7th Dec, 2016

Stratford captain Brown sees the positives

Stratford Editorial 28th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STRATFORD CC skipper Mike Brown suggests playing two more of the promotion-seekers in the next few weeks will only help their relegation fight.

Saturday’s seven-wicket defeat at Tamworth nudged the Panthers into the bottom two, while the victors moved into top spot in Birmingham League Division Two.

Having played the top team, Stratford now head to third placed Harborne on Saturday before meeting second placed Shifnal next weekend.

Brown says there were a huge array of plus points to take from the Tamworth performance and is convinced they can raise their game again.

“We came away with plenty of positives,” said the bowler.

“I said to the players after the game that if we play at that level for the rest of the season then I don’t think we will be in the position we are currently in.

“We know we’ve got a tough run of games coming up but that’s not going to decide whether we stay up or not.

“Getting a win, or a draw, against Harborne or against Shifnal would be a bit of a bonus. The key is how you perform against the teams around you.

“After Harborne and Shifnal, we’ve still got seven games against teams from fifth and lower in the table. If we get a couple of positive results that will help build momentum. ”

Brown described the Tamworth display as the best of the season.

Harry Adams top scored with 59 as Stratford, having won the toss, finished on 207-9.

Jake Salmon (35), John Price (27) and David Bailey (25) were the other contributors.

Stratford sensed the win was theirs for the taking when the hosts were seven wickets down with around 12 overs left.

However, Stuart Burrows (88no) steered Tamworth to victory with eight balls to spare.

James Urquhart led the Stratford bowlers with 5-58 and Brown took 2-62.

“It was a good all-round performance and I left the ground feeling there were positives.

“The team spirit is really high. There’s a lot of belief within the lads that we can get out of this mess.”

Batsman Dane Kirby will make his first team debut at Harborne, replacing Sam Douthwaite.

Kirby has impressed with the 2nds and made 71 last week.

The 2nds continued their push for the Second XI South title by toppling leaders Pershore by 91 runs at Swans Nest Lane.

Kirby’s outstanding 71 helped Stratford to 228-8 and then Tom Whitting took 6-28 to dismiss Pershore for 137.

Josh Hickman’s high-flying side entertain Eastnor on Saturday.