Stafford lost out in a dramatic finish at Riverway against Barlaston in Division 2, losing agonisingly by 1 wicket. Stafford lost the toss and were asked to bat in tricky conditions after the rain. Opener Ashley Lunn hit a solid 61 in 122 balls but no one could stay with him until Moe Ahmed at number nine hit 31 not out. This crucial partnership took Stafford from 67-7 to 140 all out. Leigh Matthews with 7-43 did most of the damage for the visitors. In the reply opener Ibrahim Jiva hit 55 as Barlaston’s innings followed a similar pattern. Graham Beardmore 4-31 and Luke Morien 4-29 bowled well for Stafford. Morien thought he had took the vital 10th wicket caught behind to win the game with the visitors 9 down and 5 runs short, before he was called for a no ball. Barlaston’s last wicket pair then saw them over the line closing on 141-9 in 44.4 overs. Stafford will have to bounce back from this pain when they visit Meakins next Saturday.
Batting also proved tricky in the second team division four clash at Newcastle and Hartshill. Stafford lost a low scoring game by 52 runs. Newcastle were bowled out for 121 with skipper Sean Connolly 4-42 and Paul Wilkins 3-17 in the wickets before Stafford also lost quick wickets with only Mark Evans 34 standing out. Stafford were eventually 69 all out with Sebastian Smith claiming 4-6 to polish them off. Stafford entertain leaders Checkley at home this Saturday with a1-30pm start at Riverway.
The thirds had a dominant victory over Meakins 4th XI hitting 251-8 declared in 38.1 overs against a young side. Opener Iain Atherton top scored with 79 and the returning Ian Young hit 57. In form Bob Masters also chipped in with 35. The visitors were then shot out for only 32 as Ashish Bhan 3-6 and Joe Glayshier 3-10 claimed the bulk of the wickets.
The academy XI lost out at home to a more experienced Church Eaton 1st XI. Dan Smith top scored with 70 as Church Eaton hit 213-6 in 39 overs. Trevor Stewart picked up 3-25 and Robbie Cartlidge picked up 2 wickets.. Stafford were disappointingly 47 all out in reply as Andy Richards claimed 3 wickets for the visitors.