THE BEST is yet to come – that’s the message from Whitchurch chairman of cricket Iain Marsh as his First XI sit 37 points clear at the top of the Shropshire League Premier Division.

Whitchurch crushed bottom-of-the-table Albrighton by 142 runs at Heath Road on Saturday to strengthen their grip on pole position.

But Marsh still feels there’s room for improvement.

“We’re obviously very pleased with the way things are going, but I still think we haven’t played to our best yet,” he said. “On Saturday we were struggling a bit at 119-5, but Elliott Bowen came in and batted well and we were soon up past 250 again.

“That’s the way it’s gone – if we’ve been in trouble, someone has come along and rescued us.”

One of the reasons for this, Marsh feels, is the tremendous team spirit that has built up so far this season. “We’ve got more lads from Whitchurch in the team than for the past few seasons and it’s paying off,” he said.

“They’re all playing for each other.”

Whitchurch, without skipper Alex Huxley for three weeks, elected to bat on Saturday but soon lost opener Ed Watson-Jones for a duck.

Vansh Bajaj (58), Ijaz Yousuf (29) and Sam Ellis (21) gave the innings some early momentum before Elliott Bowen hammered 69 off 60 balls to really step up the pace.

Steve Dimelow then added 44 off 34, and Whitchurch had reached 274 by the time the last wicket fell in the 45th over.

Ellis then blasted out the first three batsmen for ducks, and there was no way back for Albrighton.

Dan Bowen, called up for Shropshire on his own ground the next day, finished off the tail, as Albrighton were dismissed for 132. Ellis finished with 4-44 and Bowen 3-46.

- For a full round up of the local cricket scene, see this week's Whitchurch Herald