Leamington’s recent run of good results came to an end on Saturday when they suffered a narrow one-wicket defeat at the hands of fellow Birmingham League Division One title-challengers Old Hill.
Leamington travelled to the Black Country missing a handful of regulars, who were attending a wedding, and the Spa men lost a couple of early wickets as Old Hill got on top.
A partial recovery ensued, but another brace of wickets again saw Leamington in the mire at 56 for five.
Stand-in captain Grant Thornton joined Shahbaz Alam and they set about a recovery with a mixture of sound defence and selective hitting.
Alam was bowled by Patel for a patient 57, while Thornton went on to make 64 before become one of three wickets for the league’s leading wicket-taker Nigel Davenport.
Leamington took tea with a total of 183 all out, a score that looked a little below par on a wicket taking some turn.
In contrast, Old Hill made a solid start, putting on 67 for the first wicket and only losing their third wicket with the score on 149.
Leamington’s triumvirate of spinners had already set about Old Hill, however, with Jamie Marsh removing Old Hill’s top three.
Nabeel Asghar took wickets four and five as panic set in Old Hill’s ranks.
The wily Neil Smith (4-25) carried on the threat, taking four cheap scalps and when the ninth wicket fell with the scores level, Leamington sensed they could snatch a tie from certain defeat.
Indeed, Old Hill risked a sharp single but the ball was thrown to the wrong end allowing the home team to sneak home by one wicket.
Barnt Green 2nds’ ninth-wicket pair hung on to deny Leamington 2nds victory on Saturday.
With Jacques Banton absent, Karan Gour (7 not out) and Sam Fitzmaurice (11 not out) guided Green to 192 in reply to Leamington’s 243 all out (Billy Hallett 68, Joseph Somra 68, David Hawkes 48).
Leamington 4ths made an imposing 272 for four on their way to a 45-run victory over Claverdon in Cotswold Hills Division Five.
After winning the toss, Paul Wilson (87 not out), Davidson (47) and Williams (58 not out) provided the backbone for Leamington.
The away side were undaunted and set off impressively, reaching 100 for the loss of just one wicket from 21 overs.
Will Mobberley bowled a tidy five overs but it was Davidson who changed the complexion of the game, taking four for 24 from his 10 overs and putting the brake on the Claverdon scoring.
Ben Beresford was rewarded with four wickets to finish off the innings while Callum Dixon took three catches behind the stumps as Claverdon were dismissed for 227.
Leamington’s Sunday XI eased to a seven-wicket win at Knowle Village on Sunday.
Facing a daunting target of 246 in 40 overs, Leamington timed their response beautifully.
Openers Joe Somra and Simon Thompson (20) made a fine start and then impetus was provided by the middle order of Nick Couzens (46), Jon Wigley (27 not out) and Karan Patra (45 not out).
Somra fell just before the winning post after making a fine 94, but Leamington got home with eight balls to spare.
Earlier Knowle had flayed Leamington’s bowlers to all parts, with Martin Richmond leading the way with an unbeaten 121.