Kenilworth Wardens ended the season in disappointing fashion as they were overpowered in their away fixture at Birmingham League Premier Division neighbours Berkswell.
Wardens’ skipper Martin Donald won the toss and opted to bat on a good surface, albeit one with considerable carry for the seam bowlers, and openers Arjun Bath and Nick Seager quickly found themselves facing an onslaught of short-pitched bowling - and no shortage of verbals - from Warwickshire seamer Tom Milnes.
Following the loss of Seager for 20, Bath impressed yet again with both talent and temperament, weathering the early storm and compiling a classy 40, but ultimately fell to a sharp catch behind the wicket off the bowling of former Warwickshire all-rounder Darren Maddy.
Despite some hard-fought resistance from talented Warwickshire junior Harry Johnson (11), Wardens slipped to 91 for four.
Captain Donald and Anthony Wilkinson put on 41 for the fifth wicket before Donald was caught by Maddy off Nick James for 22, and Wilkinson saw the innings through, finishing with an unbeaten 35.
However, 165 for seven looked considerably below par, thanks in large part to three for 44 from David Brignull, two for 54 for James and a miserly 10-0-23-1 from Maddy.
The home side’s reply got off to the worst possible start as Dan Wood had James Neale caught behind without scoring and, when Nick James was strangled down the leg side by the same bowler with the score on 19, Wardens sniffed the possibility of an upset.
This would, however, be the last success the visitors would taste as Mark Best and Tom Lewis set about dismantling the Wardens attack.
Best’s stylish unbeaten 73 from just 56 balls, including ten fours and three sixes, was made to look pedestrian by Lewis who took to the spinners with relish in a destructive innings of 76 not out from 47 balls, including 8 fours and 6 sixes, as the home side romped home by eight wickets in just 19 overs.
Only Wood returned respectable figures (5-0-24-2).
Although a slightly tame end to the season, Wardens will, on the whole, be pleased with their performances throughout a challenging first year back in the Premier Division and will be looking to build on a relatively solid season to contend for the top spots in 2015.