STAFFORD CC firsts picked up a crucial and narrow 25 point win in an exciting finish against visiting Ashcombe Park, at Riverway on Saturday.
This division one clash turned out to be the battle of the professionals as Stafford’s Aparajit Singh proved the star with bat and ball for the home side to outshine the efforts of Ascombe’s Rizwan Haider.
It was a low scoring game on a damp track and batting first quick bowler Haider 4-33 soon had Stafford in trouble at 51-7.
Singh then came to the rescue hitting a vital 42 in 61 balls and some late order runs took Stafford to 123 all out.
In reply, Singh then followed this with 6-30 with his left arm spin as Haider hit 30 and Ross Salmon 32 not out but he ran out of partners when only ten runs short. Stafford eventually dismissed Ashcombe for 114 after 45.2 overs.
The Riverway men will have renewed confidence from this second win of the season and face a tough trip to Cheshire to face third placed Elworth on Saturday. Stafford go into the weekend in 11th spot and will look to continue the good work at Elworth.
In the Premier B section, Stafford seconds also had a good day recording their first win of the season by defeating Stone by 13 runs, also in a close finish.
Batting first, Stafford hit 163-7 on a green wicket thanks to a battling 50 from Sean Mason and 30 from Chanaka Ekanayake.
Their partnership proved crucial and Dave Cartlidge also chipped in with a late 25 not out. Lee James picked up 3-19 for Stone.
In the reply wicket keeper Steve Aston hit a fine 88 for Stone but once Sean Connolly 5-55 dismissed him Stafford managed to take the final few wickets.
Stafford seconds are at home this Saturday at Riverway with a 1-30pm start against Whitmore.
In the Stone Premier League Stafford thirds dominated the game against Moddershall but had to settle for a winning draw.
Stafford hit 215-4 declared off 38 overs. Bob Singh 62 and Steve Abbott 50 not out were in the runs.
Moddershall never attempted the chase but held out for 65 overs closing on 100-6. Seamer Luke Cooper picked up 4-26 when opening the attack.
In division one, Stafford fourths won by one wicket in another close finish at Onneley and Maer to remain top of the table.
The home side were bowled out for 89 thanks to Simon Waterhouse 4-37 and Neil Cameron 5-21.
Stafford stuttered in the reply Ethan Sheriff hitting 25 and Terry Jones 26 but found themselves nine down and it was left to captain Chris Charlesworth who kept his cool to finish the job in style with a four and a six when under pressure.
Stafford fifths lost out at home to Norton in Hales after the visitors hit 243-8 declared, with Rob Warrington hitting a fine 108 not out.
Youngsters Josh Rimmer 3-16 and left armer Waz Ahmed 3-47 performed well with the ball for Stafford.
The Riverway side were 126 all out in the reply with opener Andrew Fuller hitting a solid 55 and wicket keeper Steve Morton a useful late 29. Eddie Warrington 4-34 was the pick of Norton’s attack.