really well.”

Shrewsbury then dug deep into their selection reserves 24 hours later with a host of regulars unavailable for the Williamson Trophy final against Barnt Green.

Shrewsbury totalled 155-3 from their reduced allocation of 20 overs before Barnt Green, eventually set a revised victory target of 186 in 18 overs, pulled up short on 154-8.

Will Parton (47), Joe Leach (44) and the big hitting Matt Gregson (35no) put bat to ball effectively for Shrewsbury who were flying at 70-0 off 10 overs before a rain delay restricted their innings to 20 overs.

Duckworth Lewis calculations initially set Barnt Green a 20 over target of 208 but more rain cut that to 187 from 18 and they ended up 32 runs short, Griffiths completing a good weekend by taking a couple more wickets.

“It’s the fourth year in a row we’ve won this competition and we’re proud to have kept the run going,” added Foster.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury’s Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach achieved two notable milestones for the London Road club against Wombourne.

Leach took his 100th Birmingham League wicket for the club at 18 apiece and also passed 2,000 league runs. He averages just over 30 with the bat in the premier division.

Ed Foster

Foster blasts Kiddi to extend lead

By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle

ED FOSTER, such a model of consistency down the years, insisted he was thrilled to replace his dad John in the club record books after hitting the highest league score by any Shrewsbury player.

Foster was at his brilliant best as he inspired the London Roaders to a crushing 222 run win in their top of the table clash against Kidderminster in the Birmingham League premier division.

Shrewsbury are now 39 points clear in pole position ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barnt Green.

Foster, an opening bat and former club and county captain just like his dad, is no stranger to weighing in with big scores.

But his efforts in cracking a sparkling 169 to set up an imposing Shrewsbury total of 362-7 was something special even by his high standards.

It eclipsed the previous club record score of 159 achieved by his dad in a Shropshire League match at Shifnal in 1991.

And fittingly Ed’s younger brother, Rob, the current Shrewsbury skipper, was in the middle batting with him when he broke the record.

“It was good fun, a bit surreal really,” said Foster. “It’s not every day you get scores like that, individually and as a team.

“To make over 360 was a brilliant effort and it was a really good win to extend our lead at the top of the table.

“Me and Rob have had it drummed into us since we were young that dad holds the record with 159.

“When I got to 150 Rob was out there batting with me and said ‘you know what’s coming’.

“It was good to get it and quite a lot of people around the ground knew about it so that was nice.”

As well as being a new club record, it was also the highest score racked up by Foster, a man renowned as arguably the leading batsman in the Birmingham League.

“I got 160 when I was playing in Australia once,” he said. “I also scored 155 over here in a league game a couple of years ago but this was comfortably my best.”

Foster helped himself to no fewer than five towering sixes and 18 boundaries with his 169 coming from 133 balls.

He received sound support from brother Rob, who hammered a quickfire 67, and also Joe Leach (45), part of the Worcestershire side beaten by Warwickshire at a sold out New Road in the Friends Life Twenty20 the previous night.

Leach himself is bang in form having cracked 131 for Shrewsbury at Wombourne in the league a week earlier and then 162 for Worcestershire II in their 2nd XI Championship clash against Warwickshire at Ombersley.

There were also runs for Tom Cox (27) and Steve Barnard (20no) as Shrewsbury shone in the sun to accumulate a daunting 362-7 from their 55 overs.

Kidderminster’s much vaunted batting line up were then found wanting as they were dismissed for 140.

Leach (2-27) enjoyed removing his Worcestershire team mate Matt Pardoe, who regularly opens for the Pears, caught and bowled for just two.

And Kidderminster’s other Worcestershire man, Neil Pinner, was caught behind by Anthony Parker off former Shelton paceman Sam Griffiths (2-37) for 19.

Spinner Elliot Green claimed 3-18 and Mike Barnard also played his part with 2-17, with opener Andy Kimberlin (57) the only man to offer any resistance as Kidderminster were well beaten.

“I was really pleased with how well we did because they had two first class cricketers playing for them,” added Ed Foster. “It was a massive game and we’ve put some real daylight between us.

“Everyone really turned it on and contributed to our score and then the bowlers did really well on a pretty flat track to bowl them out for 140.

“It was a really great effort and shows that we have got something special here.”

Elliot Green

Green lands MCCC Cricketer of the Year gong

By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle

TALENTED Shrewsbury leg spinner Elliot Green has been named as the top club cricketer in the Midlands for 2012.

Green, 21, is one of the youngest players to have been selected as winner of the prestigious Midlands Club Cricket Conference’s Cricketer of the Year accolade.

It’s more impressive recognition for Shrewsbury following 17-year-old Ed Barnard’s call up to the England under-19 squad to tour South Africa later this month.

“I’m really pleased and I didn’t even have a clue that I had been nominated,” said Green, who lives in Bayton Hill and is currently studying sports and exercise science at Wrexham’s Glyndŵr University.

“A few of the better players at the club down the years have won this award before so it’s nice to add my name to that list.

“I’m now looking forward to the new season. It will be interesting with Rob Foster taking over as captain but Shrewsbury’s a brilliant club with a great bunch of lads.”

Green, a right arm leg spinner and lower order batsman, took 45 Birmingham League premier division wickets at an average of under 17 for Shrewsbury last season. He helped them end the season strongly and also win the Graham Williamson Trophy once again.

Green lists Australian great Terry Jenner – who coached him Down Under in two separate stints – as his biggest influence and he also claimed 12 Minor Counties wickets for Shropshire at 16.5 apiece during the 2012 season.

