WITH their Worcestershire County League Division One status looking precarious after a 102-run defeat at Feckenham, Droitwich Spa’s clash with relegation rivals Pedmore this weekend is a must-win.
Bottom-of-the-table Spa find themselves 53 points adrift of Saturday’s opponents after one of their worst performances of the season which was marred by poor bowling and batting as well as dropped catches.
Only the spin of captain Martyn Davies (1-17) managed to stop the home side posting more than 300, although teenager Joe Smith also deserved credit for the control he managed in his ten-over stint of 1-42.
Feckenham’s opener Will Davies took full advantage of having wickets in hand in the closing overs to hit a superb 137.
On a good wicket, the target of 268 was by no means unachievable and, despite the early loss of Greg Mazgajczyk for a duck, Davies (16) and Jordan Renau (31) looked to attack the home side’s bowlers at every opportunity.
However, their eagerness got the better of them as they both perished looking for boundaries when the run rate was still manageable.
Their departures, coupled with that of Ash Fearnall (0), left Droitwich floundering at 60-4 – a position which they were unable to come back from, despite 52 from Max Young who fell to a wonder catch from Feckenham’s New Zealander, Travis Bartles.
Late cameos from Craig Hunt (15) and Jonny Keen (19) prolonged the inevitable before the final wicket fell for 165 in only the 32nd over.
By contrast, the Seconds enjoyed a convincing 121-run win over Enville to keep them in the Division Two Second XI promotion places.
All of the top order contributed as Spa amassed 291-5 from their 50 overs with Dave Huntbatch following up last weekend’s ton with another belligerent knock of 83.
Martin Keen made 69.
Enville lost two early wickets in their reply to the spin and speed of Dave Stephens and Ollie Sankey respectively and never recovered.
Ash Walton picked up three wickets and there were two victims apiece for Stephens and 15-year-old Adam Keen, who conceded just 18 runs from his eight-over spell.
The Thirds tasted victory for the first time this season as they won their Division Five basement battle with Enville by 68 runs.
After being asked to bat first, a fourth-wicket partnership of 104 between Mark Smith and Callum Goddard proved crucial as Droitwich recovered from 27-3 to post 246-8.
Goddard played some excellent shots and looked set for a century before unfortunately holing out for 81.
Enville were never really in the hunt as they were limited to 178-7 after a mesmerising spell of 3-18 from leg-spinner Matt Blackmore.
Meanwhile, The Fourths enjoyed a one-wicket victory over Bromyard in a mid-season friendly.
On Saturday the Seconds travel to Lye whilst Harborne provide the opposition for the Thirds and Fourths.