3rds Reach Semis
Wellington 3rd team have reached the semi-final of the Shropshire T20 Competition after a seven-wicket win over Division Two rivals Willey.
Wellington won the toss at Orleton Park and inserted their visitors; and they got off to a solid start thanks to their young opening pair of Sam Topper and Jack Fishman.
Sam took two wickets and Jack three as Wellington flew out of the traps with excellent controlled bowling. In this opening period, the Wellington fielders backed up their bowlers just as well. The catching was, in the case of Ben Pilkington, effective if not pretty; meanwhile, Ben Gould's snatch at cover has to go down as an outstanding effort.
Regular opener Ben Keeble had unfortunately forgotten his bowling boots, so had to wait for them to be dropped off before coming into the attack. He bowled a rapid spell of 1 for 13 as Wellington continued to dominate. Dave Ross added another in the wicket column, and after a run-out from Fishman, Willey slumped to 44 for 8 and were simply looking to bat out their overs.
Willey's Rudd and Thomas both added 24 not out as the visitors mustered a rearguard in the latter stages; meanwhile Wellington let their standards slip in the field, albeit from an initially high level. However, 103 for 8 was a total they could - and should - still chase down.
Ben Gould (15) and Richard Benting (20) got Wellington off to a fast start, but nerves began to jangle amongst the home ranks when the pair were dismissed in quick succession and Corey Kernick fell for nought.
Dependable as ever, Saturday skipper Steve Pitchford was the man for this particular job and received superb support in the shape of Matthew Simmonds (16*). To the delight of an energised home crowd, the pair put on a match-winning partnership of 77.
Pitchy finished on 48, but survived two drops in the proces. However, he went on to make the Willey fielders pay, taking a liking to the short leg-side boundary as the innings went on.
Another solid performance from the 3rd team, who have now won eight games out of eight in league and cup this season.