PAUL Bryan showed his 30-plus years of batting experience to guide Droitwich to a hard-fought six-wicket victory at Bromyard on Saturday.
The veteran left-hander crafted a patient 71 not out and provided the perfect foil for his younger attack-minded team-mates as Spa chased down their rain-affected target of 184.
David Lane and Connor Grant chipped in with 24 and 26 respectively before some lusty blows from Gary Cartwright sealed the win with three overs to spare.
Although stand-in captain Jake Young was dismissed to the second delivery of the innings, he earlier more than made up for it with the ball as he returned remarkable figures of 2-7 from his ten overs of leg spin.
Phil Thomas claimed the prize wicket of former Sri Lankan test player Dinush Fernando early on, which along with another excellent fielding display, helped the visitors to another maximum points haul.
In the reverse fixture at St Peter’s Fields, Spa’s Seconds completed a comfortable 127-run win against Bromyard and importantly reeled in one of their promotion rivals.
Craig Hunt top scored with 50 as the home side recorded 227-7. Their Herefordshire opponents were never really in the hunt after an impressively fiery opening spell from teenager Pete Lancashire, which preceded Martin Woodward grabbing 4-43 and captain Karl Goddard sealing victory with three wickets in one over.
After no centuries before the start of the season, Ash Walton claimed his third ton of the campaign with 106 not out in a seven-wicket success for the Thirds against Stone.
Droitwich Firsts travel to Burghill & Tillington tomorrow (Saturday) looking to keep themselves in the top three.