Smith believes there are positives to take from Leamington's performance

Leamington settled for a share of the points with Knowle & Dorridge after the weather intervened shortly after tea on Saturday.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 11:43 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 12:48 pm
Knowle & Dorridge batsman Alex Phillips drives a Jonathan Wigley delivery towards the boundary. Picture: Morris Troughton

Knowle & Dorridge were asked to bat first and made a bright start through the experienced opening pair of Dominic Harding and Alex Phillips.

Harding fell to Max Webber for 28 with the score on 87 and former Leamington man Phillips was joined by Beau Webster.

The duo enjoyed batting on a good surface, punishing the occasional bad delivery, but Leamington’s bowlers generally held them in check.

Captain Lee Hopkins changed the bowling skilfully though the experiment of using Adeel Sajid and then Billy Hallett to mix up the attack backfired as Knowle milked 40 runs in just two overs.

However, the veteran Neil Smith was settling into a tidy spell and was rewarded with the wickets of Webster for 82 and then Phillips who crafted an excellent 112 on a ground he knows so well.

Smith snared Warwickshire’s Jon Webb and captain Sam Reddish more cheaply to end with four for 50.

The visitors took tea, under darkening skies, having posted 269 for six.

Leamington’s batsmen faced testing conditions when play resumed, with a combination of murky light, drizzle and fine bowling.

Webber was adjudged lbw to Ben Brookes for three, though the ball seemed a little high, while Jonathan Wigley edged behind a beauty from Will Mottram.

Drizzle turned into steady rain with Leamington on 19 for two and although the umpires persevered in attempting to get play restarted, it was to no avail.

Although up against it, Leamington can take some heart from a disciplined bowling display, with Smith commenting: “Apart from a couple of loose overs, we kept a strong K&D batting line-up in check.”

Rain during the tea interval prevented Leamington 3rds from chasing what looked like an achievable target at Alcester in the Cotswold Hills Premier.

The hosts began at a steady rate as Dan McCarthy (3-23) removed the opening pair.

The run rate then began to sag until Dipple (22) arrived to join Layton (44), with the former Bidford pair lifting the run rate back above four an over.

Thereafter, despite the regular fall of wickets, the rate was maintained and the innings closed on 182 in the final over.

Wayne Killian returned figures of three for 59 and James Whitfield three for 12.

Leamington’s 4th XI suffered a similar fate as their match with Stanway was abandoned at tea.

Stanway batted first and were made to work hard by Leamington youngsters Oli Horswill and Cam Mitchell.

However, an early breakthrough was not forthcoming and despite a wicket for Mitchell, Stanway were well place to accelerate from 147 for one.

The wily Shaun Williams applied the brakes to some extent as he persuaded three Stanway batters to fall on their swords in various ways.

Leamington’s catching was top notch, given the veteran status of many of the outfielders and the Spa men would have been happy to limit Stanway to 202 for five in their 45 overs.

However, a strong batting line-up and an easy paced wicket were to no avail as the threatened rain arrived and no further play was possible.