Green follows in the footsteps of some leading Shrewsbury players who have won the award in the past.

Both Ed Foster and his dad John, both former captains of Shrewsbury and Shropshire, received the trophy, as did another London Road stalwart Steve Gale, now a leading first class umpire, and Richard Tudor.

Green will be presented with his trophy at the Conference’s annual dinner and awards ceremony in Birmingham in March.

Green joined Shrewsbury CC at the age of 12 and emerged from the junior ranks to make his first team debut at 15.

He has since held down a regular spot and memorably took nine wickets to set up a dramatic final day win at Kidderminster as Shrewsbury were crowned Birmingham League champions for the first time in 2010. He was also part of the side which won the National KO the following year.

“Elliot’s done very well and it’s a big honour for him, particularly for someone so young, ” said Ed Foster, his captain for club and county in recent seasons. “It essentially means he’s been picked as the best player for last season in the Midlands.

“It’s not just the Birmingham League as it’s also open to players from leagues as far afield as the likes of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

“Elliot could really have won it any any time over the last few years and I don’t think this will be the last award he wins.

“He’s a very important player for Shrewsbury and hopefully he can help the club to more success.”

Ed Foster

Shrewsbury take Club title

The 2011 ECB National Club Championship Final was a fantastic advert for club cricket, with Shrewsbury beating Cambridge Granta in the final over, Shrewsbury captain Ed Foster scoring an unbeaten 98 to guide his team to victory.

Losing the toss and put in to bat at the County Ground in Derby, Granta made a solid 220 for eight from their 45 overs, with Alex Fullarton leading the scoring with 87 not out from 114 balls.

Craig Park was the mainstay of a third wicket stand of 65 with Fullarton, cracking 45 of them from just 31 balls, including five fours and one six; but two wickets apiece from Mike Barnard, Rob Foster and Elliot Green kept the Cambridge total in check.

It was Shrewsbury skipper Foster that was to play the master innings of the day though, carrying his bat and finishing two short of a century to steer his side over the winning line with two balls of the match to spare; Rob Foster’s 39, 26 from Joe Leach and 23 from Tom Cox helping Salop to a famous three-wicket triumph.

Shrewsbury players celebrate the Birmingham League victory

Nine Green Wickets See Shrewsbury to Title

An exceptional display of leg-spin bowling by Elliott Green clinched the 2010 Premier Division title for Shrewsbury on a day of extraordinary twists and turns which left Walmley and Kenilworth Wardens in the relegation zone.

In a match reduced to 53 overs per side, Ed Foster and Joe Leach, both, scored 58, as Shrewsbury reached 196 for six at the close of their innings. Mark Mansell picked up three wickets for Kiddi, who looked favourites to take the title, themselves, when they reached 93 for one by the end of the 26th over. At that point, a heavy shower drove the players from the field and the home side’s innings was reduced to 47 overs. Enter Mr Green, who had, already, snapped up the wicket of Matt Pardoe (42).

He proceeded to turn the game in Shrewsbury’s favour, finishing with 9 for 77, as Kiddi pressed the self-destruct button. Craig Wood hit 46 but the remaining batsmen were unable to get to grips with Green, who returned the best bowling figures of the season.

Kiddi’s final total of 159 saw Shrewsbury win by 37 runs and, tomorrow, they will attempt to become just the second team to complete a League and Cup double when they take on Himley in the Final of the Graham Williamson Trophy. Last season’s Champions, Knowle & Dorridge finished as runners-up following a winning draw at Wellington.

K & D hit 123 for nine, in an innings limited to 30 overs, after a late start, with Attiq Chishti unbeaten on 50 and Wendell Wagner taking 3 for 17 for Wellington. Once Shrewsbury had won, the title was out of K & D’s reach but they restricted the home side to 118 for four, in 30 overs, to ensure they finished in second place.

At the bottom of the table, Walmley were relegated, early in the day, at Wolverhampton. Needing to restrict the Danescourt outfit to three points and take 24, themselves, Walmley declared on 79 for eight but their gamble failed to pay off, as Wolverhampton won by five wickets. Wolverhampton appeared to be cruising to an easy victory on 47 without loss but four wickets in seven balls (including a hat-trick) by Hamza Nadeem reduced them to 48 for four.

Nadeem finished with 4 for 31 but 34 from Anish Kapil was enough to see Wolverhampton to safety. Dan Bassett hit 61 but Walsall’s Paul Wicker (4 for 61) and Paul Byrne (4 for 33) combined to dismiss Himley for 179 to give their side an escape route from relegation. Paul Baker’s 66 saw Walsall to a three wicket win which took them to 215 points.

Results, elsewhere, meant that Walsall were reliant on Kenilworth Wardens failing to obtain five points from their game with Barnt Green and they were left sweating right to the end. In a match reduced to 33 overs each side, Carl Crowe (75) and Nathan Newport (49) saw Barnt Green to 175 for four, which left Wardens requiring a minimum of 160 to draw level with Walsall and escape the trap-door due to winning one more game than their rivals. After 24 overs, two further overs were lost to rain and an abandonment at that stage would have saved Wardens. The weather relented and Wardens struggled to 141 for nine, finishing with 214 points, one point adrift of safety. Barnt Green’s Stephen Bevan finished with 4 for 58.

Both Smethwick and Moseley went into their last game, looking over their shoulders, but both sides had acquired enough points to reach safety by the time that the game came to a premature close, due to rain, with Moseley on 59 for one, in response to Smethwick’s 192, which owed much to an elegant 79 from Mo Sheikh.