The 1st XI’s encounter with Smethwick became a 30-overs-per-side contest in which, having lost the toss, Wellington batted first. The home side found themselves in all sorts of trouble after slumping to 9 for 4 in the opening exchanges as the visiting side demonstrated why they led the league standings going into the game. Martin Delaney (43) went on the counter-attack for Wellington, hitting a flurry of boundaries. However, his side could only muster 97, being bowled out in the 26th over. Two wickets for Wendell Wagner landed Smethwick in a spot of bother at 48 for 5 after the break, but the champions-elect steered themselves to a four-wicket victory with seven balls remaining. Wellington were left to rue their poor performance with the bat and still require four points at Himley next Saturday to preserve their Division One status.
On the second ground, Wellington III hosted Bishops Castle in what became another 30-a-side match. Bowling first, the home side saw the opposition get away from them in the first innings, posting a handsome total of 172 for 5. Steve Pitchford (59 not out) and Ian Murphy (31) led the Wellington reply, but Castle's target proved to be out of sight. The match ended in a draw with the home team on 126 for 5.
All the other Wellington games this weekend were abandoned after rain. At Cannock and Rugeley, the 2nd team were defending a meagre total of 109 after losing the toss on a sticky wicket. Wellington had the hosts 61 for 4 when the game was called-off. Meanwhile, the 4th team faced their counterparts at Shifnal and were 79 for 8 when the rains ended the match. Unfortunately, conditions did not improve on Sunday. The 5th team home fixture against Frankton 3rds was abandoned at tea with the hosts having declared on 140 for 9. Jason Whitley and Michael Francis took three wickets each.
Updated 12:31 - 4 Jan 2018 by David Ross