SKIPPER Owen Edwards offered no excuses as Rugby tasted a second Birmingham League Division Three defeat of the season in a high-scoring affair against Stourbridge.
In what was a top-of-the-table clash, the seven-wicket defeat for Edwards’ side on Saturday now leaves Rugby back in third, 26 points the leaders.
Rugby set a target of 278-9 after being put into bat but Stourbridge made light work of their run chase, easing to 279-3 inside 45 overs.
Jeevan Barhey (57), George Terry (45) and Lee James (40) were the star performers for Rugby but those figures were a mere shadow of those amassed by Stourbridge’s Matthew Bradley and Marvarick Perry.
Bradley crashed 103 runs off 119 balls while Perry smashed 145 off 124 balls in an unbeaten innings which featured 19 boundaries and five maximums.
“It was a brilliant performance from their batsmen,” said Edwards.
“We didn’t really have any answers and sometimes you just have to accept you were outplayed.
“I was disappointed we weren’t able to build up a bit more pressure on them and we didn’t bowl anywhere near as well as we have done for the rest of the season.
“However, they didn’t give us the chance to settle and punished any bad balls.”
Rugby will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they host fourth-from-bottom Newport.
“When we got promoted, we knew we’d face days like that against quality opposition and it’s a good experience for the lads,” added Edwards.
“We will learn from it and bounce back.”
In the reverse Division Two Second XI (South) fixture, Rugby enjoyed a five-wicket victory.
Stourbridge were limited to 200-9, with opener Alex Bingham (70) top-scoring.
Bhavik Rathod (3-32) was pick of the bowlers for Rugby who reached 202-5 in their reply with three overs to spare.
Alex Smith was the star performer, finishing unbeaten on 52.
Meanwhile, Rugby’s third string crashed to an eight-wicket defeat to Ambleside Seconds in Warwickshire League Division Nine East.