Stafford CC picked up vital bonus points in a narrow home defeat to second place Sandyford CC in Division 2 on Saturday. With the weather wiping out all other games in the league Stafford batted first and were dismissed for 109 with Moe Ahmed (35) leading the way. Sri Lankan professional Matheesha Perera’s left arm spin (4-23) and Callum Harrison (3-33) exploited the conditions well. in reply Sandyford started strongly thanks to Mitchell Underwood (25) and at 49 for no wicket looked set for a comfortable victory, but Paul Freeman (5-49) and Luke Morien (3-36) led Stafford back into a winning position at 98-8. In a thrilling finish, Sandyford scraped to victory for the loss of 8 wickets with a vital outside edge missed by the umpire. However, Stafford will be buoyed by gaining 6 bonus points and crucially putting them 42 points clear of the relegation zone with two games remaining. Stafford travel to Alsager on Saturday for their final away fixture with a 12:00 start.
Stafford CC thirds suffered a heavy defeat against Newcastle & Hartshill thirds that left them all but relegated in Division 7. Stafford could only muster 70 all out with Jack Wilson (8-32) dampening any hopes of a vital victory. Newcastle cruised to their target for the loss of one wicket with Roger Howe (25*) top scoring. Skipper Dan Howe said “We’re disappointed with the result and we’ll keep on fighting but realistically we need a miracle to stay up now”. Stafford are 20 points from safety with two games to go.
4th XI Academy
The ever- improving Stafford CC fourth team Academy picked up their fifth victory of the season against Newcastle & Hartshill fourths in division 8 on Saturday. Newcastle were asked to bat first and young seamers Oscar Bell (3-32) and Matthew Green (3-30) helped the home side restrict the visitors to 131-8 with Freddie Woodfine (67 not out) in good touch. Stafford, who had only won one game in their previous two seasons, reached their target comfortably for the loss of five wickets in just 29.3 overs as the experienced Ali Martin (58) and the impressive Bell (18 not out) got the celebrations started.