THE COMBINED experience of seasoned campaigners Paul Bryan and Ian Cottrill guided Droitwich home to a fourth Worcestershire County League Division Two victory in five games with a three-wicket success at Enville.
Spa made hard work of their win and were indebted to a dogged fifth-wicket partnership of 81 runs between the veteran batsmen after they slumped to 46-4.
In a hard fought game, Droitwich appeared to have complete control of the contest as they reduced their hosts to 90-7 as spinners David Stephens and Martyn Davies applied the shackles with ten-over returns of 3-23 and 2-23 respectively.
Stubborn lower order resistance enabled Enville to post 158-8 from 50 overs – a total which should not have been competitive taking into account a flat wicket and lightning fast outfield.
The Spa reply started at quite a pace and there were 46 runs on the scoreboard by the sixth over, albeit for the loss of four wickets.
Bryan and skipper Cottrill then painstakingly stalled the hosts’ momentum in a crucial partnership that put their side within 30 runs of their target before the latter departed for 37.
Despite two more wickets falling, the obstinate Bryan remained steadfast to finish 47 not out as victory was clinched in the 41st over.
The Seconds survived a middle order collapse after opener Dave Huntbatch’s 79 to reach 200 and set up a 62-run win over Feckenham in Division One Second XI.
There was a derby defeat for the Thirds in Division Five as Cutnall Green ran out six-wicket winners with Neil Evans taking five wickets for the second successive weekend to dismiss Spa for just 131.
On Saturday, the Firsts entertain Himbleton and the Seconds travel to Hagley while the Thirds and Fourths take on Pershore and Bromyard respectively.