STRATFORD will head to title rivals Coventry & North Warwickshire on Saturday in upbeat mood after a stunning bowling display wrapped up a thrilling victory against Streetly.
The Panthers remain third in the Warwickshire League Premier Division, but now lie just seven points behind new leaders Walmley. Cov & NW sit fourth, eight points behind Stratford.
Stratford were skittled for just 131 at home to Streetly after opting to bat, but their bowlers stepped up to dismiss the visitors for 118 in the penultimate over.
Mohammed Hassan top-scored for Streetly, who looked well placed at 100-6 with a 42-run stand between Hassan and Anaesh Patel (13).
But after Ben Pigott dismissed the latter, the last four wickets fell for 18 runs.
Fit-again Tom Grundy led the way with 4-28 off ten overs, with two wickets apiece for Dexter Purser (2-18) and Pigott (2-22). There was also a wicket for James Urquhart on his 100th appearance for the club.
Stratford’s innings was held together by Gareth Langman, who hit 42 off 55 deliveries but wickets fell at regular intervals.
Luke Nardone, batting at No 9, took the score past 100 with 21 before he was ninth out. The main destroyers were Waqar Dad (3-33) and Steve Hinton (3-23).
Stratford 2nds suffered a six-wicket defeat at Massey Ferguson in Division Four after century-maker Sourabh Baja proved the difference.
The hosts’ wicketkeeper-opener hit an unbeaten 104 as Massey chased down Stratford’s 209 all out with more than 15 overs in hand.
Having decided to bat, Stratford’s Richard Sykes (25) and Alex Beesley (25) got starts but could not build on them and it needed Richard Smith (43) and Henry Smith (39), batting at seven and eight, to provide some late momentum to take them to 209 all out in the 44th over. Daniyai Sherazi was the pick of the bowlers with 4-30.
Stratford, who lie second from bottom, entertain Knowle Village on Saturday.
Stratford Bards skipper Will Noble smacked an unbeaten 156 but still finished on the losing side against Bidford in Cotswold Hills League Division Four.
The Bards had been set a daunting target after Bidford opener Craig Wiggett (119 not out off 116 balls) and Tom Edkins (67 not out off 62) steered their side to 261-2 off 40 overs with a 146-run third-wicket partnership.
Noble carried his bat for 156 not out, with 15 fours and five sixes, and youngster Joe Leaver hit an unbeaten 37 in a fifth-wicket stand worth 125, but the innings ended on 233-4.
The Bards visit Rowington Seconds on Saturday.