Rugby close in on league title - The Rugby Observer

Rugby close in on league title

Rugby Editorial 14th Sep, 2018   0

RUGBY can secure the Birmingham League Division Three title this weekend after their dramatic four-win victory over title rivals Stourbridge moved them to the summit of the league table.

Owen Edwards’ side only need to beat fourth-from-bottom Newport on Saturday to clinch the title and they go into the game high on confidence after overhauling Stourbridge last Saturday.

The victory extended Rugby’s winning run to seven successive games, a run of form which could not have come at a better time in the season.

Rugby were asked to bat first after losing the toss against Stourbridge at Webb Ellis Road.

Having moved steadily to 20-0, Raj Chohan (5) and Hugh Cochrane (3) fell in quick succession.

Jeevan Barhey (17) and Owen Edwards (10) started to lay foundations for Rugby’s innings but they both fell to a nagging spell from Daniel Such (3-26).

When Henry Wilkins and Vishaal Rathod both edged to first slip off Jitesh Jivan-Patel soon after, Rugby had collapsed to 69-6.

Henry Parker (36) was joined by George Terry and the pair showed great aptitude to start repairing the damage. They added 31 before Terry (19 no) added another 16 with Lee Golding (4), but Nathan Crudeli (3-21) returned to end the innings on 116 in the 36th over.

In Matt Ewer’s absence, Henry Wilkins was promoted to take the new ball and struck in his first over when he removed Jujhar Johal (9).

However, Ali Rashid was joined by Matt Bradley and the pair took the sting out of Rugby’s new ball attack and soon had the scoreboard moving along.

As the score passed 50 Rugby’s belief started to fade and, when Neal McGrath removed Bradley (16) with the score on 64, it only appeared to be a consolation wicket.

Three overs later, having struggled for rhythm at the start of his spell, Vishaal Rathod (4-34) finally hit his straps and clean bowled Rashid (27).

At 76-3, Stourbridge only needed 41 to win but Rugby sensed they could apply some real pressure and they did exactly that.

The hosts collapsed to 99-8 before folding on 112 all out after Josh Banks was run out, giving Rugby a dramatic victory and the advantage going into the final round of fixtures.

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