Shipston-on-Stour (157-9), Norton Lindsey (158-7)
SHIPSTON-on-Stour firsts suffered a three-wicket home defeat to Norton Lindsey in Division One of the Cotswold Hills League.

A lacklustre batting performance by the hosts against a tight bowling attack resulted in Shipston’s second defeat of the season.

Of the first five batsmen, only Jack Murphy (24) and Craig Robins (11) made double figures and it was Phil Hall, batting at six, who top-scored with 33.

Dave Murphy, promoted to seven when the score had slumped to 73-5, weighed in with 32.

A late flurry by last pair Richard Strong and Dave Pyne of 24 runs from 21 deliveries saw the score to 157-9 at the close, at least 30 runs down on a par score for the two-paced wicket.

A Mather exploited the track to record 4-50, but tight spells by D McInnis (3-22) and S Webber (2-23) kept the total down.

Initially, the visitors struggled against the accuracy of Paul Cross (1-23) and Phil Hall (1-18), but the middle-order of R Howard (33) J Morgan (26) and C Tustain (30) got the visitors to within reach of their target.

Pyne bowled particularly well to claim 3-35 and, together with Murphy (2-46), gave some optimism that a win could still be possible.

However, M Reading (12) and Mather (21) put together an unbeaten partnership of 31 for the eighth wicket to see their side comfortably home with 11 balls to spare.