PREES maintained their title bid in Division Three of the Shropshire County Cricket League with a winning draw at Oswestry Thirds in a real thriller on Sunday.
South African ace Rihann Van De Merwe fell just seven runs short of yet another century as he led the visitors to 204-9 in their allotted 40 overs.
Van De Merwe blasted six huge sixes, and looked set to complete his fifth league ton of the season when he was bowled by Alex Roberts for 93.
Billy Edwards weighed in with 33 and skipper Steve Williams 22 as Prees set Oswestry a formidable total to chase.
Michael O’Reilly was the pick of the home bowlers with 4-49.
But Oswestry had a batting star of their own in James O’Reilly who hit an unbeaten 104 and with Martin Chambers adding 34 and Alex Roberts 26, they ended six runs short on 198-7.
Williams and Van De Merwe each took three wickets for Prees who gained a 14-13 points split.
Prees are at home to St Georges Thirds on Saturday (1.30).
Calverhall put up a disappointing performance as they lost by 100 runs against bottom-of-the-table Newpord 3rds, also in Division Three.
Newport batted steadily to post 203-8 - Chris Rowe was the pick of the Calverhall bowlers with 3-42, and Ryan Wilkinson took 2-28.
In Calverhall’s reply, only Rowe (24) reached 20 as they fell to 103 all out.
This Saturday Calverhall will be at home to Chelmarsh (1.30).
n Whitchurch’s first and second XI games against Brewood were both abandoned without a ball being bowled as was the Thirds’ fixture against Alberbury.
This Saturday Whitchurch visit Eastnor in Division Two of the Birmingham League with the seconds at home to Penn Seconds. Whitchurch Thirds are at home to Worfield Thirds on Sunday.
There was no start either to Wem’s first and second XI games against Ludlow.