Wellington’s mission to remain in Birmingham League Division One next season was achieved in style thanks to a last-day five-wicket win at Himley. Going into the match, the men from Orleton Park required four points to secure their place for next term. As it happened, they achieved that feat before tea after picking up maximum bowling points. Stand-in captain Jack Shantry won a crucial toss on a green wicket and saw his side dismiss the hosts for just 126, in the process claiming three wickets himself. Jack Twigger and Martin Delaney also took three during an impressive display with the ball. After the break, a relaxed Wellington played without the threat of relegation looming over them and strode home to a comfortable win. Dan Lloyd hit 32 at the top of the order, whilst Shantry (33*) and Steve Lamb (27*) secured the victory, the latter hitting the winning runs in his final 1st XI match. Wellington completed the season in ninth place, leapfrogging Leamington with their final-day victory.
The good news kept coming for Wellington as the 4th XI were crowned champions of Shropshire Reserve Division Two after defeating Pontesbury II at Orleton Park. The home team restricted their opponents to 133-5 in the first innings after a tight bowling display. Faheem Chohan with 2-12 off 7 overs was the pick for Wellington. Matt Earley (42) and skipper Simon Topper (32*) controlled the run-chase for their side as they sealed a five-wicket win. Coupled with results elsewhere, the Wellington side were able to celebrate the league title after the match, marking a return to Reserve Division One at the first time of asking.
The 2nd XI went into their final match of the season with little to play for, but were able to end on a high with a home victory over bottom-of-the-table Lichfield. Sam Topper hit an unbeaten 53 for Wellington, who batted first in this one. Retiring opener Daniel Candlish and bowler Owais Abdul both added 30s as Martin Weill’s side hauled themselves up to 208-9. Matt Denver took 4-29 in the second innings as the home team ground out a 39-run win. Abdul and George Topper both completed good seasons with a two-wicket hauls that secured a seventh-placed finsih for their side.
Wellington III travelled to champions-elect Pontesbury with little to play for after securing their league status on the previous weekend. The young visiting side bowled and fielded well to restrict a powerful batting card to 166-9 in their 45 overs. Lewis Gough was the star of the show, claiming 6 for 48 during an inspired spell of leg-spin bowling. However, Wellington were blown away in the second innings. Pontesbury’s Mike Bellamore claimed 7 for 29 as he almost single-handedly bowled the team out for 99. James Flynn proved the only line of resistance, hitting 36.
On Sunday, the 5th XI continued their recent fine form with a win over Wem III, who were bowled out for 111 before tea. Captain Rich Atherden claimed four victims, whilst Akash Srinivasan chipped in with a three-fer. Martin Hatfield (51*) guided Atherden’s side to a six-wicket win.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th XI complete their seasons next weekend with matches against Ellesmere, Newtown II and Bomere Heath III respectively.
Updated 12:31 - 4 Jan 2018 by David Ross