Whitchurch took another step towards the Shropshire League title on Saturday when they claimed majority points in their top-of-the-table clash versus Ludlow.

The match was reduced to 25 overs a side due to rain, with Ludlow winning the toss and asking the home side to bat first.

Before play began, a minute’s silence was held for local cricket stalwart Mike Robinson, who passed away last Friday following a short illness, aged 65.

Mr Robinson, who worked as a journalist for the Herald, was a long-standing chairman of Oswestry Cricket Club and a well-known figure in Shropshire cricket.  

Once play began, the Heath Road hosts made a good start with the ever-impressive youngster Sam Ellis getting the innings off to a flying start as he struck 36 from just 23 balls at the top of the order.

Ellis along with Vansh Bajaj had moved the score along to 84-1 before the former was removed by Joe Williams (4-47).

Whitchurch then failed to put together any further telling partnerships with Sam Edwards taking three wickets, but a brilliant solo effort from all-rounder Elliot Bowen (44no from 26) saw the hosts finish on a competitive 179-9 from their 25 overs.

In reply, the visitors were quickly on the backfoot courtesy of Sam Ellis (2-60) and Dan Bowen (1-36) who each picked up an early wicket, Bowen claiming his 68th league wicket of the season.

Ludlow number three Jack Griffiths (36) and number five Glen Whittaker (27) re-built the innings to see their side to 88-3 and the game in the balance.

Ruel Brathwaite hit a brutal 33 from 18 balls but the pressure of the chase brought about three run-outs which stunted the away side’s momentum and they ended painfully short of their target, finishing on 168-8, 11 runs shy of the hosts score.

The result saw Whitchurch gain 13 points and Ludlow 10 as Whitchurch stretched their lead at the top to 17 points with two games to play.

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