MARTYN DAVIES shone with both bat and ball to inspire Droitwich Spa to an 86-run victory against fourth placed Bromyard – a result which educes the margin between the two sides to just seven points in Worcestershire County League Division Two.
Batting first, a Spa victory initially appeared unlikely as the home side’s top order was blown away by a high class new ball spell by South African Josh Van Rensburg, who sent Max Young and the brothers Stuart and Paul Bryan back to the pavilion for ducks with just eight runs on the scoreboard.
At 31-4 and with opening batsman Davies hampered by an ankle injury, the visitors certainly looked the more likely victors at this stage.
Spa’s skipper Ian Cottrill then brought a measured approach to the crease as the pair rebuilt the innings in style.
The experienced duo added a crucial 159 runs before Davies holed out for a splendid 100 from 123 balls with 18 fours.
Cottrill soon followed for a fine 76 but useful lower order contributions from Jack Eaton (25) and Carl Thomson (25) completed the Spa recovery with an impressive 259-7 posted.
Droitwich made a breakthrough with the first ball of the Bromyard innings as captain Edd Oliver was dismissed by Young, who also claimed the key wicket of the dangerous Zahid Saeed.
Davies then took centre stage once again in a spell of 5-46 as his slow left arm drifters ran through the visitors’ middle order – a sharp caught and bowled removing Van Rensburg for 33 and with that the Herefordshire side’s victory chances.
Ben Whittenbury (51) provided some tail-end resistance as Bromyard dug in for the losing draw.
With overs running out, Cottrill turned to spinner Dave Stephens for his second spell and it proved the correct decision as the veteran took the final wicket to seal Spa’s win with 15 balls to spare.
The Seconds will be glad they won’t have to face Stourport batsman Spencer Colley again this season.
He followed up his 76 earlier in the summer with 126 not out to help his side to a commanding nine-wicket win in Division One Second XI.
Captain Karl Goddard hit 50 not out in the Droitwich score of 174-7 which Colley made light work of as Stourport overhauled inside 28 overs.
The Thirds lost by six wickets to champions elect Highley in Division Five whilst the Fourths’ last wicket pair clung on for a losing draw in their final fixture in Division Seven at Worcester, where Daud Ali hit 136 for the hosts.
On Saturday the Firsts travel to Wormelow, the Seconds welcome Worcester Nomads and the Thirds make the short journey to Cutnall Green.
On Sunday, Spa hosts its annual six-a-side tournament which provides great cricket entertainment with the bar open and refreshments served from mid-morning onwards.