SKIPPER Andrew Sutton believes Barnt Green’s next five games will define where they will finish in the Birmingham League Premier Division table.
As the second half of the campaign begins, the Cherry Hill Road side entertain 2010 and 2013 league winners Shrewsbury on Saturday before games against Kenilworth Wardens and the trio of title hopefuls in Knowle & Dorridge, Ombersley and Berkswell in the coming weeks.
Sixth placed Green have won their last three games, with their latest success coming on Saturday at Herefordshire side Brockhampton, and Sutton is hoping to keep up that run of form as they head into a difficult fixture run-in.
Having beat Shrewsbury on the opening day of the season, the Green skipper is all too aware of the threat the Shropshire side will pose this weekend.
“To have bowled Shrewsbury out for 54 was lucky as we caught them on an off day,” he said.
“They have got some quality in their side with the likes of the Foster brothers (Ed and Rob) in their ranks as well as the division’s leading wicket taker in Mike Barnard.
“Ben Stebbings is also a very good captain so we cannot knock what they have got available to them.
“Shrewsbury have the ability to grind out results so we are going to have to be on our game to get a result.
“We have got a tough run of fixtures over the next couple of weeks which will decide if we are going to finish mid-table or whether we can be pushing for the second and third places.”
Green extended their winning streak with a six-wicket victory over bottom-of-the-table Brockhampton.
The Herefordshire side opted to bat after winning the toss where they were bowled out for 269 despite nine wickets from Green’s Alexander Woods.
Woods’ chances of claiming a full house were denied when Sutton removed Ashley Bullock with the hosts at 180-6.
In reply Tom Brown (101) and Warwickshire’s Matt Lamb (105 not out) smashed centuries to fire Green to 270-4 with just under nine overs to spare.
“We have picked up 24 points for a third week in a row now,” Sutton said.
“I could not have wrote that kind of script.
“Alex bowled beautifully and he was backed up nicely by Matt and Tom.
“It was just a complete performance.
“We were very controlled and the guys took responsibility with the bat and ball.
“I don’t know if it is the state of the pitches or what we are doing in preparation for games but everything is clicking right now.”