THE POWER struggle at the top of the Warwickshire League Premier Division saw Walmley extend their lead to 27 points, after ousting Stratford-upon-Avon by six wickets last weekend.
Being forced to bat first after the visitors won the toss, the Panthers managed 227-8, somewhat limited by Kiefer Woods’ sensational five-for, with captain Dexter Purser (58) and Gareth Langman (68) leading by example from the start.
But with the Swans Nest Lane hosts unable to conjure up early wickets to halt the momentum of Callum Herron (65) and Sarmad Bhatti (66, no), Walmley could celebrate an 11th win this term in the 45th over.
Stratford looked set for a big score after openers Purser and Langman laid a foundation of 115 runs for the first wicket, while George Burford (29) provided invaluable support to the latter to add another 45 runs to the hosts’ total.
With Langman becoming the first victim to fall to Woods (5-60), however, the Walmley bowler discovered a real thirst for wickets and proceeded to skittle out the following four Stratford batsmen to stunt their run chase.
Managing to see out the innings, Stratford responded valiantly when Archie Walker (2-46) took an early scalp in the form of opener Sinel Gunarathne (6) at 11-1.
Yusuf Khalil (17) provided a much-needed Walmley boost when adding 51 alongside Herron – who then formed a 76-run partnership with Bhatti to get their side on the winning track.
With Demari Prince (35) making himself an invaluable presence to take Walmley within touching distance of victory, the scalping of Stratford was then completed with 31 balls to spare.
A trip to Bablake, 11th, now awaits for the second-placed Panthers on Saturday.
IN PERSHORE’S Worcestershire League Premier Division clash with Stourport-on-Severn, a Charlie Norton century paved the way for a 73-run success at Walshes Farm Meadows.
The Plums, fourth, have closed in on second-placed Stourport thanks to the impressive win, with Paddy Thompson (33), skipper Christopher Ridings (41) and Andrew Wilks (22) helping contribute 30 hits into the boundary alongside their top-scoring talisman.
Even with Oliver Uffindall (3-40) and Craig Siwicki (3-41) on form for the hosts, Pershore were able to evade the threat posed by their opponents to finish on 274-8.
And in reply, it was a top-class show of bowling from Darren Critcher (4-48) that helped put the lid on Stourport’s pursuit of runs, with only Craig Wood (52) and Siwicki (45) offering considerable threats.
In-form Pershore host Brockhampton, seventh, this weekend hoping to make it nine wins on the spin.