IT was a case of what might have been for Droitwich Spa as they slipped to a frustrating 17-run defeat against Bredon and into the bottom half of the Worcestershire County League Division Two table.
A dismal top order batting display came after Spa won the toss and reduced their opponents to 19-3 and 149-9 before allowing them to crucially reach 191.
In perfect batting conditions, the home side slipped to 56-6 in reply before some gallant tail end resistance threatened to pull off an unlikely victory.
Key to their efforts was No.8 Carl Thomson who batted fluently and initially with Paul Bryan, first team debutant Adam Keen and then Dave Stephens, built several partnerships which edged Spa towards their target.
Even Thomson’s dismissal for his maiden first team 50 didn’t end the contest as last man Joe Smith and Stephens added 26 largely untroubled runs for the final wicket before the former was caught behind for a spirited 21.
Earlier Spa had been held at bay by Martin Hill who, despite batting for most of his innings with a runner, contributed a very useful 75 and featured in the last wicket partnership that added 42 vital runs to Bredon’s final score.
Young Spa bowlers Matt Gurr and Keen impressed in their returns of 3-28 and 1-24 respectively.
Colwall’s Richard Howitt was the difference as the Seconds went down to a 101-run defeat in Division One Second XI.
Howitt, who has a first-class century to his name and represented several Minor Counties and Nottinghamshire Seconds, stroked an unbeaten 108 before taking 3-13 from ten overs.
The hosts hit 256-6, despite a miserly ten overs from the returning Martin Woodward who claimed 1-13.
The Droitwich reply never really got going following a slow start against the nagging line and length of Damien Berry, whose opening ten overs brought an impressive return of 3-15.
Spa eventually reached 155-9.
Droitwich’s only winners of the weekend were the Thirds who defended a score of only 154 to beat Cookhill by 17 runs in Division Five with useful contributions with both bat and ball by under-14s Danny Mazgajczyk and Benjamin Foster.
The Fourths were thwarted by Old Elizabethans’ Guy Muspratt who hit 17 fours and four sixes in an impressive 113 and helped the hosts to recover from 61-6 to post 199 in Division Seven.
He was one of a trio of victims for Mark Osborne in a spell of 3-3 in 3.4 overs which ended the home side’s innings.
In a similarly shaky start, Spa slumped to 36-7 as Mike Green rampaged through the visiting top order on his way to a five-fer as OEs secured an 89-run victory.
On Saturday the Firsts and Seconds play their final win/lose fixtures against Belbroughton and Pedmore respectively.
The Thirds and Fourths both meet teams from Harborne.