BASEMENT boys Shipston lost by seven wickets as Bretforton went top of the Cotswold Hills Premier League.

Shipston captain Gary Betteridge won the toss and decided to bat on an unpredictable track.

The Bretforton opening bowlers struggled to find line and length, but fortune favoured Steve Edghill as he removed Matt Corby bowled when the ball hit the floor and rolled onto the stumps with score on 11.

Adrian Witts claimed Betteridge just 16 runs later before the bowlers kept the run-rate below 2.5 an over.

Howard Bentham (34) and Matthew Pratt (21) took the Shipston score to 90 before the latter was bowled by Paul Jones and Stewart Langston had Bentham caught and bowled with score on 104-6. Jones (4-18) then took three quick wickets and Shipston were reeling at 108-9. Bretforton finally dismissed their hosts for 122 in the 45th over, just missing out on two extra bowling points.

Julian Morris chipped in with 27 and Dave Murphy 18 but Shipston’s total was a below par score on a low and slow track and the visitors were determined to knock off the runs for maximum batting points.

Brett Woods and Stuart Berry opened the innings and they found scoring difficult on the dry wicket.

Berry was out first when the ball hit his pad and rolled onto the wicket with the score on 17.

Youngster Phil Davis joined Woods and together they saw off the new ball and started working the spinners around the park before Woods was caught for a patient 28 by Robins trying to hit the ball over the top off Pyne.

With the score on 66, Jones joined Davis and he was quickly into his stride, hitting Pyne for several fours and Murphy for a huge six.

Davis batted with a lot of composure and he supported the destructive Jones, until the latter was caught by Murphy with Bretforton still needing 19 to win.

Davis was closing in on his maiden Cotswold Hills Premier League half-century when Matt Mitchell (11 not out) found the boundary to give Bretforton the extra batting point.

However, Davis, who batted with a lot of maturity, was left stranded on 49 not out.

Bretforton reached their target with more than 10 overs to spare.