ALCESTER & RAGLEY’S mixed start to the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division season continued as they slipped to a three-wicket defeat at Norton Lindsey on Saturday.
Ragley have now won two and lost two ahead of Saturday’s visit of Long Itchington.
A&R’s familiar batting frailties came to the fore again as they lost early wickets and could only mount a small recovery to post 142 all out.
The highlight of the innings was the 57-run partnership between Adam Warbrick (58) and Ben Shuttleworth as the visitors reached 110-5, but a flurry of wickets from spinner Blythe ended hopes of a higher total.
Ragley still believed victory was possible as they had restricted sides to 83 and 120 in their previous two matches and they got off to a good start in the field as opener Perfect was well caught behind by Max Biltcliffe off the bowling of Steve Capron before Tim Jackson jagged one back to bowl Rushton and leave the hosts 11-2.
However, Ragley could not make another breakthrough for a good while as Shepherd and Blythe added a chanceless 63 partnership to lift the score to 74-2.
The visitors chipped away as Warbrick (3-48) and Darren Turner (2-18) impressed but Ragley were always behind the game and the home side reached 143-7.