Wellington 3rds lost their unbeaten record in league and cup after an afternoon to forget against Bishops Castle at Orleton Park.
After last Saturday’s champagne performance against Montgomery, and with eight wins from a possible eight this term, the 3rds were high on confidence before the game. However, Castle dominated from the first to the very last ball and ran away deserved winners by 176 runs.
Opener Richard Plant (76) took the attack to Wellington during the opening exchanges, immediately making a telling impression on the scoreboard, which had raced past a hundred for no wicket by the 15th over.
The Wellington attack missed the bite and control of last week’s match - no doubt in part due to the absence of Ben Keeble - although having said that, Plant was dropped twice during the opening period.
It took the home side until the first over after drinks to remove Castle’s main aggressor and register themselves on the scorecard, Jonny Black removing Plant of his off stump. However at 125 for 1, the damage had largely been done and Wellington knew a big total was in the offing.
Jonathan Price (54), batting at three for Castle, came in with the pressure off and began to inflict further damage on the Wellington attack. Meanwhile Captain Pitchford was struggling to stem the flow as each one of his bowlers seemed to be going the distance.
Only Jack Fishman, who bowled an excellent second spell (despite having run into the sightscreen whilst fielding), could take much credit from the first innings. He finished with overall figures of 3 for 61 off 14 overs.
Elsewhere, his colleagues all bore the brunt of the damage as Castle kicked on to register an imposing 272 for 5 off their 45 overs. One huge disappointment amongst many was the extras total of 47.
Wellington faced the prospect of a mammoth chase to keep alive their proud record at the top of Division Two. However the controlled opening bowling of Simon Palmer and Thomas Moulder picked up the crucial wickets of Richard Benting and Steve Pitchford as the hosts were reduced to 22 for 4 within the first ten overs.
matthew pitchford (30) and Ryan Barnett (18) offered a period of resistance in the middle of the innings, but once the former fell, the innings quickly came to a conclusion. At 96 all out, Wellington were well short of the target for a draw, never mind a victory.
The 3rds travel to Ellesmere next Saturday looking to put this bad day at the office behind them.