22nd Oct, 2019

Panthers pounce for Smash title

Stratford Editorial 5th Sep, 2019

STRATFORD celebrated becoming the first Warwickshire Smash champions after a thrilling final against Knowle & Dorridge at Edgbaston.

Opener Dexter Purser smacked 57 off 44 balls as the Panthers finished on 124-7 after 20 overs in Sunday’s showpiece.

Jack Grundy, 21 off 20 balls, and Purser, 57 off 44 balls, gave Stratford a flying start with a 71-run partnership for the second wicket but the momentum stuttered after they departed.

K&D skipper Tom Smith (47) and Sam Reddish (13) then gave K&D’s run chase a positive impetus after they had been 10-3.

However, a stunning catch from Jack Grundy to dismiss Smith and then the fall of Sam Montieri (19) next ball, both from Ben Pigott, proved the turning point as K&D’s run chase fell short on 110-9.

Pigott (2-16) and Tom Grundy (2-19) finished with two wickets apiece.

On Saturday, Stratford guaranteed a top five place in the Warwickshire League Premier Division with an emphatic ten-wicket win at Barby.

Archie Walker was the pick of the bowlers with 4-32 and Sam Douthwaite (2-6) and Tom Grundy (2-20) also impressed as Barby were hustled out for 69 in the 31st over.

Luke Nardone (40no) and Purser (31no) took just 10.5 overs to get Stratford to their target.

The Panthers, now certain to finish fifth, are away to Streetly on Saturday in their final league fixture of 2019.

Stratford 2nds’ bowlers were also in top form as they skittled visitors Smethwick 2nds for 75 in a 96-run victory in Division Four. Stratford had rattled up 171-9 off their 50 overs.

The win leaves Stratford in good shape to escape relegation, with the Panthers now 23 points clear of Bedworth with two games to play. They entertain Massey Ferguson at Swans Nest Lane on Saturday and then finish the season at Knowle Village on September 14.

Stratford Bards ended a tough season on a high with a second league win of the Cotswold Hills League Division Four campaign.

Daniel Regan (3-21) led the bowlers as they restricted visitors Rowington 2nds to 173-6 in their 40 overs at Alscot Park. An unbroken stand between James Bryan (77no) and Sam Gill (66no) guided the Bards home with three balls to spare.

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