Shropshire Cricket League Premier Division

Wem have moved a step closer to successfully defending their Shropshire Cricket League Premier Division title after they won the battle of the top two on Saturday.

Sam Peate's men faced Worfield knowing victory would given them a huge advantage at the top of the division with just two games left – albeit one against nearest rivals Whitchurch on Saturday – and the Wem men delivered when it counted in a tight thriller.

The visiting skipper Dale Quiney decided his side would set Wem a target to chase and he would have been feeling anxious about their time in the middle as the hosts restricted their scoring – Worfield finishing on 163-7 from their 50 overs.

Both Worfield openers made solid starts but were soon removed by Danny Cohen and Alex Ollerenshaw – Tom Whitney for 13 and Oliver Gilks for 18 – while Ollerenshaw removed number four batsmen Will Cook for four.

But while Wem chipped away at one end with Cohen adding Michael Delacovo to his total for 18, trapping him lbw, Karl Quiney plundered runs at the other end as he reached a half-century.

Keeper Harry Chandler was in the game for two wickets running; first, a stumping off Raj Biswa as Ryan Quiney departed for six and then Tom Astley had Joseph Arnold caught behind for eight.

Ollerenshaw completed the wickets with a fine run out of Ian walker for four.

But Karl Quiney continued to scored and he was left unbeaten on 79 not out.

In reply, Chandler found a return to form at the exact right time but he was denied a much-deserved half-century when he was bowled by Matthew Rees for 49.

However, Wem needed to rely on all their players to chip in with totals after Peate, still opening up, was bowled by Delacovo for four while the ever-reliant Biswa was dismissed for a duck.

But a 21 from Harry Astley and and 25 from Matthew Cohen before they were dismissed by Delacovo and Rees respectively steadied the ship for Wem as they advanced steadily towards their total.

Martyn Davies's 14 and Ben Peel's 15 not out were vital contributions as Wem reached their target in the 38th over and with two wickets left.

Rees' s 4-31 was the pick of the away bowling.

It means that victory at Whitchurch on Saturday should all-but-confirm the title.

Meanwhile, the Wem second XI thrashed Whitchurch's seconds, bowling them out for 29 as Andy Mortimer's 5-8 from eight overs did the damage.

Ben Parry and Nick bell grabbed two each.

Rhys and Euan Mellings knocked the 31 off for no wickets.