CRICKET: RUGBY leapfrogged Olton to move into second place in the Warwickshire Cricket League Premier Division after beating Aston Manor.
Owen Edwards’ side are now just three league points behind current league leaders Bedworth as the season draws to an exciting finish.
Rugby won a crucial toss and decided to bowl first.
They were quickly into stride when Recordo Gordon was run out by Henry Parker with the home side on nine.
Kamran Zaman was then trapped lbw for only three while No.4 batsman Adam Nevitt failed to score from 20 balls.
From 57/3, Aston Manor were then reduced to 96/5 as Danial Chaudhry knock of 47 came to an end.
Middle order men Taimur Imran (27) and Junior Johnson (23) helped Aston’s cause, guiding them past the 100 mark.
But Rugby took charge of the game when Sahal Malvernkar and Clement Smith were both dismissed cheaply, leaving Aston struggling on 132/8.
Imran Khan and Jason Furnell helped Aston advance past 150, but they were bowled out for 168 when Matthew Ewer (38/3) claimed the last wicket.
Rugby made a shakey start in reply as top order batsmen Raj Chohan (4) and skipper Owen Edwards (0) fell cheaply.
Asaad Qureshi (17) and Jeevan Barhey (26) helped the title contenders past 50, but when Edwards fell for a duck Rugby were left on 50/3.
Jack Rossar (6) fell nine runs later, but a match-winning 62 run partnership between Matthew Ewer (44) and Henry Parker (42) helped Rugby past 100 and within an over of victory.
Alex Smith (6) fell with Rugby 20 runs short of victory as Parker helped hit the winning runs to keep Rugby in the title hunt.
Rugby are next in action on Saturday against Hampton and Solihull at home before a bank holiday Monday clash against Barby on the road.
Rugby’s main rivals Bedworth play Barby at home on Saturday before an away trip to Coleshill on Monday.
Both games start at 12.30pm.