Shropshire Cricket Premier Division

Wem retained their Shropshire Cricket League Premier Division title after they won a tight encounter away at Ludlow on Saturday.

Sam Peate’s men will now go into the play-offs for a chance to be promoted to the Birmingham and District Premier Cricket League, facing off against three sides from around the West Midlands.

As ever, Peate decided to let his side set a target for their opponents, giving themselves the best possible chance of the maximum 25 points, but he would have been worried by his side’s total after they were bowled out for just 94.

Peate was first man out when he was bowled by Alfie Holliehead for a second-ball duck with Wem on two and the situation worsened for Wem when Harry Astley followed, caught first ball by skipper Ruel Brathwaite to leave Wem 2-2.

Harry Chandler was then caught by Daniel Ashley off Luke Miles as Wem slumped to 13-3 but a mini-revival from Rhys Mellings – called up from the second XI – and Matthew Cohen took Wem to 31 in what proved to an important partnership.

Mellings was then bowled by Okera Bascome for 11 from 30 balls before Wem suffered a quick loss of two wickets once more, ending up on 38-6 and facing a heavy defeat.

However, Ben Peel’s 24 from 29 balls, including four fours, helped another recovery for the visitors and they reached 94 before Hollieshead (4-16) polished off the tail.

In reply, Ludlow made a fine start, reaching 33-1, with James Astley taking Bascome’s wicket for four, but it was not until first change bowler Ben Peel came on that the breakthrough was made.

He removed Luke Miles for 20, caught by Matthew Cohen, before Joe Williams, who struggled to score at number three, was caught behind by Chandler for five off 34 balls.

Ludlow were then 41-4 as Josh Williams was out for four, again off James Astley’s bowling, while Tom Astley joined the party with the dismissal of Sam Roberts for 16 as Ludlow were five down, still needing 39.

Wem’s patience paid off as they chipped away at the wickets, with Ludlow eventually bowled out for 82, 13 runs short of their total as Tom Astley took three more to finish with 4-15. Danny Cohen finished wicketless.

Meanwhile, the second XI picked up a winning draw against Newtown’s second XI as they finished on 219-7 from their 45 overs.

Put into bat, Wem posted their total thanks mainly to skipper David Barnett’s 84 with Ian Gillespie scoring 35.

However, they finished three wickets short of their target as the visitors hung on for the draw, finishing 172-7 from their 45 overs.