HIMBLETON slumped to an 85-run defeat to a strong and youthful Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social on Saturday.
Not even a Herculean bowling effort from Mike Rogers (5-35) could prevent a loss which left the Meadow Boys still seeking a first win of the summer and leaves them precariously placed just above the Worcestershire County League Division Two drop zone a quarter of the way into the season.
In a game reduced to 45 overs a side, Himbleton looked in charge as the visitors slumped to 97-5 off 33 overs, Rob Perrins (1-48) having bowled a tidy 15-over spell and Paul Guy (2-41) having picked up two key wickets.
But Joe Sidaway (73) had other ideas, crashing six sixes mainly over deep midwicket as he moved his side into a dominant position.
He was well supported by Stuart Alston (39), who took advantage of a bowling attack shorn of Sam Jenkins (1-48) midway through his second spell, to strike a further four maximums.
Rogers shouldered the burden in the final overs collecting an impressive five wicket haul as the visitors took 104 off the last 12 overs to finish on 201.
Himbleton’s reply began steadily but the loss of the top three batsman to a trio of marginal LBW decisions meant they were fighting hard to stay in the game at 70-3 at the halfway stage.
However, the middle order collapsed to the probing attack of Tom Blunt (3-27) and Alfie Mayall (3-10) and only a few lusty blows from the lower order got the Meadow Boys up to a total of 116.
Opener Richard Sugden (35) top scored for the hosts.
Skipper Stuart Dickenson was sanguine in his comments after the game.
“We came up against a good side, a side which ought to be challenging for honours at the end of the season,” he said.
“Although we chose to bowl first after all the overnight rain I felt we got the worst of the wicket as it deteriorated quickly after tea.
“And some of the decisions against us could have easily gone our way.
“All of which is frustrating but we live to fight another day.
“The games are now win-lose which suits our approach more, so I’m looking forward to this stage of the season.”
Himbleton travel to Bartestree & Lugwardine on Saturday.