Leaders Shipston power to win over title rivals

3:00pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

SHIPSTON-on-Stour Cricket Club made a big statement of intent in the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division title race.

The leaders, who visit Leamington thirds on Saturday, thrashed early championship rivals Bretforton by 141 runs at London Road after skittling the visitors for 75 in reply to 216-5.

Influenced by a damp wicket, Bret captain Alex Evans asked Shipston to bat first but his attack bowled short and were punished by openers Julian Morris and Jack Murphy.

Murphy was dropped twice in the 30s, resulting in 89 runs being posted before the first wicket fell when Morris (39) got an inside-edge to a Paul Jones inswinger.

Justin Saker (5) was quickly tempted by the guile of Evans and caught by Joe Cafaero.

But Murphy (90) bossed the bowlers, adding 63 with Ben Cox for the third wicket before being beaten by a rare pitched-up ball from Steve Edghill (2-28).

Cox (30 not out) then took over the attacking mantle.

Bret's reply started disastrously with Jon Walker having Alex Icke (0) caught behind by Murphy and Paul Davis (0) trapped lbw from the second and third balls of the innings respectively.

Walker claimed the key wicket of Jones (3), bowling him with his eighth delivery, and Bret were reeling at 4-3.

Walker and skipper Paul Cross showed the value of bowling a full length with the ball seaming both ways.

Edghill offered resistance but wickets tumbled with Cross bowling Andrew Stanley (3) and Hay (2) falling lbw to Walker.

Walker claimed his fifth victim when Edghill (18) top-edged a skier to wicketkeeper Murphy.

When Cafaero (14) found Cox at long-on, Walker had recorded his best league figures of 6-31 from nine overs.

Cross bowled S Clarke (8) before Dave Murphy and Marcus Ireland bagged a wicket each to end the innings in the 24th over.

Meanwhile, Bourton Vale collected their first win of the West of England Premier League Gloucester Division season, beating Woodmancote by 48 runs.

Rob Langley scored 53 and Ben Hughes 47no.

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