Wellesbourne continue to lead the field after impressing in the field

Wellesbourne's Gary Maynard hits out against Leek Woottons Dave Allison on his way to 67 for the home side.
Wellesbourne's Gary Maynard hits out against Leek Woottons Dave Allison on his way to 67 for the home side.

Wellesbourne’s quest to retain the Cotswold Hills Premier Division title negotiated another hurdle with a solid eight-wicket victory over Leek Wootton at Loxley Close.

One of Bourne’s strengths is their fielding and this was illustrated in the second over when an outstanding piece of athleticism off his own bowling by Arron Snipe resulted in him jumping up to stop the ball and throwing down the wicket in one motion to run out opener Kashif Choudhry with only a single on the board.

Finn Bailey fields one from Darren Mole off his own bowling. Pictures: Morris Troughton

Finn Bailey fields one from Darren Mole off his own bowling. Pictures: Morris Troughton

This paved the way for another good performance and soon Gary Maynard had Ian Somerville smartly caught at second slip by Jonny Spence.

The opening attack of Maynard and Snipe kept the pressure on and Snipe struck by having Mike Allison lbw before Maynard removed Ian Cox to a good catch by a tumbling Tom Stephenson.

Aat 54 for four off 20 overs the home side were in the driving seat with Maynard ending his spell with 10-3-2-18 and Snipe 10-0-1-27.

Stuart Budd then showed his ability in a partnership of 42 with Martin McKenna before he fell for 41 to another fine catch at mid-off by Spence who parried a hard drive and grabbed it at the second attempt off the bowling of Darren Mole.

The dismissal ended Wootton’s resistance and McKenna was next to go for 16 when spinner Sean Hopwood, playing through the pain of a strapped-up broken finger, bowled him.

Dave Allison had a few good hits before he was run out for 26 by Dave Barnett and another run out ensued when Zain Ansari went due to some smart work by Stephenson to leave Wootton 139 for eight.

Four runs later it was all over as Matt Burge was bowled by Stephenson and Hopwood dismissed Alexander Garman to a catch behind by Barnett.

In reply, Bourne’s openers Gary Maynard and Mole continued their fine partnerships of recent weeks and the scoreboard was soon rattling along with Maynard taking five boundaries off one over.

It was, therefore, a surprise in the 12th over when, with the score on 94, Maynard went for 67 to a catch by McKenna off Dave Allison.

Mole misjudged a drive and was caught at point by Ansari off Mike Allison for 34, leaving Myles Isted and Barnett to see Bourne home, both finishing unbeaten on 14.

Underpowered Leek Wootton 2nds failed to defend a below-par 164 for two against Welford, limping to a six-wicket defeat with seven overs unused in the visitors’ successful chase.

Opting to bat first on a hard, true wicket, Wootton openers Ben Bramley (61) and Scott Jones (36) compiled a watchful partnership of 96 in 33 overs, but were unable to release the handbrake at any point. Bramley was eventually dismissed in the 44th over.

The seemingly innocuous Welford bowling was given too much respect and Wootton’s total always seemed well short.

Wily left-arm orthodox spinner Ed Gough was the pick of the Welford bowlers with figures of 10-3-20-0.

The visitors’ chase was fuelled primarily by skipper Will Gough (23), and an unbroken partnership of 48 between C Farrow (46 not out) and G Mason (32 not out).

Seamer Dan McKenzie (10-1-35-3) briefly threatened to tip the balance Wootton’s way, but as tempers and discipline frayed, the hosts were unable to get a real foothold in what had been seen as a winnable game.