THE GROUNDSMAN’S week-long herculean efforts were rewarded as Cookhill earned a thumping 174-run victory over visitors Pershore 3rds to make it two wins from two in Worcestershire League Division Ten and sit top of the pile.
After a week of constant showers, the players were delighted to have a wicket to play on, although it was a very wet and sticky track which the hosts were put in on.
Neil Shuttleworth joined captain Kenny Hirst to open and the pair set about negotiating the young attack, making sure to be watchful on a wicket offering enough mischief to keep Pershore in the game.
Shuttleworth was first to fall for a hard-fought 12, followed by Hirst (44) after a ball popped from a length a few balls later but only after the 50 partnership had been reached.
Stuart Griffiths and Billy Harris carried on the careful batting before Griffiths (13) got a shooter that was almost impossible to play. Harris (40) watched Nathan Hill misjudge a flighted delivery before again becoming a victim of the challenging wicket.
This brought in Andy Fennell (76no) who took full advantage of the tiring attack and drying wicket. He quickly raced to 50 through some mighty hitting and Roger Smith (58no) reached his 50 shortly afterwards.
The pair finished unbeaten as Cookhill posted an hugely imposing 259-6 off their 45 overs and a new record partnership for the seventh wicket.
Harvey Phillips was given the responsibility of opening the bowling and delivered first ball thanks to a smart catch by Matthew Cummings.
Jonathan Stickler was determined to offer resistance and worked the strike well as he raced to 50 before falling for 61 bowled by Fennell, who could have caught him earlier but mistimed his jump.
Patience was the order of the day as the Plums battled to frustrate the bowling but wickets continually fell and the visitors were bowled out after drinks for 85.
Fennell picked up 3-11 and Phillips, Shuttleworth and Hirst took two wickets apiece for Cookhill, who visit Stone – also with 40 points from two matches – on Saturday.