A SIX-WICKET victory against Netherton ensured Avoncroft lift their first silverware of the season, after winning the WCL Midweek Shield.
Tuesday’s victory, in which the Croft beat Netherton’s total of 162-3 in the 18th over, helped make amends for the loss they suffered at the weekend at the hands of Old Hill Seconds in Worcestershire County League Division Three.
Netherton lost opener Russell Oseland (0) in the early stages after being run out by Steve Eastham, before recovering by building their run count through Matthew Lowe (24), Conor Warby (57) and the unbeaten Troy Lee (68no) – who hit seven into the boundary and claimed a solitary six.
Jonathan Hunter (2-30) bowled both Lowe and Warby, helping present Avoncroft with an attainable target.
In reply, the Croft recovered from losing Eastham (8), who was dismissed by Dominic Priest, thanks to fellow opener Daniel Elliott (101no) – who hit an unbeaten century to edge his side within touching distance of victory.
Whilst Josh Cound (16) and Craig Hughes (0) were dismissed by Matthew Lowe (2-25), number six David Anson (9) stepped up to the plate to help Avoncroft claim the necessary runs required to lift the Shield.
In Saturday’s league defeat, the Croft fell well short when being dismissed for 158 in the 43rd over, with Old Hill able to beat the total comfortably after 31 overs.
Batting first after Old Hill won the toss, Avoncroft found a steady number of runs through openers Jonty Heslop (18) and Elliott (34) before their dismissals, whilst number three Ben Warwick followed up with a top score of 39 during his time at the crease.
Old Hill’s Mohammed Javaid (3-30) added to his dismissal of Elliot by claiming a couple of wickets, removing Chris Pitt (6) and David Apperley (14) from the crease as Avoncroft began to lose momentum and wickets.
The prolific Alex Elsworth (4-11) then helped finish off the visitors, dismissing Josh Cound (7), Matthew Palmer (2), Jason Patel (4) and Paul Athey (6), whilst Anthony Pittam (4) lasted an equally short spell before being run out.
In reply, openers Harry Sekhon (4) and Iftikar Ali (10) were lost cheaply, but an unbeaten stand of 94 from Ravi Nagra proved a killer blow to Avoncroft’s chances.
The Croft also conceded 26 extras and 23 runs to number four Izmah Khan before his dismissal, leaving it down to number Fahad Mahmood (7) to finish off the job alongside the prolific Nagra.
Avoncroft host Redditch Seconds on Saturday (1pm), and will hope to take momentum from their Shield victory to claim a fourth win of the campaign.