Bretforton head to Shipston for early top-two clash

10:00am Thursday 29th May 2014

BRETFORTON face an early-season top-of-the-table clash on Saturday with a trip to fellow Cotswold Hills Cricket League Premier Division pacesetters Shipston-on-Stour.

The Station Road club have enjoyed a fine start to the 2014 campaign with three wins from their first four matches, the other being abandoned due to rain.

But this weekend they come up against a Shipston side boasting the same record but with just one more point on the board.

Although the season is barely a month old, it is shaping up to be a crucial encounter as third-placed Wellesbourne are already 21 points behind Bretforton.

Bret captain Lee Clarke said: “We are doing OK and are unbeaten. We expected to be mid-table but have had a good start and hopefully we can kick on a bit now.

“We have got a few young lads in the side, but you can’t get any better than being unbeaten.

“Shipston are a good team with a lot of experience, so it will be a big game for our boys.”

Bretforton have shared the runs around this season with Paul Jones making 115 in the 112-run victory over Catherine-de-Barnes, while Ashley Icke hit 80 in a six-wicket defeat of Long Itchington.

“Everybody has done their bit and we haven’t relied on anybody,” Clarke added. “Paul got a hundred but he didn’t play the next week.

“Everybody is scoring runs and taking wickets which, from a captain’s viewpoint, is good.”

Shipston are set to be without England fast bowling coach Dave Saker as the nation face their fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

Elsewhere, Harvington host Belbroughton in Worcestershire League Division One on Saturday still looking for their first victory since promotion.

Last season’s Division Two champions have failed to win any of their five matches this term, but remain above the relegation zone courtesy of picking up more bonus points.

Leaders Pershore visit Redditch, while bottom-of-the-table Evesham host Colwall.

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