STRATFORD will need to take advantage of a Bank Holiday fixture double to revive their flagging Birmingham League Division Three title challenge.
The Panthers slipped to fifth place after suffering a third defeat in a row – a 44-run loss at lowly Whitchurch.
They now lie 54 points behind leaders Stourbridge with five matches to play.
However, Chris Whelan’s side have the chance to regain some momentum when they visit third-bottom Milford Hall on Saturday and then travel to Lichfield on Bank Holiday Monday.
Last weekend, Stratford were skittled for just 112 as Whitchurch turned the tables on the visitors to secure victory to climb off the foot of the table.
The Shropshire side, having won the toss and batted first, recovered from losing an early wicket to put on 51 for the second wicket at the Heath Road ground through Ijaz Yousaf (21) and Sam Ellis (18).
The middle order continued to keep the runs flowing through top-scorer Salim Ahmed (30), Elliott Bowen (25) and Kristen Ali (25) but from 145-4 the innings collapsed.
The final six wickets fell for 11 runs and Whitchurch were all out for 156 in 43.5 overs. Dexter Purser was the pick of the bowlers with 4-18.
Stratford’s reply, however, was quickly struggling as Purser and Whelan fell for ducks to leave them 0-2.
Opener Luke Nardone rallied the innings with 60 off 72 balls but only No 10 batsman Sam Douthwaite (15no) managed double figures in the rest of the innings.
Stratford’s reply was ended in 29.3 overs, with Daniel Bowen the leading wicket-taker with 4-44 off ten overs.
Stratford seconds also lie fifth in their division – 2nd XI Division Two South – after defeating Streetly by five runs at Swans Nest Lane.
Having won the toss and batted, Stratford reached 231-6 in their 45 overs, with the top three batsmen all among the rus.
Openers Henry Hopkins (81) and Richard Smith (50) scored half-centuries, while skipper Ben Pigott added 30.
Streetly battled to keep up with the run rate – skipper Vickas Maher top-scoring with 69 – but their innings concluded on 226-6.
All five Stratford bowlers took wickets as Pigott took 2-52 and Harry Jolly, Lee Clarke, George Dick and Smith grabbed one apiece.
Stratford entertain Dorridge on Saturday.
Stratford Bards were humbled for just 21 all out as they suffered a crushing 310-run defeat at Adlestrop in Cotswold Hills League Division Three.
It was a completely dominant performance from title-chasing Adlestrop, who amassed a whopping 331-0 declared in just 30 overs. Sam Keen smashed an unbeaten 184 and Charlie Elliot 130 not out.
Stratford, who are rooted to the foot of the table, only had eight players and were all out for 21 in 13.2 overs.
The Bards are at home to Mickleton on Saturday.