Whitchurch skipper Alex Huxley insists his side has already “drawn a line” under Saturday’s controversial defeat at near rivals Wem – and that they are now 100 per cent focused on the last nine games of what they hope will be a championship season.

The Heath Road men went down by 10 runs at Wem on Saturday, with last man Simon Bowen given out obstructing the field when he was hit by the ball as he dived to make his ground for a short single.

The result saw Whitchurch’s lead cut to 13 points at the top of the Shropshire League Premier Division.

“Wem bowled very well in partnerships, and because of that they probably deserved to win the game,” said Huxley.

“The pitch was a bit tricky and we didn’t want to be chasing many more than 120.

“When we had them 93-8 we thought we were on course, but they added more than 40 for the last two wickets.”

Huxley was reluctant to blame his batsmen for the defeat, despite several top-order failures in recent weeks.

“No-one gave his wicket away – it was just one of those things,” he said. “We’ve already drawn a line under the game, and will be looking to bounce back at home to Madeley on Saturday.”

After Sam Ellis took two early wickets for Whitchurch, Chris Peel steadied the ship for Wem with a fine 31.

Wickets continued to fall at the other end, however, and it was the ninth-wicket partnership between James Astley (24) and Danny Cohen (23) which proved decisive in the final analysis as Wem reached 140.

Ellis finished with 3-19, Vansh Bajaj 3-12 and Ijaz Yousuf 3-26.

A short break for rain gave Whitchurch a revised target of 140, but they were soon four wickets down.

A stand of more than 80 between Yousuf (47) and Ellis (37) gave the visitors hope, but when they fell in quick succession, Wem were back in control. And Bowen’s dismissal came with the score on 130.

James Astley was the most successful Wem bowler with 3-24, and there were two wickets each for Danny Cohen and Tom Astley.

Batsman Charles Adams has returned to Whitchurch and goes straight into the team to face Madeley (1pm).

Elliott Bowen and Dave Weaver also return to the side, with Ed Watson-Jones, John Peers and Simon Dimelow missing from last week’s line-up.

n In the 3rd XI Shropshire Cricket League Sunday Division One, Whitchurch Thirds were well beaten by Knockin’s Thirds.

Knockin put up a defendable total of 210 in their 30 overs as their batsmen kept up a good rate of scoring with Ant James (33 not out) and Thomas Dix (33 not out) closing out the innings with an unbeaten 70-run partnership.

The visitors were then dominant with the ball, Joe Kynaston was the star of the show taking four wickets as Whitchurch were all out for 90.