CRICKET: NORTON Lindsey returned to winning ways at the weekend as all three team recorded victories.
The first team hosted rivals Alcester & Ragley – and after losing the toss they were put into the field.
Alcester’s decision to bat soon backfired though as the visiting side were bowled out for just 142 in 37 overs with Rory Baker, Richard Blythe and Glenn Lacey doing the damage.
The Norton reply stuttered as Martin Perfect (4) and Steve Rushton (4) departed in rapid succession – leaving the score on 11/2 in the third over.
Blythe (32) then joined opener Gavin Shephard (57) to put together a valuable stand of 63 to get the innings back on track.
Bowlers Steve Capron and Tim Jackson delivered economical spells, but the introduction of Warbrick and Dave Turner caused significant problems for the home side.
A succession of batsmen threw their wickets away, leaving Baker and Lacey to scratch around and finish the job with 7 wickets down.
The second team travelled into deepest Gloucestershire to face the previously unbeaten Stanway.
A run-fest of nearly 600 runs saw the visitors return victors by the slimmest of margins.
Skipper Dan Fell won the toss and asked the hosts to field.
The opening pair of Fell and Mark White made a steady start until White (30) departed with the score on 75 in the 13th over.
This brought the in-form Conor Green to the middle.
In the space of 23 overs, he and Fell took on the bowling to produce a commanding stand of 144 runs.
Fell raced past his century, and was dismissed for 123 in the 36th over.
Green (85) and Steve Bliwert (32*) pushed the score further until Green was caught out with the score on 267.
Finishing on 295-5 off their 45 overs, Norton were confident they had set a stiff target for their hosts.
Stanway openers Smiley (60) and Haines (84) responded well with a confident opening stand of 112 off the first 21 overs.
The pressure began to tell and fielding mistakes began to creep in, despite chances being created by good bowling from Bliwert and Green.
Powell (53) kept up with the rate – and when he departed in the 34th over with the score on 201 the home team, with 8 wickets in hand, were favourites to win.
Varun Goel produced the crucial breakthroughs in the 42nd over creating two catches for Tony Walter, reducing Stanway to 258-4.
Steve Dellow then dismissed Townsend for a duck in the next over to set up an exciting finish.
New batsmen Clarke and Fowler pushed hard, but were left with six to win off the last ball.
They managed only a single giving Norton the win, which keeps them in a strong promotion slot at the top of Division Three.
After their excellent start, the third team have no league action until June 10.
They therefore organised a friendly against an Earlswood 5th team.
Playing at Snitterfield, excellent bowling from Ian Blaynee, Nick Mullen, Guy Mullen, and Tim Fell dismissed the visitors for 79 in 40 overs.
Only Earls (20) managed to get into double figures.
Norton cruised to a 7 wicket victory in just 24.3 overs, thanks to Roger Mann (20), John Maundrell (12 no), and Bob Penrose (10 no), assisted by 34 extras.