Wiltshire CCC finish season with victory over Shropshire!

With the weather set fair Wiltshire and Shropshire were looking forward to their final NCCA Championship match of the year, Cornwall had already secured the title and won promotion, but there was considerable pride at stake for the other places in the league with Wiltshire 28, Dorset 28, Wales 28 and Shropshire 27 separated by just one point.

Shropshire won the toss and chose to bat first. They may have been regretting that decision after Arthur Godsal took out the top three batters in a devastating opening spell which began with the bizarre stumping of Matthew Lamb in the first over by Tom Cullen standing way back but with a good eye. Arthur Godsal then bowled Thomas Fell to leave Shropshire on 2 for 2. Oliver Westbury was then caught by Jack Mynott to complete Arthur’s trio of victims. Joe King extended his tally of wickets as he took 4 for 36 with Keron Bennett-Thomas taking 2 for 57 and two stunning catches one of which gave Josh Croom a wicket. Skipper Charlie Home 34 top scored for Shropshire, but Extras donated 38 runs with 26 of them being no balls in the final total of 183.

The Wiltshire innings began well enough with Wadworth Man of the Match Dylan Church scoring 69 ably supported by Jack Stearman 33 and Ed young 20. Wiltshire then suffered a mini-collapse which saw the score plummet from 106 or 2 to 162 for 8. Jake Goodwin 26 and Josh Croom 32 enabled Wiltshire to  eventually take a 37 run first innings lead on the morning of the second day with Croom 32, King 11 and Bennett-Thomas 3 helping the tail to wag closing on 220 all out. However, the headline news from this innings was the 9 wicket haul of young spin bowler Joe Stanley who took a remarkable 9 for 83 from a marathon 30 overs.

Shropshire embarked on their second innings losing two wickets before they overhauled Wiltshire’s lead. This then saw Matthew Lamb 62 and Andre Bradford 46 enjoy a partnership of 107 for the 3rd wicket. When these two departed within a few minutes of each other it was left to wicket  keeper Ben Lees 40 to hold the innings together, but they were eventually dismissed for 226 and a lead of 189. The wickets were shared with Athur Godsal 3 for 22 and Joe King 3 for 99 the leading wickets takers backed up by Ed Young 2 for 29.  Josh Croom 1 for 33 and a sharp run out by Joe King finishing the job.

In a game of fluctuating fortunes it was by no means certain that Wiltshire would have an easy task of chasing down the victory target of 190 runs. At close of play on Day 2 the situation was looking more positive for Wiltshire with the score 0n 74 for 0.  Jack Mynott was 47not out and Dylan Church 23 not out. Day 3 saw them progress their partnership to 127 with Jack Mynott 71 and Dylan Church 68 not out. Skipper Ed Young added a valuable 37 as Wiltshire  claimed victory on 190 for 3 and a 7 wicket victory. Shropshire appeared to pin their hopes on Joe Stanley but he was only able to take a further 2 wickets from 20 overs to give him match figures of 11 for 159.

A good victory to end the season which saw excellent performances for many of the players none more so than Wadworth Man of the Match Dylan Church with two fine innings of 69 and 68 not out. Plenty of good young players with potential ably led by skipper Ed Young who is a fine leader of his troops and will hopefully lead them to further successes next season

Wiltshire beat Shropshire by 7 wickets