ANOTHER poor batting display saw Droitwich Spa slip to the bottom of the Worcestershire County League Division One table following their 98-run defeat to Cookley.
After winning the toss, Spa started very brightly and reduced the opposition to 40-4 before Jonathan Stanaway (39) and Paul Thomas (88 not out) rescued their side with a century fifth-wicket stand.
From their ten overs, Phil Thomas grabbed 2-19 and Jack Sealey 2-30 while Jack Eaton collected 4-24 in the final overs of the innings which included a team hat-trick featuring a stumping, run out and caught behind.
Other highlights included an excellent first team debut for Joe Smith, who bowled with great control and thought in his 10-over spell which went for 45 runs.
With their key batsmen present, Spa would have been reasonably confident about chasing down their target of 201 and they were most likely on top at 66-2 with Jordan Renau and Greg Mazgajczyk looking reasonably set.
However, when Danny Soley removed them both in quick succession, the bowler quickly exposed Droitwich’s rookie middle order in a spell of 5-25 which sent the reply into nosedive as Spa folded to 102 all out.
Cookley were also the victors in the Seconds clash at St Peter’s Fields, where the home side suffered a five-wicket defeat but remain six points ahead of their conquerors after this Division Two Second XI promotion clash.
Captain Karl Goddard led from the front with 83 not out in the home total of 178-8 in which he shared a crucial sixth-wicket stand of 62 with Lewis Keen (28).
The skipper then picked up 3-27 from ten overs which included the dismissal of top scorer Matthew Goode for 56 to set up an exciting finish.
With five wickets down and 25 needed from the last five overs, Cookley’s sixth-wicket pairing of Matt McCann (38 not out) and Liam Platt (16 no) kept their cool to see their side home with six balls to spare.
The Thirds and Fourths were both on the receiving end of hammerings from Barnt Green.
Youngster Hayden Froggatt’s superb 105 not out was the backbone of Green’s 325-3 as Spa’s Thirds used nine bowlers in a 129-run loss at St Peter’s Fields in Division Five.
Captain Darren Cullen also weighed in with 85.
Joe Heywood then hit 67 in the Droitwich reply of 196-7.
A very young and inexperienced Fourths side were shot out for 78 in Division Five Second XI with Bob Clarke claiming 4-15.
Green had earlier made 252-5 despite a miserly opening nine-over spell from Jaycey Foster which went for just 23 runs and three wickets for Archie Fenn.
On Saturday the Firsts begin the second half of the season with the visit of promotion-chasing Worcester while the Seconds make the long trek to Wormelow.
The Thirds and Fourths meet Stourbridge.